Emily Post Blossoms in Biography

EMILY POST: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners. By Laura Claridge. Random House, New York, N.Y. October 2008. 544 pages. $30 hardcover.

Enjoy a Roll in the Mud of the Place

Like Ireland in the past two hundred years, and Concord in the mid-19th century, the Vineyard is known for incubating writers. Some of them set their stories right here on the Island. The most illuminating to come down the pike in a long time — perhaps the most illuminating ever — is The Mud of the Place, by Susanna J. Sturgis, published by Speed-of-C Productions, $19.99.

Real-Life Hero Behind Kids’ Story Was Woman Ahead of Her Time

The Honey Boat,> by Polly Burroughs. Illustrated by Garrett Price. Published 1968 and 2008. Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA, 44 pages. $14.99.

For those who remember traveling the streets of Edgartown years ago, the term honey wagon was a euphemism for the septic system pump-out trucks that traveled the streets during the height of summer. It was pretty easy to understand why they got such a witty name. The vehicles attracted so many flies that from a distance they could look like beehives.

Book: As Vineyard as Eileen’s Apple Pies

Connie Toteanu has a special talent. From the age of seven, Miss Toteanu has been entering pies into the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair. According to the new children’s book Connie, Vineyard Pie Girl, by Chilmarker Don Davis, “Over the years she won many ribbons — some blue.”

Bound’s Tale of Indentured Girl Resonates Into the Present Day

There are at least five good reasons to read Bound, a new novel by Brewster resident Sally Gunning set for release in the spring.

The story of a 15-year-old British girl indentured in the New World of the 1750s is a captivating read, written by an author well-trained in taut storytelling and well-versed in the pre-Revolutionary War period of Britain’s Massachusetts Bay colony, including Cape Cod.

America’s Middle Class, Listen Up

The litany of complaints of the squeezed middle class is familiar.

Three million jobs gone overseas this decade. People working all their lives on the promise of pensions they don’t get. Declining availability of health care. Parents believing, for the first time in U.S. history, that their children will not do as well as they did.

“Everyone knows that recitation,” said Philip Dine.

Through the Lens of Louisa Gould

WOODEN BOATS OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD: The Photography of Louisa Gould. Text and photographs by Louisa Gould. Flat Hammock Press, 2008. 64 pages. $19.95, softcover.

Detective Duo Strikes Vineyard In Last of Craig/Tapply Trilogy

THIRD STRIKE: A Brady Coyne/J.W. Jackson Mystery. By Philip R. Craig and William G. Tapply. Scribner, New York, N.Y. December 2007. 323 pages. $24 in hardcover.

True Crime Story Unearths Clues to Murder

MYSTERY ON THE VINEYARD: Politics, Passion and Scandal on East Chop. The History Press, Charleston S.C. 2008. 160 pages. $19.99 softcover.

Whodunnit? Philip Craig, in Last Book

VINEYARD CHILL. By Philip R. Craig. Scribner. New York, N.Y. 2008. 256 pages. $24, hardcover.

A popular young Island barmaid has gone missing. An old buddy turns up who invariably brings trouble like a perverse hostess gift. It’s winter on Martha’s Vineyard and all’s well with J.W. Jackson, wife Zee, and their two small children — if you overlook a murder or two, and a couple of thugs rolling off the ferry in a yellow Mercedes convertible in search of ill-gotten loot.