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Jack in the Pulpit by Cynthia Riggs
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I really enjoyed this series and author. I didn't read them in order, but it didn't seem to make a difference. I think this was my favorite. I hope that Cynthia Riggs is working on number eleven. ( )
  RhondasReading | Jun 2, 2016 |
A really cute cozy mystery starring a feisty 92-year-old sleuth. There were lots of false turns and red herrings. The final resolution was funny and I enjoyed listening to it unwind. ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
When I reviewed Cynthia Riggs’ last Martha's Vineyard Mystery, The Cemetery Yew, I was lukewarm about it... thought it was a bit rambling and not as believable as even a light mystery needs to be. The idea of a nonagenarian police deputy is not particularly easy to swallow. Jack in the Pulpittakes readers back to 92-year-old Victoria Trumbull's first case, and tells the story of how she became a police deputy. I must say I enjoyed it immensely.

In Jack in the Pulpit (which refers to the pastor and immediate former pastor, both named Jack, of Victoria's church) old people are dying. Old people do die, but Victoria doesn't believe it's simply a coincidental cluster of natural deaths. She thinks there's something more sinister involved and sets out to prove it to West Tisbury's police chief, Casey O'Neill. Victorialearns several of the deceased had unexpected (and anonymous) deliveries of food just before they got sick. Could someone be poisoning them? But why?

One secondary plot concerns the rivalry between the two Jacks and their wives, another involves the stalking of Victoria's grand-daughter Elizabeth by her ex-husband. Unlike inCemetery Yew, these plot threads seem a nice addition to the story, rather than detraction from it.

Jack in the Pulpit is a very quick, very light read, something a fast reader can knock off in an hour or two. It was the kind of story, however, that made me wish I were a slower reader so I could stretch it out and savor it. I just hope when I'm 92 years old, I'll be as sharp and energetic as Victoria.

By Diana. First published in Mystery News, August-September 2004 edition. ( )
  NewsieQ | Aug 18, 2006 |
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Dionis Coffin Riggs,
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"Why don't you go home, Hal?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312330111, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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. A Martha's Vineyard mystery.… (more)

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