Think you don’t enjoy your dental visits? Imagine how you’d feel if you didn’t survive them!
Victoria Trumball, who’s lived on Martha’s Vineyard for her entire 92 years, knows all the permanent residents. She has a formidable reputation as a sleuth (The Bee Balm Murders, 2011, etc.) and even serves as a deputy. So when a murder occurs the week before a visit from the president, she’s the logical person to investigate. Dr. Horace Mann, who owns the dental clinic, hates treating the demanding Mildred Wilmington. So do the clinic’s other three dentists and their techs. But Dr. Aileen McBride has the honor of presiding over the chair Mrs. Wilmington dies in during Victoria’s latest visit. Just to make the case more confusing, the clinic’s receptionist is pushed into the water and drowns on her way home. Everyone knows that Mrs. Wilmington did a poor job of bringing up her four grandchildren when their parents were killed in an accident. They all despised her, and each one has an excellent motive for murder. Mrs. Wilmington, whose death is put down to arsenic poisoning, left each of her grandchildren only $5,000 in her will. Susan, who lived with her as an unpaid servant, inherits the valuable house and property, though she’s forbidden to sell them. An even more surprising $3 million bequest goes to Dr. Mann, who’s been desperate for money. As Victoria goes around the island dredging up clues and gossip, the evidence points toward Dr. Mann. The fact that he’s been married for 24 years hasn’t stopped two of the clinic’s female dentists from vying for his affections or one of the techs from bearing his child. With so many suspects, it’s bound to be hard to find the culprit.
Riggs, who describes the beauties of her acerbic sleuth’s island home as lovingly as ever, provides a more satisfying conclusion than usual this time around.