Dunne, June 2004, 22.95, 208 pp.
Ninety two years old Victoria Trumbull is as spry as a person half her age and her mental faculties are probably sounder than most of those in their fourties. Her granddaughter Elizabeth is living with her after escaping her abusive husband Lockwood who unknown to them is on Martha's Vineyard. He watches his ex-wife and is waiting for the right time to “talk” to her. When the women find out he is there they take precautions and friends and neighbors save Elizabeth from what would have been a dangerous confrontation.
While Victoria is dealing with her granddaughter's problem, four people have died on the island within the last month. Victoria finds this very disturbing and when she checks the town's records she finds the death rate is way above the norm. She begins to wonder if there is a serial killer on the island but the chief of police, who Victoria regards as a friend, won't exhume the bodies without solid evidence. Victoria goes to unusual lengths to prove her theory but makes more than the cops take notice of her efforts.
Anyone who wants to know how a nonagenarian can become a deputy must read JACK IN THE PULPIT to learn how the heroine's crime sleuthing career began. The who-done-it is well executed with plenty of suspects including the old minister of the local church, his successor, and their wives amongst others. The support cast adds color and vibrancy to the storyline. The only quibble is that the two subplots, the abusive ex-spouse and the four deaths don't intersect at any point and each could have been the focus of a separate book.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner