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Following the clues doesn’t always lead you where you might expect …

A witty, warm-hearted and appealing novel about how stepping out of our comfort zones can sometimes be the best – and worst – thing that can ever happen to us.

Rory’s life is perfectly predictable, ordered and on track – just the way she likes it. She walks her 12,000 steps a day, writes her to-do list, and each night she prepares her breakfast chia pods and lays out her clothes for the next day. She’s doing everything right. So why does everything feel so wrong?

Deep down, she knows her life and career – not to mention her relationship – are going nowhere, and so Rory, in a moment of desperation, takes an uncharacteristic step: letting the clues of The New York Times crossword puzzle dictate all her decisions for a week. Just for a week, she reasons. Just to shake things up a bit. What could possibly go wrong?

A delightfully witty, deliciously original and astringently refreshing romcom that reads like you’re inhaling a zingy citrus cocktail made by Nora Ephron, at a party thrown by Dolly Alderton and Beth O’Leary.


Kimberley Allsopp has had her work appear in Kidspot, The Sunday Telegraph and WHIMN (now Body & Soul) and she co-hosts the rom-com podcast, Meet Cute, which allows her to justify some of her otherwise questionable life choices. Kimberley has worked in bookselling and publishing since 2008. Love and Other Puzzles is her first book. She lives in Sydney with her partner and daughter.



As a long-time lover of Nora Ephron’s classic novel Heartburn, it’s probably no surprise that I fell for Love and Other Puzzles – hook, line and sinker – from the very first page. It’s the voice in Heartburn – laceratingly sharp and achingly funny – that leaps off the page, and it’s the same with Love and Other Puzzles – the voice is original, witty and astringently refreshing, and reading it is like inhaling a zingy citrus cocktail made by Nora Ephron, at a party thrown by Mhairi McFarlane. The story of sweet, stubborn and determined Rory, who makes an impulsive decision to let the clues of the New York Times crossword puzzle dictate her decision for a week (with disastrous consequences) will, I guarantee, win you over too. It’s a deliciously appealing, wry, funny, sweet and moving novel, with the kind of witty banter between characters that Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in one of those screwball movies from the 40s would kill for. It’s also a novel that pays loving homage to the rom-com genre, and one of the delights of reading it is to spot the many references littered through the book. Love and Other Puzzles has quickly become a favourite of inhouse Harper staff, who are calling it ‘laugh-out loud funny’, ‘sweetly charming’ and ‘the funniest book I’ve read in years’. So, if you love the films of Richard Curtis and Nancy Meyers, and know your High Society from your Notting Hills – this is absolutely one for you.
– Catherine Milne, Head of Fiction



This would be the third window I’d climbed out of in my life. The second this week. The first where I was escaping myself.

This had all grown out of good intentions. I’d click on the app when I was waiting for the bus or if I was watching a particularly drawn-out episode of Great British Bake Off, you know, the ones where nothing actually happens, so the whole episode is just fake tension about whether or not  Pietro’s souffle will rise (it does) or Janet’s croquembouche will topple, crushing her spun sugar village (it does not) . . . READ MORE





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