The Bee Balm Murders (Victoria Trumbull Series #10) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The one-of-a-kind sleuth Victoria Trumbull must solve another puzzling mystery on Martha's Vineyard, her Island home.


It's spring on the Island, and at the suggestion of her beekeeper, Victoria takes in a new boarder, Orion Nanopoulos. Orion is leading a project to lay a fiber-optic cable across the island. When a body is found in the trench where they are laying the cable, Orion tells Victoria he recognizes the dead man as someone who was a potential investor. Victoria, ...

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The Bee Balm Murders (Victoria Trumbull Series #10)

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Overview

The one-of-a-kind sleuth Victoria Trumbull must solve another puzzling mystery on Martha's Vineyard, her Island home.


It's spring on the Island, and at the suggestion of her beekeeper, Victoria takes in a new boarder, Orion Nanopoulos. Orion is leading a project to lay a fiber-optic cable across the island. When a body is found in the trench where they are laying the cable, Orion tells Victoria he recognizes the dead man as someone who was a potential investor. Victoria, renowned for her skill at solving crimes and for her knowledge about the Island's residents, is hired by the dead man's sons to investigate the murder.


The Bee Balm Murders is the tenth entry in this delightful cozy series. Boasting a unique heroine, an eccentric cast, and beautiful descriptions of Martha's Vineyard, it's sure to please fans and create new ones.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of Riggs's beguiling 10th Martha's Vineyard mystery (after 2010's Touch-Me-Not), beekeeper Sean McBride, who tends the seven hives in 92-year-old Victoria Trumbull's west pasture, refers a new boarder to her—entrepreneur Orion Nanopoulos. The genial Orion, who pays without protest about double the usual rate for an attic room with no TV in Victoria's comfortably ramshackle West Tisbury house, heads a project to lay fiber-optic cables across the island. After his main prospective investor, Brooklyn construction tycoon Angelo Vulpone, turns up dead in a work ditch, the victim's family hires Victoria to investigate, while Orion contends with the confidence artists circling vulture-like around his project's newly gaping financial shortfall. Scenes set off-island may lack the convincing detail of those on the Vineyard, but the author's charismatic heroine and assured prose more than compensate. (May)
Linda Fairstein

The Bee-Balm Murders is another delightful entry in Cynthia Riggs' Martha's Vineyard series. Victoria Trumbull--my favorite senior sleuth--is back in action, keeping my beloved island safe from deadly intruders, and making it ever so much more interesting and fun.
former Executive Director of the Martha's Vineyar Matthew Stackpole

Cynthia Riggs triumphs again! Who better than Victoria Trumbull to navigate us through a captivating mix of authentic Vineyard scenes, people, and values, all impacted by the omnipotent forces of the natural world and elemental human nature.
From the Publisher
The Bee-Balm Murders is another delightful entry in Cynthia Riggs' Martha's Vineyard series.  Victoria Trumbull—my favorite senior sleuth—is back in action, keeping my beloved island safe from deadly intruders, and making it ever so much more interesting and fun.”—Linda Fairstein 

"Cynthia Riggs triumphs again! Who better than Victoria Trumbull to navigate us through a captivating mix of authentic Vineyard scenes, people, and values, all impacted by the omnipotent forces of the natural world and elemental human nature."—Matthew Stackpole, former Executive Director of the Martha's Vineyard Museum

 

Kirkus Reviews

Another adventure for Martha's Vineyard's oldest sleuth.

Victoria Trumbull's boarder Orion Nanopoulis has started laying a fiber-optic network across the island. He's big on plans but short on cash, and his troubles only grow when one of his potential investors is found murdered in a cable ditch. Angelo Vulpone may have had mob connections, but his two sons, convinced that his death was not a mob hit, hire Victoria, 92, to ferret out the truth. It seems that Orion has been bamboozled by sly Dorothy Roche, who with the help of a young venture capitalist is trying to hijack the company. Another possible investor who has a past history with Vulpone also wants a share in the company. None of the suspects are quite who they claim to be. So Victoria welcomes the skills of a young computer hacker the Vulpone brothers have provided to help her winkle out the murderer.

Another valentine to the beauties of Martha's Vineyard and the wintry Victoria (Touch-Me-Not, 2010, etc.), who solves the featherweight mystery as handily as any 92-year-old.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429977357
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Series: Victoria Trumbull Series, #10
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 266,060
  • File size: 819 KB

Meet the Author

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 she holds a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License (100-ton).


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 she holds a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License (100-ton). She is the author of the Martha's Vineyard Mysteries series, including Deadly Nightshade, Touch-Me-Not and The Bee Balm Murders.
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Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER 1
 

The bee balm, in full ragged bloom in Victoria Trumbull’s garden, was taller than she’d ever seen it, probably because of the heavy June rains. Victoria, at ninety-two, had known seasons when the minty-smelling plants never bloomed. This year they formed a dense fire-engine-red blanket that she could see from the west window. True to its name, the bee balm resonated with the buzz of honeybees, dozens and dozens in this patch of brilliance.
Sean McBride, the beekeeper, had set up seven hives in Victoria’s west pasture. Each hive had twenty thousand bees. Each of the twenty thousand bees had a specific job to perform for the hive. During its short life, each of the nectar-gathering bees produced an eighth of a teaspoon of honey. And each lived only two weeks, its wings worn out from forays in search of nectar-bearing blossoms.
Sean visited the seven hives weekly to minister to the bees’ needs. When Victoria saw his red truck pull off New Lane into the pasture this early July morning, she hurried out to watch him work, careful to stay a safe distance from the cloud of bees hovering around each of the hives.
“Morning, Mrs. Trumbull. Don’t get too close. They’re acting unusually ornery for some reason.”
Victoria moved back to the bench near the fenced-in vegetable garden. The next half-hour of Sean’s ministry to the bees would be theater, and Victoria loved theater.
Sean retrieved what looked like an old-fashioned oil can from the back of his truck, stuffed it with torn fabric, lit the fabric with his Cricket lighter, and pumped the handle. The oil can let out a puff of smoke. Next he unfolded a surgically white suit and pulled it over his normal working jeans and plaid shirt, topped it with a sort of Hazmat hood with a clear faceplate, and tugged on protective gauntlets with cuffs that reached to his elbows.
Sean usually went about his business silently. This morning, however, he was talkative.
“You rent rooms, Mrs. Trumbull.” His voice was deadened by the hood. Victoria wasn’t sure what he expected of her.
“Occasionally,” she said.
“Guy stopped by the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, looking for a place here in West Tisbury.”
“Oh?” Victoria watched him squeeze the handle of the smoker, releasing a puff of smoke. The cloud of bees funneled back into the hive.
“Name’s Orion Nanopoulos.” Sean’s voice was muffled. “Seems like a nice enough guy.”
Victoria had the disembodied feeling of trying to communicate with a robot. She couldn’t see Sean’s face.
“What did you say?”
The faceless head turned. “Orion Nanopoulos.”
Smoke drifted toward Victoria’s nose and she sneezed. “How long does this man intend to stay on the Vineyard?”
“Couple of years, I expect.”
Victoria welcomed occasional weekend guests, but was not enthusiastic about long-term tenants. “Has he checked some of the lovely places in town that take in guests?”
“Nope. I told him about this place, and he said he’d be over this morning to give you a check.”
“Why is he staying for such a long time?”
Sean removed the top of the nearest hive and lifted out a frame that looked as though it was coated with black fur. Hundreds of bees. Or maybe thousands of bees.
“He’s installing a fiber-optic system on the Island.”
“I beg your pardon?” She wasn’t sure she’d heard him correctly.
Tenderly, Sean set the frame upright in a box so the bees wouldn’t be crushed. “Fiber optics. Glass. Wave of the future. Data travels at the speed of light instead of poking along on copper wires.”
“Data.” Victoria was not sure she liked the way this conversation was going.
“Emergency response. Cell phone reception. Your television programs…”
“I don’t have television or a cell phone.”
“If you have a heart attack…”
“Unlikely,” said Victoria.
Sean lifted out another frame. “I told him to stop by. You don’t have to put him up if you don’t want.” He turned his shiny non-face to her. She could see her reflection, and the reflection looked unconvinced. “He’ll pay whatever you ask. Double your price. Triple it.”
Victoria sighed.
Sean turned back to the bees and she had only the back of his white hood to look at. His voice was muffled. “Winter’ll be here before you know it. Heating bills.”
Victoria, having viewed Sean McBride’s costuming and the opening of the hives, had seen what she’d come for. She levered herself off the hard wooden bench and headed to the house to confront Orion Nanopoulos when he called.
She would let Mr. Nanopoulos know that she had no desire to have a long-term tenant. Occasional guests were fine. She could put up with tiresome visitors for two or three days. But how did one get rid of a long-term guest who didn’t fit in? She would discourage him. Her house was not a Captain So-and-So house with polished brass and mahogany. She’d tell him the floors creaked, the doors wouldn’t close, that her granddaughter Elizabeth lived with her and could be difficult. Elizabeth, a serene presence, would forgive her. Victoria would let him know the bathrooms were shared and that the toilet in the upstairs bathroom often stopped up. He wouldn’t be able to watch the Red Sox games, she’d say, because she had no television. Red Sox games, she understood, were a must for ninety percent of New England’s population. That would discourage him, right there.
*   *   *
She was typing her weekly column for the Island Enquirer later that morning when a large station wagon pulled up in her drive, a twenty-year-old Chevrolet that looked almost new. Victoria liked cars and felt she understood them.
She watched as a white-haired, mustached, deeply tanned man climbed out. In his fifties, perhaps, but she wasn’t good at ages. The man gave the side of his car a pat, as though it was a horse that had delivered him safely to her door. His trim body and mustache gave him the appearance of a cavalry officer, at least from the front. When he turned, his long white ponytail altered the effect. He was wearing jeans, an open-necked short-sleeved blue shirt, and worn, highly polished engineer’s boots.
She pushed her typewriter to one side and waited for the man to approach. He climbed the steps, his boots making a sturdy sound, and knocked on the open kitchen door. “Anybody home?”
A pleasant voice, low and mellow. A fine large nose, not as large as hers, of course. Dark eyes.
“Come in,” said Victoria, going to the door.
“Mrs. Trumbull? My name is Orion Nanopoulos.” He waited in the doorway and offered her his hand. He was shorter than she. Victoria was almost six feet tall.
His hand was as callused as her own. “How do you do?” she said. “My beekeeper said you might be coming by.”
“He told me about your house. I’d like to rent one of your rooms.”
“I don’t rent rooms long term,” said Victoria.
“Perhaps we can discuss renting one of your rooms short term, then,” said Orion Nanopoulos.
Victoria uncrossed her arms. “Come in.”
He stepped into the kitchen. “Thank you.”
Victoria moved a stack of newspapers from the captain’s chair and dropped them on the table, then turned to look at this man.
Orion Nanopoulos had two deep creases running from his high cheekbones to his strong chin, giving him an extremely pleasant expression. “Sean McBride has a high opinion of you, Mrs. Trumbull. He suggested…”
“I know what he told you.” Victoria sat on one of the gray-painted kitchen chairs and indicated that he might sit on the cleared-off captain’s chair. Then she explained to Orion Nanopoulos that the floors creaked, the doors didn’t shut … and so forth.
Orion listened attentively, his head cocked at an angle, the deep creases on either side of his mouth expressing both intense interest and delight at hearing whatever she had to say.
Victoria’s voice strengthened on her last item. “With no television, you won’t be able to watch the Red Sox…”
Orion held up his hand to stop her flow of words. “That won’t bother me at all, Mrs. Trumbull.” His pleasant expression deepened. “I’m a Yankees fan.”
Despite her intention to send him packing, she found herself warming to this man with his soft voice and lack of Red Sox boosterism. Still, she tried to hold her ground.
“My granddaughter lives with me and she can be…” Somehow, Victoria couldn’t slander her granddaughter, even in the interests of ridding herself of a would-be tenant, so she didn’t finish her sentence. Studying Orion, with his warm, dark eyes, she was beginning to think it might be nice to have a man around the house, a man who drove a twenty-year-old car that he treated like a fine stallion, a man who could listen to her the way this man did …
She tried once more to convince herself and him that he should look elsewhere. “The only room available is a small attic room with no insulation. It’s hot in summer, frigid in winter. It’s right over the kitchen where you’ll hear pots and pans rattling early in the morning, smell cooking during the day, and hear the dishwasher running late at night. You can’t stand upright except in the center of the room because of the roof slope, and there’s a hornet’s nest above the window.”
The creases on either side of Orion’s face deepened with pleasure. “May I see the room?” he asked.

 
Copyright © 2011 by Cynthia Riggs
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2015

    A cozy, light weighted read

    Cozy mystery set on Martha's Vineyard. Like other books in this series, most of the interest is with the characters (nice and not so nice) and the setting. As far as the mystery goes, it is there, but when solved, it is more along the lines of here is what happened as opposed to some brilliant solution.

    If you are looking for a light read with enjoyable characters, fun (especially if you are at all familiar with Martha's Vineyard). If you are looking for true literature or a brilliant detective story, then not the best book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    &star

    &Star

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    Silver

    AWESOME SAUCE!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    Violet

    Do that mean that Azula...?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    Epicness

    Yeayuh! That means they are not dead!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    Operation: Crossover 3- Chapter 1

    A WHOLE DIMENSION AWAY...<p>Finn rushed down the stairs to join the others in the garage. Not that he had a car, but It was nice for storing his magical potions.<p>Robyn was sitting in front of a large red table, with a computer image of the Land of Oo on it. There was a blinking red dot, pulsating near the ocean. "At about 4:00 this morning, something warped into this dimension from another. I have no idea wether it's Leo, some other agent, or one of Azula's goons. Whatever it is, we need to get the teleporter from it. I believe I can reverse it to take us back to wherever it came from."<p>Yu frowned. "But what if we end up in some random weird dimension? Then we'd be no better off!!" Robyn nodded. "It's a risk we'll have to take. Besides, it can't be from anything too harsh, right?" Yu shrugged.<p>Jake came in. "Hey guys! I brought the weapons!!" Spike and Patomon squealed with joy, as did Finn. Vanellope shrugged. "I guess so." Yu shook his head. "All I need is Flame Libra!!"<p>Spike pulled out a pair of light axes. "Cool!!" He said. Finn found the polishing cream and polished up his trusty sword. And Patomon found a small dagger that he could hold easily in his mouth. Vanellope just pulled out a heavy gauntlet. "Meh, it'll do." She said. Finn nudged her. "That's the Magic Gauntlet of Force. It makes you really strong!!"<p>Robyn nodded. "We probably won't even need this stuff, but better safe than sorry. Let's move out!"<p>***<p>AN EXERPT FROM THE JOURNAL OF PROFFESOR E. GADD.<p>"...I mist conclude that anything that originates from the realm of subspace is very deadly. However, it is to be noted, that if a victim of something from subspace is killed, they are not fully dead. If the victim had been a true, brave hearted warrior, then a portion of their conciousness is embalmed in a metal replica of the victim, called a trophy. If another such being comes willingly into contact with the trophy, the victim will immediatley be restored to full health."<p>***<p>When Marx touched the statue, he was not remotely ready for the bright flash of light that accompanied it. When the stars cleared from his vision, there stood before him Raph, in the flesh.<p>Raph shook his head to clear it. When he could see again, he observed his mortal enemies in front of him. "Marx!! You evil bas<_>tard!! WHERE'S RAINBOW DASH!!??"<p>Marx cowered back from the furious turtle. "P-p-please don't hurt us!! We don't serve Azula anymore!! Just don't kill us!!" Jeff rolled his lidless eyes and started searching through the rubble.<p>"When I'm through with you..." Raph said right before Jeff pulled up a statue in the likeness of Raph's equine girlfriend. "You turned her into a statue? Why??" He said, arming himself.<p>But he was suprised when Jeff touched the statue lightly, causing light to blind the three persons. When he could see again, Raph observed Rainbow shake her glorious mane once more.<p>"Rainbow!!"<p>"Raphie!!"<p>The two reunited lovers hugged each other dearly, tears running down their faces. Marx piped up. "We really don't serve Azula anymore. She kicked us out!! And we want revenge. So whattaya say we work together?" Jeff nodded as well.<p>Raph looked at Rainbow, who in turn looked up at Marx. "For now." They shook, hoof and wing claw.<p>((Hi guys! It's a me, Gargamel!! For all you Avatar fans out there, I decided Azula didn't last long enough. So brace youselves for another healthy dose of Avatar: The Last Airbender!!))

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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a terrific whodunit

    Martha's Vineyard beekeeper Sean McBride suggests to entrepreneur Orion Nanopoulos he rent a room from the former's boss nonagenarian Victoria Trumbull. Orion, who heads a fiber optic cable project, takes an attic room on Victoria's West Tisbury home.

    A corpse is found where Orion's crew is laying down the cable. When a body is found in the trench where they are laying the cable; Orion recognizes the victim as Brooklyn construction mogul and project investor Angelo Vulpone. The deceased's family, learning that Victoria has a reputation for solving mysteries, hires the feisty senior citizen to investigate Angelo's murder. She begins her inquiry quickly learning a lot of people could make a lot of money with Vulpone dead.

    This is a terrific whodunit especially when the action is on Martha's Vineyard, as the dynamic Victoria does her thing while providing readers with a charming tour of the island. Part of the fun is watching the money investment crowd go in for the kill when Orion loses his prime backer as this group has no respect for the dead. With nine previous cases solved by marvelous Martha (see Touch-Me-Not), she has proven to be a super professional sleuth.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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