Victoria Trumbull, the ninety-two-year-old poet/sleuth, discovers a neighbor’s body in the home of one of the three town assessors. The assessors have been skimming off tax money from wealthy landowners and stashing it in their own special retirement funds. Then the private pilot of the not-so-holy clergyman husband of one of these landowners is found dead, floating in his employer’s pond, his face gnawed by snapping turtles. Finally, searching for old documents in the attic of Town Hall, Victoria discovers a third body, that of the long-missing assessors clerk. In order to tie all the threads together and solve the murders, Cynthia again teams up with her old friend and rival, Emery Meyer, now working as the landowner’s chauffeur.
It’s another entertaining mystery, as only Riggs can spin it, infused with the flora and fauna of Martha’s Vineyard.
Victoria Trumbull, indomitable 92-year-old deputy police officer and poet, investigates smalltown skulduggery in Riggs's engaging eighth Martha's Vineyard mystery (after 2007's Shooting Star). Along with the dead body of widow Lucy Pease, Victoria finds property cards containing tax information in the home of one of the three town assessors, Ellen Meadows, who's off island. Knowing these cards should never have left the town hall, Ellen gets on the trail of a skimming scheme involving the assessors and their clerk, Oliver Ashpine. Meanwhile, Victoria learns that Ashpine is threatening to reveal the unsavory past of Delilah Sampson, a flamboyant TV star who owns an island property, if Delilah doesn't pay her outrageously high property tax. Getting an agricultural "restriction" by turning her property into a farm could be the solution to Delilah's problem. Once again, Riggs, a 13th-generation Vineyarder, depicts the flaws and foibles of her island characters with sympathy and humor. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.