One Across, Two Down, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


There are only two things in life that interest Stanley: solving crossword puzzles, and getting his hands on his mother-in-law's money.

For twenty years, nearly all his adult life, the puzzles have been his only pleasure; his mother-in-law's money his only dream. And in all those years it has never once occurred to Stanley that she would try to outsmart him and the money might never be his.

Until now. It is only now that Stanley, so clever at misleading double-meanings and devious clues, decides to construct a puzzle of his own - and so give death a helping hand.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780099312604



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I picked up this Ruth Rendell because of the crossword theme which sounded interesting but actually found that the theme got a bit tedious. What was most interesting about it though was than it's now forty years old and the world has changed a lot in that time. It features one of the characters getting excited about buying her first fridge and washing machine, items I (nearly as old as the book is...) have trouble thinking about living without for very long! It's not a mystery, it's one of those books where things happen, things go wrong, and I get nervous about how it's all going to work out. Suspense I guess? Even though I didn't particularly care for the main character I didn't really want the world to come crashing down on him. Although I don't think any 21st century detective would let the protagonist get away with the events in the book I do think a 21st century author might have done. It was this aspect of tying up all the loose threads that dated the book as much as any of the domestic appliances or house prices. Not a bad book though. Glad I read it.

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