Review: Love and Other Puzzles by Kimberley Allsopp


Title: Love and Other Puzzles

Author: Kimberley Allsopp

Published: 2nd February 2022, HarperCollins Australia

Status: Read January 2022 courtesy HarperCollins Au/Netgalley


My Thoughts:


In the delightful romcom, Love and Other Puzzles from debut Australian novelist Kimberley Allsopp, Rory Byrnes impulsively turns to the New York Times crossword puzzle for inspiration to change her life.

‘7A A bovine Baskin treat = icecream’

With her career stalled and her relationship failing, Rory, who has always relied on order and routine, decides that three times a day for the next week she’ll let the answers to The New York Times crossword puzzle guide her decisions.

‘34A What do you do before you speak in class = raise your hand’

To revitalise her journalistic career at ‘The Connect’ Rory, raises her hand, and volunteers to arrange an interview with elusive newsreader, Elle Chambers, who is rumoured to be launching a bid for a political seat. The only problem is Rory has no idea how to deliver on it.

‘12D A 2010 Steve Martin novel = An Object of Beauty’

The first step Rory takes to reconnect with her live in boyfriend, artist Lucas, is to agree to attend a gallery opening, despite generally avoiding such events, where she ends up spending most of her time talking with the bartender, Harry, and goes home alone.

As the week progresses, the crossword inspires a little more chaos than Rory expects but she’s determined to follow through.

Allsopp’s protagonist is easy to like. Rory is sweet and warm-hearted, just a little lost amid her quarter-life crisis. Her need for order is mostly a form of self defence, the result of a somewhat chaotic upbringing with her free spirited single mother, which her grandparents did their best to ameliorate.

I was also a fan of Rory’s loyal and funny best friend, Kitt, and charmed by several of the other characters, including Rory’s mentor Dave, and bus driver, Ted. Rory’s boyfriend, on the other hand, is a jerk, but this is a romcom so there is a worthy man waiting in the wings.

The writing is witty and sharp. I loved the many pop culture references, most of which relate to Hollywood romcoms.

Love and Other Puzzles is a captivating uplifting read, sure to satisfy any hopeless romantic.


Available from HarperCollins Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via

Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon



9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kate W
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 00:10:48

    I want to read this but my ARC in a format not compatible with my kindle – perhaps I’ll attempt to read on my phone!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. harvee
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 07:51:40

    That’s original! Getting romantic tips from the crosswords, the most unromantic of puzzles, in my opinion. Hope it’s good!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Helen Murdoch
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 09:57:07

    This sounds like fun and an innovative way to tell a story through a crossword puzzle.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. WendyW
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 11:07:12

    As a fellow, hopeless romantic, I think I would enjoy this book! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Theresa Smith Writes
    Jan 21, 2022 @ 14:13:48

    I thought I had requested this but it must have been a print request as I can see no trace of it on my NetGalley, not even in declined. Maybe it will turn up in the post for me, if not, I’ll probably buy it as I like the sound of it even more now after reading your review.



  6. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  7. Trackback: Love and Other Puzzles by Kimberley Allsopp, Review: Clever

I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s