Winged Victory, by M.P. Hough-Greene (Year of the Book, Glen Rock, Pa., 265 pages, $15).

Vineyarders who remember Russian trawlers off Noman’s Land in the 1960s and Russian labels for cans of fish washing up on Island shores, will find Winged Victory an entertaining adventure. And it will be of special interest to those well-acquainted with the Island’s north shore. Its author, a lifelong Indian Hill summer visitor, lovingly describes hidden ponds and trickling streams, giant rocks that edge the water, periwinkles and moon shells there. She has, however, renamed Martha’s Vineyard Jellicle Island in this, her first novel. She has also set her story in the 1990s.

This tale of post-Cold War Russian intrigue takes place on the north shore and in the neighboring wildlife sanctuary (a vaguely disguised Cedar Tree Neck). Much of Chicago is the other principal setting.

Mary Pat Hough’s cast of characters includes a young woman artist on Jellicle Island, a Jellicle-born Chicago schoolteacher, Russian Communists, sleazy Mafia-like characters in cahoots with the Russians, and a Dapper Dan who woos and wins women with his good looks and his Hickey-Freeman suits. Among minor characters are Nortons and a Vanderhoop.

The plot revolves around a young, but old-school Russian who comes to Jellicle aboard a Russian trawler. He makes something of a crash landing in a skiff launched from a miniature submarine and collapses on a beach. He is found there by the sanctuary caretaker. The Russian, it turns out, is on a dastardly secret mission. But he has fouled up and spends most of the book trying to make up for his crash landing. There are entanglements with the artist who lives above the beach, her parents and her old Island chum who has returned from the mainland for a vacation visit.

This is hardly a serious book about post-Cold War intrigue. Its intricate plot, however, makes it good winter fireside reading. As for those who don’t get to it before summer, its descriptions of fishing for blues from shore and dangling a line to catch a flounder should appeal to readers lounging on a sunny beach.