Fatal Puzzle is exciting, entertaining, and well plotted. The mystery and action move on two planes, a series of crimes that took place in 1495 and crimes involving a serial killer in the present. The stories share a location in a German village with additional connections that emerge as the story unfolds. I enjoyed the book from start to finish and as a captivated reader was sorry to see it end. The thing that keeps me from giving it five stars is a failure that may be rooted in translation more than in Ms. Sheperd's writing. I expected the language and style of the story to vary depending on whether action was occurring in the 15th century or today but this was not the case. As a result I never felt transported into the world of 1495. In fact there were odd anachronisms that seemed out of place in an otherwise well-written book such as the use of the term "crime scene" in the narration of the 15th century crimes and the consistent use of politically correct terms like "psychic" to describe characters that in that time would have been identified as witches or magicians. In spite of that this is a good story, well plotted with a creative design.