Cynthia Riggs Books In Order

Victoria Trumbull/Martha’s Vineyard Mystery Books In Publication Order

  1. Deadly Nightshade (2001)
  2. The Cranefly Orchid Murders (2002)
  3. The Cemetery Yew (2003)
  4. Jack in the Pulpit (2004)
  5. The Paperwhite Narcissus (2005)
  6. Indian Pipes (2006)
  7. Shooting Star (2007)
  8. Death and Honesty (2009)
  9. Touch-Me-Not (2010)
  10. The Bee Balm Murders (2011)
  11. Poison Ivy (2012)
  12. Bloodroot (2016)
  13. Trumpet of Death (2017)
  14. Widow’s Wreath (2018)

Cozy Case Files Mystery Sampler Books In Publication Order

  1. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 1 (2017)
  2. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 2 (2017)
  3. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 3 (2017)
  4. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 4 (2018)
  5. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 5 (2018)
  6. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 6 (2019)
  7. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 7 (2019)
  8. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 8 (2020)
  9. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 9 (2020)
  10. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 10 (2020)
  11. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 11 (2021)
  12. A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 12 (2021)

Victoria Trumbull/Martha’s Vineyard Mystery Book Covers

Cozy Case Files Mystery Sampler Book Covers

Cynthia Riggs Books Overview

Deadly Nightshade

Victoria Trumbull has lived most of her 92 years on the Island. Like other Islanders, she knows the sound of the sea in calm and stormy weather and she knows the sounds that do not belong. One evening while Victoria waits on the dock for her granddaughter to return with the harbormaster, she hears a chilling scream followed by a splash and the sound of tires skidding on sand. She investigates and discovers a mutilated body floating on the outgoing tide. With her granddaughter, Domingo the harbormaster, a swarm of Island characters, and a few mysterious visitors, Victoria manages to get in a good bit of detective work. However, she isn’t able to prevent further homicide. As the tension mounts, Victoria concocts a scheme to reveal the killer and still has time to prepare her traditional Saturday night supper of Boston baked beans. While the summer visitors bask on the beach, sail Island waters, shop in the Island stores, the reader is treated to the magic, the history and the texture of ‘the Vineyard’ with its year round characters real enough to include the reader in their conversations.

The Cranefly Orchid Murders

In her first book, Deadly Nightshade, Cynthia Riggs introduced us to one of fiction’s most delightful and most realistic ‘circumstantial detectives’ an ordinary civilian whom circumstances thrust into the role of sleuth. Victoria Trumbull is as believable a feisty 92 year old as you can imagine, with all the expected aches and pains and a refusal to let them stop her from enjoying her multifarious activities.A native of the Massachusetts island called Martha’s Vineyard, whose ancestors sailedfrom its shores generations back, Victoria knows more about the island and its people, then and now,than anyone else living. The knowledge has helped her solve one murder and earn her own baseball cap emblazoned with ‘West Tisbury Police Deputy,’ and the job that goes with it. Of course she knows Phoebe Eldridge; a short tempered woman who lives alone, dislikes her granddaughter intensely and won’t even mention the name of her son, a Vietnam vet who disappeared some years before. It’s Phoebe’s rancor as much as any desire for money that leads her to sell the family land to a developer who comes up with what seems like an offer she doesn’t want to resist. The Conservation Trust enlists Victoria, as someone who will not be suspected, to search that land for an endangered plant, any endangered plant, because the state prohibits bulldozing rare plant habitats. Victoria is delighted to add another purpose to her daily walks. She enlists an eleven year old after school assistant, and with the ‘Endangered’ list in her hand, she begins her search. Her first find, though, is the body of one Montgomery Mausz, the developer’s rather dubious attorney. There are plenty of suspects, but deputy Victoria don’t dare say ‘honorary deputy’ to Victoria’s face hasn’t forgotten her first task and is rewarded by the discovery of a little nest of cranefly orchids, which puzzle Victoria by appearing to change shape. In the course of this botanical detection, Victoria and her assistant are treated to adventures that delight the 92 year old as much as the pre teen, even though they give both of them more scares than they had bargained for. This charming story, with its share of thrills and suspense, will have readers crossing their fingers and hoping the sea air, home baked beans, and a vital interest in what goes on around her will keep old Victoria Trumbull going for a long, long time. AUTHORBIO: Cynthia Riggs, a thirteenth generation Islander, lives on Martha’s Vineyard in her family homestead which she runs as a bed and breakfast catering to poets and writers. She has a degree in geology from Antioch College and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College and holds a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License 100 ton. This is her second published mystery.

The Cemetery Yew

There’s more than one reason the new West Tisbury police chief officially made 92 year old Victoria Trumbull her deputy. For one thing, Victoria knows just about everything about everyone in town, and a lot about the rest of the Martha’s Vineyard year round population as well. Not to mention their ancestors. Victoria may be afflicted with the usual aches and pains that descend on nonagenarians she has a cutoff shoe to accommodate her bunion, and a stout stick to help her on her walks across the fields and in the woods. But she is as sharp and as sharpeyed as the proverbial tack. So it’s not odd that when Victoria is the only one who notices something amiss among the gravestones of the West Tisbury cemetery, the chief listens. Something is indeed amiss. Responding to a request by presumed relatives in the Midwest to disinter a coffin for reburying elsewhere, things go wrong from the start. The driver of the hearse coming to collect the coffin disappears during the Island ferry trip in a rainstorm. Other deaths some of them irrefutably murder, the others suspicious follow. And when as a last measure the coffin is found, dug up and opened, it does not contain the expected body. Insult upon injury, the coffin itself disappears. Meanwhile, the available for rent bedroom in Victoria’s house has been taken over by a woman relative of one of their neighbors and her raucous toucan, a bird as spoiled as the most bratty millionaire’s heir. Victoria is graceful about her unwanted boarders; but they do interfere with the column she writes for the local newspaper and with her efforts to discover whether the strange antics of the coffin are related to the murders. Victoria is the most realistic and the most delightful nonagenarian in mystery fiction. Her years have not blunted her intelligence and her sharp wit. We’re lucky that she’s still around and seems to be set for a long time.

Jack in the Pulpit

In Deadly Night Shade, Cynthia Riggs introduced Victoria Trumbull, one of the most energetic amateur sleuths on record, notwithstanding her ninety two years or possibly because of them. Now, Cynthia Riggs gives us the story of her first case and how she came to be a police deputy. A little island town is the scene of a conflict between two men of God: the outgoing minister of the local church and his successor, each known as Jack. But Victoria is concerned with a series of unexpected deaths, which turn out to be the result of anonymous food packages left on people’s doorsteps. Victoria’s get up and go attitude, her courage, and her exhaustive knowledge of Martha’s Vineyard and its people once again help her to discover the truth behind the mystery.

The Paperwhite Narcissus

In this fifth book in the Victoria Trumbull series, the ninety two year old sleuth finds herself embroiled in a series of murders after she is fired from her job as West Tisbury correspondent for The Island Enquirer the editor claims the newspaper needs a younger look. Victoria, determined to show that age is no barrier to news papering, immediately throws her weight behind The Grackle, intent on turning the two page West Tisbury newsletter into a formidable competitor of the Enquirer. And it looks as though she will. In the meantime, the Enquirer’s narcissistic editor has been receiving a series of obituaries, each naming him as the deceased. He would dismiss them as a sick joke, but the obituaries follow the actual deaths of people close to him. Rather than going to the police, he grudgingly rehires Victoria to uncover the identity of the obituary writer. Victoria knows almost everybody on the Island, and she may be the only person who can solve the mystery before the editor needs a genuine obituary of his own. In The Paperwhite Narcissus, as in the four previous books in the series, Cynthia Riggs explores the rich and varied setting of Martha’s Vineyard in a way that only a native Islander can. The story glides from Wasque, the desolate southeast corner of Chappaquiddick, to the Coast Guard boat ramp in Menemsha; from the elegantly maintained Captains’ houses in Edgartown to the wild Atlantic Ocean beach at Quansoo. A delightfully cozy read, steeped in rich characters and a sense of place, this latest Victoria Trumbull mystery is sure to charm long time fans and first time readers.

Indian Pipes

Victoria Trumbull, ninety two year old native of Martha’s Vineyard, is savoring the sea air over Vineyard Sound with her granddaughter, Elizabeth, when she spots a person who seems in trouble near the top of the cliff. Elizabeth goes for help, but it s too late the man dies before he can be rescued.
The man had been hired as a consultant to see whether a site s soil could support a sewage system for a possible casino. The police call it an accident, but his death is just the first in what becomes a series of baffling murders, involving a Harley Davidson and Indian motorcyclists rally, tribal disputes, squabbling developers, and deeply buried family secrets.
Victoria, who was named a deputy police officer after she proved how valuable she was to fighting crime on the Island, is on the case, assisted by her Wampanoag friend Dojan Minnowfish. Her official position is giving her the confidence to take risks that horrify police chief Casey O Neill. But Victoria compensates for her physical limitations by out thinking the bad guys.
As in her previous books in the series, Cynthia Riggs captures the rich and varied setting of Martha s Vineyard from colorful Gay Head cliffs to the motorcyclists campground where Indian Pipes blossom and die in this stunning sixth Victoria Trumbull adventure.

Shooting Star

In Shooting Star, ninety two year old poet Victoria Trumbull becomes embroiled in controversy at the community theater on Martha’s Vineyard. The new artistic director has announced plans to replace local amateur talent with off Island professionals, and the cast and crew react murderously.

Victoria intended the theater s current production, her adaptation of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, to debunk the common farcical movie monster interpretation by returning to Shelley s original serious commentary on the Industrial Revolution. However, after the night of the dress rehearsal, Victoria loses control over the production, and her drama begins to take a strange course.

On that night, the eight year old boy playing the part of Frankenstein s young brother disappears, and before a search can begin, a killer strikes. The Vineyard s police forces mobilize for an Island wide search. In the original story of Frankenstein, the boy is the first victim of the monster, and Victoria fears that a copycat killer is following her playscript. She determines to find the missing boy and track down the killer before more deaths occur.

Along with familiar Island characters from her previous books, the author introduces a cast of new and often eccentric players. Shooting Star, the seventh book in the Martha s Vineyard mystery series, explores the rich setting of the Island that author Cynthia Riggs knows well, from the rose covered Dukes County jail on Edgartown s Main Street to the quaint ferry terminal in Oak Bluffs. It s a delightful read that both fans and newcomers to the series will be sure to enjoy.

Death and Honesty

Victoria Trumbull, the ninety two year old poet/sleuth, discovers a neighbor’s body in the home of one of the three town as*sessors. The as*sessors have been skimming off tax money from wealthy landowners and stashing it in their own special retirement funds. Then the private pilot of the not so holy clergyman husband of one of these landowners is found dead, floating in his employer s pond, his face gnawed by snapping turtles. Finally, searching for old documents in the attic of Town Hall, Victoria discovers a third body, that of the long missing as*sessors clerk. In order to tie all the threads together and solve the murders, Cynthia again teams up with her old friend and rival, Emery Meyer, now working as the landowner s chauffeur. It s another entertaining mystery, as only Riggs can spin it, infused with the flora and fauna of Martha s Vineyard.


Victoria Trumbull, the ninety two year old poet/sleuth, is back in another entertaining mystery, set in beautiful Martha’s Vineyard.A mathematical knitters group is working on a coral reef quilt for a competition to draw attention to global warming. When a telephone stalker begins preying on their members, they become terrified and distracted and turn to Victoria Trumbull for help. Victoria and Police Chief Casey O Neill attempt to track down the man the women suspect of stalking, but he seems to have disappeared. To complicate matters, someone gets killed. Victoria must solve the murder and also deal with issues on the home front when her daughter, Amelia, arrives from California, determined to help her mother and concerned that Victoria may be too great a burden on Elizabeth, Amelia s daughter. Cynthia Riggs has once again created a suspenseful mystery with a cast of eccentric and memorable Island characters, bringing the rich setting of Martha s Vineyard to life.

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