Martha's Vineyard has been home to Victoria Trumbull for most of her ninety-two years. Its magic, history, and picture-perfect calm are part of her very being. Like other Islanders, she knows the sounds of the sea in calm and stormy weather—and she knows sounds that do not belong. One evening, Victoria is waiting on the dock for her granddaughter to return with the harbormaster when 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.
Despite interruptions from her granddaughter Elizabeth, the harbormaster Domingo, a swarm of Island locals, and a few mysterious visitors, Victoria manages to get in a good bit of detective work and still find time to cook her traditional Saturday-night supper of Boston baked beans. She even concocts a scheme to trap the killer. But she'll need to act quickly because victim number two has already been found.