Friday, September 10, 2010

Touch-Me-Not: A Martha's Vineyard Mystery / by Cynthia Riggs

In Martha's Vineyard, a knitting circle meets weekly at the local library to work on a quilt, the project part of an awareness campaign on global warming. Things aren't so pleasant though when a series of anonymous crank calls begins to target select group members. Not knowing what to do, and with the personal threats growing more menacing, the group calls upon writer and village sleuth Victoria Trumbull--92 years young and still sharp as a tack--to help investigate. As it turns out, the messages--some of them directed at Victoria's granddaughter Elizabeth--may be connected to a current missing persons case. Around the same time the calls began, local tradesman Jerry Sparks stopped being seen around town. His family and friends have lost touch with him and there's no evidence to suggest he may have gone on a trip.
Even with enough energy to confront the mystery head on, and meanwhile continue to write poetry, perfect her patented specialty foods, and assist Police Chief Casey O'Neill with other matters, Victoria recognizes her need for help and summons her daughter Amelia (Elizabeth's mother) from California to help monitor things. When a dead body suddenly turns up, Victoria and the gals know they have a very dangerous situation on their hands. It will take all of Victoria's cunning and crafty sleuthing skills to get to the bottom of this yarn, and, at the same time, keep everyone around her from freaking out.
Cynthia Riggs is a thirteenth-generation resident of Martha's Vineyard. Within her home which dates back to the 1700's, she operates a bed-and-breakfast catering mostly to artists and writers. But don't categorize this cozy author too quickly as a grounded domestic, she's followed quite an extraordinary path. It's a life which includes travel writing for National Geographic and The Smithsonian, doing geological surveying in Antarctica, attaining a Coast Guard Master's License, owning a Ferry service and working as a rigging specialist in the shipyards of Chesapeake Bay. This latest mystery in the fascinating Victoria Trumbull series demonstrates why so many readers have grown to love Riggs' heroine, one very special woman indeed. (MYS RIGGS)

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