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Nero Blanc Books In Order

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Publication Order of Crossword Mysteries Books

The Crossword Murder (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two Down (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Crossword Connection (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Crossword To Die For (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Crossworder's Holiday (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Corpus de Crossword (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Crossworder's Gift (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Anatomy Of A Crossword (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wrapped Up In Crosswords (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Another Word For Murder (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Crossworder's Delight (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death On The Diagonal (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Nero Blanc
Nero Blanc is a pen name used by Steve Zettler and Cordelia Frances Biddle, who are a married couple and serious crossword puzzle buffs.

They met while they worked as actors on the New York stage, and their fondest memories are from the shows they performed together for. Why shouldn’t they pair up and write together, they said. And since they are mystery fans and crossword puzzle buffs for years, it seemed to be a great solution.

Previously, Cordelia has mainly written historical fiction, and Steve has mainly written more international thrillers, but the idea of writing together has fascinated both of them. They have a lot of fun melding their two distinct styles, and creating their ‘cozy’ book that has a feel all its own.

They chose their nom de plume because blanc means white in French and nero means black in Italian. Both words are favorites for crosswords constructors and solver, which provides them with a puzzling allusion in their name. Which one of them is blanc and which is nero is for you to guess.

They write the “Crossword Mystery” series of novels, the first of which was released in the year 1999, and was called “The Crossword Murder”. The novels star Rosco Polycrates, a private investigator, and Annabella Graham, a creator of crossword puzzle.

“The Crossword Murder” is the first novel in the “Crossword Mystery” series and was released in the year 1999. That is correct. Thompson C. Briephs is now dead. D. E. A. D. the corpse of the flamboyant puzzle editor was found under some very suspicious circumstances. His grief-stricken mom (a wealthy dowager) hired private investigator Rosco Polycrates to find some answers.

To better understand the victim’s death, Rosco has to understand the man’s life. He consults with the other puzzle editor in Newcastle, Massachusetts. Annabella Graham, gorgeous and brainy, who spends time creating conundrums for the rival paper in town.

This mismatched pair has found that five puzzles, written by Briephs before he was killed, could contain clues that will help fill in the blanks in this investigation. They are going to need to look everywhere. Including across, down, and up in order to keep this killer from killing again.

The story is a good one with plenty of red herrings and a nice romance. The main characters are likable, and the tension between them while they try to avoid their growing attraction to each other.

“Two Down” is the second novel in the “Crossword Mystery” series and was released in the year 2000. S.O.S. spells the same thing, doesn’t matter across, down, or up, danger. A famous Hollywood actress and her buddy go sailing right off the coast of Nantucket, and never come back, everybody just assumes they were victims of an accident. When their dinghy suspiciously washes up in a cove where the tide is unable to reach, it sounds much more like foul play.

P.I. Rosco Polycrates and Belle Graham, his paramour/crossword editor sharpen their minds and their pencils in order to solve the case. Belle finds anonymous puzzles with clues being left on her doorstep, it appears as though they are off to a nice start, it is going to take all their sleuthing skills to fill in all of the missing blanks.

This book is creative and has a well plotted mystery and a solid storyline in it. These characters are just as likable as they were in first novel and the addition of the crossword puzzles makes it more fun.

“The Crossword Connection” is the third novel in the “Crossword Mystery” series and was released in the year 2001. Rosco and Belle are back for more crime and puzzle solving. This time they find the downs and ups of married life… and death.

Everybody’s favorite puzzle lovers have finally decided to get married. Their wedding vows are put on hold as murder pays a visit. A pair of homeless people turn up dead, with a crossword puzzle tucked right underneath them. Who could hold a grudge against two harmless vagrants? Then Rosco vanishes without a trace.

Left to only her own defenses, the one thing Belle has to work with is the series of anonymous crossword puzzles delivered right to her door. If she is able to figure the clues out, she can solve the crime, and locate Rosco. It adds up to a murderous puzzler that is beginning to give Belle a serious case of cold feet.

“A Crossword to Die For” is the fourth novel in the “Crossword Mystery” series and was released in the year 2002. Belle’s deadbeat dad does not turn up at the train station, it does not surprise her much. What does shock her, though, is that there is a legitimate reason. It would appear that he died of a heart attack en route.

Belle and Rosco are suspicious of this, and once they begin looking for clues, they find a sketchy past that includes a mysterious neighbor, her dad’s secret “assistant”, and a pricey yacht he bought off a guy known just as Woody.

What was her dad trying to keep hidden? What is the truth behind her estranged dad’s odd life, and death?

“Corpus de Crossword” is the fifth novel in the “Crossword Mystery” series and was released in the year 2002. Rosco and Belle take their puzzle-sleuthing skills to a quiet New England town that is waking up to some rather nasty surprises.

Folks in Taneysville, Massachusetts are currently in an uproar. There is a builder looking to develop fifteen acres of land, and they are certain it is going to be the ruin of the quiet and sleepy lifestyle they hold precious. The determined developer gets stopped dead in his tracks, not by some demonstration, rather by a grisly discovery.

The skeletal remains of a young lady have been found by the construction crew. Belle and Rosco are quick to begin investigating. Also quick are the anonymous crosswords that begin pouring in, but even with all the clues that pour in, the couple finds that inside this old-fashioned hamlet, everything is not black and white.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nero Blanc

One Response to “Nero Blanc”

  1. Deanna S.: 3 years ago

    I dug this couple’s writing and crosswords. I hope I can find the books I missed back in the day. Are they still together, still writing and have another waiting to be published? It has been awhile since the 12th book. Maybe Belle and Rosco broke up and they did, too? Does anybody know?


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