Death and Honesty Review
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Sometimes a cozy little mystery is just the thing Iíve been searching foróand Death and Honesty by Cynthia Riggs is as cozy and charming as it gets.

Ninety-two-year-old sleuth Victoria Trumbull discovers a body in the home of one of the three town assessors who have been skimming money off wealthy Marthaís Vineyard taxpayers for years. Victoria thinks that the murdered woman was mistaken for one of the assessors. Though most people donít question their tax bill, Victoria figures that someone may still have caught on to the scheme and wanted revenge. But her theories are thrown off course when a pilot who works for a crafty local preacher is found floating in the less-than-holy manís pond.

Delilah Sampson, the preacherís wife, comes to Victoria for advice on how to look into her tax bill, which has three different amounts on three different documents. Delilahís plan is to start a farm with fainting goats and baby chicks dyed in Easter egg colors. If she can get an agricultural restriction, itíll lower the assessment on her property.

  
 
When Victoria searches for old documents in the attic of the town hall, she discovers yet another bodyóthat of the town assessorís clerk. What, she wonders, is going onóand how do the first and third murders relate to the dead pilot? Victoria is determined to fit all of the pieces together before someone else dies.

Filled with colorful and eccentric characters, Death and Honesty is a delight to read. Victoria Trumbull is a nimble old lady who grabs a hold of life like a twenty-year-old. Not much gets her goat, and she knows how to elbow her way through a case to solve it.

The story takes place on the small island of Marthaís Vineyard, where most everyone is wealthy, where everyone knows everyone else, and where gossip runs amok, which makes Death and Honesty an absorbing and sometimes amusing read. Ms. Riggs brings the island and the characters to vivid life, and I could easily place myself within the story, allowing me to stand back and get a kick out of the mystery as it unfolds.

I enjoyed this inviting mystery. It isnít too heavy or too light. The clues are challenging enough to keep readers guessing, and the ending is unexpected. Itís just what a good murder mystery should be.

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