MURDER ON MARTHA'S VINEYARD by David Osborn

MURDER ON MARTHA'S VINEYARD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cutesy debut case for amateur sleuth Margaret Barlow, a hip granny, a hot-air balloon enthusiast (shades of the Wentworths), and summer resident of the Vineyard--where her acquaintances include recluse Grace Chadwick, who wears too much makeup and a wig; the Mikele family, who bought Grace's house but can take possession of it only after her death; the snobby Rose Perkins and her orgy-minded daughter Estelle; poor old Essie, Margaret's ballooning chum; a youngish doctor and his dramatically inclined girlfriend; and assorted local businessmen. Rose's face is soon bitten off by snapping turtles in Grace's fish pond; Algar Mikele disappears; a chap named Owen is pitchforked to a tree; another named Otis is shot; a certain part of Grace's diaries vanishes; and Margaret barely escapes unscathed--though her snooping turns up a switched corpse, an illegitimate child, red herrings galore and, to her dismay, the real murderer, who is every bit as demented as the plot. The relentlessly jaunty tone and perkily eccentric characters negate the many charms of the setting. Screenwriter Osborn plans a sequel, though who will read it is a mystery.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1989
Publisher: Lynx (41 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010)