St. Martins, May 2002, 23.95, 272 pp.
Victoria Trumbull is a spry ninety-two year old woman who lives on Martha's Vineyard year round. She has more energy than most people half her age, goes hiking, writes poetry and reads to the residents of the retirement home.
One of Victoria's neighbors, Phoebe Eldridge, has just sold her home and land to another Martha's Vineland resident, Harry Ness. While hiking Victoria discovers the murdered body of the lawyer who represented both parties in the property sale. Many different interest groups offer to buy the land from Ness but he refuses to sell it to anyone because he intends to build an exclusive $180 million dollar luxury community. When Harry is found murdered every person who wanted to buy the land is considered a suspect and Victoria decides it is her job to bring the killer to Justice.
The heroine of THE CRANEFLY ORCHID MURDERS makes this mystery novel very special. It's great reading about an elderly woman who has all her faculties while solving crimes, hiking and being creative. Victoria comes across as very believable and will appeal to readers of all ages. Thanks to Cynthia Riggs colorful descriptions, the real Martha's Vineyard comes alive to readers who will feel as if they vacationed there.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner