Publisher's Summary: "Victoria Trumbull has lived most of her 92 years on the Island. Like other Islanders, she knows the sound of the sea in calm and stormy weather - and she knows the sounds that do not belong. One evening while Victoria waits on the dock for her granddaughter to return with the harbormaster, she hears a chilling scream followed by a splash and the sound of tires skidding on sand. She investigates and discovers a mutilated body floating on the outgoing tide.
With her granddaughter, Domingo the harbormaster, a swarm of Island characters, and a few mysterious visitors, Victoria manages to get in a good bit of detective work. However, she isn't able to prevent further homicide. As the tension mounts, Victoria concocts a scheme to reveal the killer and still has time to prepare her traditional Saturday night supper of Boston baked beans.
While the summer visitors bask on the beach, sail Island waters, shop in the Island stores, the reader is treated to the magic, the history and the texture of 'the Vineyard' with its year-round characters real enough to include the reader in their conversations."
Why I Abandoned the Book: I decided to listen to this first-in-series mystery because I liked the premise, I love listening to mysteries, and I love the narrator, Davina Porter. I started the book over three times and just couldn't get past about chapter 3 because I had trouble following the plot, the harbormaster's personality and his sexist language bothered me, and I thought the transitions between scenes were rather abrupt. Worse, as much as I love Porter's voice, I just couldn't buy the idea of a British/Scots accent in the mouths of the residents of Martha's Vineyard. Someday, I may give this one a try in print, but I'm afraid I've been soured on whole idea.
A Quick Look at Reviews: I took a glance at the reviews on the commercial sites and found that the audio version of Deadly Nightshade gets fairly low marks. The print version gets mixed reviews from customers.
I also found a full review by Joy of Joy's Blog, written last year, in which she notes that "the book didn't live up to my expectations," but she also says, "the character of Victoria is so attractive, I think it would be only right to give her a second chance."
If you love Martha's Vineyard or are just curious, you may have better luck than I did.
Print published by Signet, 2003
Audio by Blackstone Audio, 2006