JavaScript Menu, DHTML Menu Powered By Milonic
Cynthia Riggs
A Martha's Vineyard Mystery Writer
Meet Victoria Trumbull

In Cynthia Riggs' Martha's Vineyard mysteries, we follow one of fiction's most delightful and most realistic amateur detectives. Victoria Trumbull is a feisty ninety-two-year-old who refuses to let the aches and pains of age stop her from enjoying her multifarious activities. Oh, and you just might catch her serving baked beans on a Saturday night.

Cynthia's Books
Howard and Cynthia: A Love Story
From Off Island, by Dionis Coffin Riggs
Victoria Trumbull's Martha's Vineyard
Murder on C-Dock
Poison Ivy
The Bee Balm Murders
Death and Honesty
Shooting Star
Double Murder on
Martha's Vineyard
Indian Pipes
The Paperwhite
Jack in the Pulpit
The Cemetery Yew
The Cranefly Orchid
Deadly Nightshade

• Available on KindleAvailable on Kindle: Deadly Nightshade, The Cranefly Orchid Murders, The Cemetery Yew, Jack in the Pulpit, Poison Ivy, and Bloodroot. Look for the Kindle icon throughout this site.

News & Events

In August 2015 Cynthia was awarded the Martha's Vineyard Medal, given by the Martha's Vineyard Museum to honor "leaders in the community who have had an outstanding commitment to preserve the history, arts, and culture of the Island."

In her acceptance speech, Cynthia noted her family's long association with the museum and its predecessor, the Dukes County Historical Society. Her father, Dr. Sidney Riggs, founded The Dukes County Intelligencer, a twice-yearly journal featuring articles and images about Vineyard history.

She also praised the creativity and vitality of Island people and was pleased to accept the award on their behalf.

Read the whole speech on Cynthia's Martha's Vineyard Mysteries blog.

Cynthia accepts the Martha's Vineyard Medal on the museum's Vineyard Haven campus. Photo by Lynn Christoffers. Courtesy of the Martha's Vineyard Times.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Plot twists happen in real life as well as in fiction!

One of them happened to Cynthia in 2012: a man she’d worked and become friends with as a college intern in 1950 got back in touch.

One thing led to another, and after several months of exchanging letters, emails, and photos, Cynthia went west to San Diego to visit her long-ago colleague, Howard Attebery.

In 1950 Cynthia was 18. Howie was 28.

In 2012 — well, you do the math.

To make a long and wonderful story short, they became engaged. READ MORE...

poison ivy coverAcademic politics can be deadly serious! In Cynthia's eleventh Martha's Vineyard Mystery, Poison Ivy, the bodies start piling up at tiny Ivy Green College on Martha's Vineyard, where sleuth Victoria Trumbull is an adjunct professor. Assisted by a keen-nosed mutt named Brownie, Victoria sets out to stop the killer.

• Cynthia has started a blog. Martha's Vineyard Mysteries has already featured tales of grape jam and gardening, an exploding compost heap and a stowaway hen -- and of course insight into "where the mysteries come from." Check it out — and subscribe!

• For 12 years, Cynthia lived on a houseboat on the Washington, D.C., waterfront — and she's put her Murder on C-Dock covernautical experience to nefarious use in Murder on C-Dock, the first in her new D.C. Waterfront Whodunit series. When Commodore Dunn is murdered, there's no shortage of suspects: everyone on C-Dock had reason to wish him dead. Persie Lee Butler's sleuthing soon turns up a web of secrets that goes back 30 years — and puts her own life in danger. Murder on C-Dock features a stunning cover by Martha's Vineyard artist Elizabeth R. Whelan, a sailor herself who knows her boats.

• Cynthia Riggs, photographer Lynn Christoffers, and artist Stephen Wesley have produced a unique guide book: Victoria Trumbull's Martha's Vineyard Victoria Trumbull's Martha's Vineyard (Cleaveland House Books). It features stunning photos by Lynn Christoffers, great maps by Stephen (Step) Wesley, and an insider's text by Cynthia Riggs. Now you can visit the places featured in the Martha's Vineyard Mystery Series. READ THE REVIEWS, PLACE AN ORDER


About Cynthia
Cynthia Riggs with McCavity

"One should know by now never to underestimate Ms. Riggs. Educated as a geologist, she taught at the Annapolis Sailing School, lived on a 44-foot houseboat for 12 years while running the Chesapeake Bay Ferry Boat Company, was a rigger at Martha's Vineyard Shipyard, and in her late 60s, she earned an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College, and has, in each ensuing year, produced one of the Vineyard-based, Victoria Trumbull mysteries." by C.K. Wolfson, Martha's Vineyard Times BIOGRAPHY

Get in Touch

Find us on FacebookWe'd like to hear from you. Visit Cynthia's Facebook page.

And check out Martha's Vineyard Mysteries, Cynthia's blog about the doings, mysterious and otherwise, at Cleaveland House.


Visit our Media Page for photos and biographical information.


©2016 by Cynthia Riggs