Cynthia Riggs has no problem making readers believe that her feisty protagonist can be almost indispensable to the new police chief. The years just seem to have sharpened ninety-two-year-old Victoria Trumbull’s mind, and she’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of her fellow West Tisbury residents and their forebears. But most readers do wonder how the old lady came to be made the chief’s official deputy. So author Cynthia Riggs obliges with this book.
Chief Casey O’Neill has been trying to win acceptance in her new job. She is an off-Islander—and a woman! What’s more, she no sooner starts work than a church sexton dies suddenly from what is believed natural causes. But soon other elderly citizens begin to die unexpectedly, and it becomes apparent that there is a serial killer abroad in West Tisbury.
Casey has had plenty of experience with homicide in the big city she came from. But only on an island like the Vineyard could she have found a serial killer who does his dirty work using a town custom of sharing an occasional special dish with one’s neighbors. At the same time, the usual tranquility of West Tisbury is roiled by a feud between the newly retired minister of the local Congregational church and his successor, both called “Jack.” And while men of God are supposed to bring harmony to their flock, these two pastors have managed to divide the town into factions.