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When 92-year-old poet/sleuth Victoria Trumbull takes her city-bred tenant Zack Zeller on a nature walk on one of Martha’s Vineyard’s conservation areas and shows him a mushroom she calls black trumpet of death, he’s sure he's found the way to rid himself of his troublesome girlfriend, Samantha. But the mushrooms he's given Samantha end up on her daddy's dinner table, and Zack, one of the invited guests, is sure he’s doomed the diners to an untimely death.
Meanwhile, dead bodies are cropping up on the Island. The police have questions about the identity of the culprit and call upon Victoria Trumbull, who knows the Island and its inhabitants intimately. Will she be able to find the truth and clear the name of someone close to her before the murderer finds its next victim?
In addition to giving us more of the eccentric cast of characters and quirky plot we love, Trumpet of Death, the 13th book in Cynthia Riggs' Martha’s Vineyard mystery series, describes in loving detail little-known parts of the Island that visitors seldom see.
At the start of Riggs's satisfying 13th Martha's Vineyard mystery (after 2016's Bloodroot), feisty 92-year-old Victoria Trumbull, a poet, takes her young and not-too-sharp upstairs tenant, Zack Zeller, on a nature walk. In the woods, she shows him some poisonous mushrooms known as black trumpets (aka trumpets of death). Zack, who has a summer job as a dishwasher, has been loaning money to his spoiled girlfriend, Samantha Eberhardt, a drug user and dealer, who promises to pay him back but never does. When Zack breaks up with Sam, she threatens him. To get back at Sam, Zack gives her some of the deadly mushrooms in the hope they will sicken her, but things don't go as planned. When Sam's body turns up on a bike path, Zack isn't the only murder suspect, since she may have had a hand in ruining a number of lives on the island. Fans of darker cozies will enjoy Riggs's blend of crime, island lore, and well-drawn characters.