Friday, March 21, 2014

A Tale of Two Biddies: Review

A Tale of Two Biddies by Kylie Logan is the second in the League of Literary Ladies series set on South Bass Island (one of Ohio's islands in Lake Erie). The group was originated when a judge required them to form a book club and work out their differences after they had appeared before him once too often. They had just settled themselves down in that task in the first book, when the owner of a local restaurant (The Orient Express) was murdered--and naturally they had to help solve that crime.

This time out, a rather unlikeable young man named Richie is murdered during the inaugural Bastille Day--a local festival celebrating the Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities. He had already complained to Hank, the local police officer, that someone had tried to kill him by shoving him into the lake earlier that week. But given his tendency to complain and dramatize, his story was discounted. When he winds up full of poison in the corner of the bar, it looks like the dunking in the lake was more than an accident. There are a lot of motives floating around--from the man who lost everything because of Richie's "little mistake" to the owner of a million-dollar home that was blown sky-high because Richie forgot to turn off the gas to the lead singer of Guillotine (a rock band playing at the festival) who had a heated discussion with Richie despite claiming that he never met the man before in his life. While Hank follows the official routes, Bea Cartwright and her literary ladies follow up with casual questioning.

This was a fun, quick read. Definitely a cozy mystery--small town, quirky characters, no blood & gore, very little official police work, and an amateur sleuth who doesn't take herself too seriously. The references to Dickens' work throughout the book fit very nicely and add to the fun. The only drawback? The culprit was as plain as plain could be--if you pick up on the right references and notice the spoiler on the cover of the book. Fortunately, getting to know the characters and enjoying their interactions made for so much fun that having a puzzle to solve wasn't as necessary as usual in the mysteries I read.  Three stars for good, solid fun.


Anonymous said...

What an AWESOME title!

Bev Hankins said...

It is a great title, Geoff! One of the reasons I snatched it off the library new release shelf.

fredamans said...

Sounds like a great play on Dickens. I lived on Lake Erie, in Canada though. We didn't have islands only sandbars. We could swim and then walk on the sand for about two miles out.

Happy weekend!

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your choice!

Thanks for sharing your Eclectic Reader Challenge review

Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out