Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Touch-Me-Not-Cynthia Riggs

Cynthia Riggs
Minotaur, Aug 17 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312648718

In his office at Watts Electrical Supply in Oak Bluffs, electrician LeRoy Watts uses a taser on his former assistant Jerry Sparks when the latter had the gall to threaten to blackmail him. Jerry crumbled to the office floor dead. LeRoy knows his nine year old twin sons Zeke and Jared will be coming by once baseball practice ends, so he places the corpse in a closet with plans to dispose of the body later.

After the kids leave, LeRoy removes the stiff from his office closet and places the corpse in a book storage shed at the West Tisbury library. Also at the library are the "mathematical" knitters doing Moebius strips and more. Their current project is a coral reef quilt to raise awareness of global warming. Knitter Maron asks nonagenarian Deputy Sheriff Victoria Trumbull for help with an obscene serial phone caller; and boat splicer Emily Cameron wants to know what happened to her boyfriend Jerry. Victoria is back in the middle of a murder mystery.

The latest ninety-two years young Victoria Trumbull police procedural (see Death and Honesty) is a wonderful cozy that uses Martha’s Vineyard as an idyllic backdrop for mayhem and for family issues caused when the middle generation arrives to help her daughter cope with her elderly mother. At times the story line turns amusing for instance with LeRoy’s efforts to dispose of the body only to have his family and later three law enforcement officials (including the heroine) visit him with none aware of Jerry’s fate; mindful of Hitchcock’s comedic The Trouble With Harry. Cynthia Riggs is at the top of her game with this strong Trumbull entry.

Harriet Klausner

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