Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Review: A Tale of Two Biddies by Kylie Logan (League of Literary Ladies #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, twisty mystery, just plain fun
Cons: It ended
The Bottom Line:
Fun vacation read
With parallels to Dickens
Twists to mystery

It Is the Best of Crimes

There are several book cozies in the market, and they are very popular.  After all, readers love to read about other readers, right?  However, I think the League of Literary Ladies series has the most creative premise.  I just love how the mystery is inspired by classic literature, and A Tale of Two Biddies, the second in the series, proves to be another winner.

The series is set on South Bass Island in Lake Erie and stars Bea Cartwright, owner of a bed and breakfast in this summer resort community.  In the first book, we learned about how constant feuding with her neighbors Kate and Chandra got all three sentenced to a weekly book club.  Luella joined just because she loved to read.  This has worked because all four of these ladies are now fast friends.  The first book found them solving a murder with elements that paralleled their current read, and this book is no exception.

It’s July, the peak of tourist season on South Bass Island, and the town has decided to bring in even more tourists with Bastille Day, which is actually a week long event.  There is a Charles Dickens lookalike and trivia contest, the band Guillotine will appear, and to get ready for it, the League of Literary Ladies have chosen to read A Tale of Two Cities.

However, an accident happens before the week fully gets underway, and after the person involved is rescued, he claims it was attempted murder.  It’s not too long before a real murder takes place.  Can Bea and the other ladies figure out who the killer is?

Now before we get too much further, I have a confession to make.  The only Dickens novel I am at all familiar with is A Christmas Carol.  However, lack of knowledge of the story used here wasn't an issue at all.  The mystery pretty much stands alone, and any connections to the book are pointed out to us.  So if, like me, you aren't familiar with the story, don't be afraid to dive in.

The mystery is wonderful.  Elements are put in place early on, and there are several fun sub-plots that keep the pages flying.  There were several times I was certain I knew what had to be happening, and yet I was wrong in all but one of those guesses.

The characters are strong as well.  It's never hard to keep the ladies apart, although as our narrator Bea is definitely the main character.  The book is filled with a wild assortment of suspect and supporting characters, some of them funny, some of them more serious.  No matter what their part in the tale, I believed the characters as I was reading the book.

All of this is infused with a sense of fun.  As I just mentioned, some of the characters are on the comical side, and I enjoyed their antics.  When I was in the pages, I felt like I really was at a resort town in the middle of summer (wishful thinking for sure).  I also enjoyed the obvious friendship these ladies have formed, which is a welcome change from the fighting that started the first book.

I also have to comment on the strong writing.  There were some nice moments that made me stop and reread to appreciate how author Kylie Logan had expressed something.

Obviously, I loved every page of A Tale of Two Biddies, and I'm sorry to see the book end.  Fortunately, the next one is out in just a couple of months with a Halloween theme.  That gives you just enough time to savor this book and then join me in anxiously awaiting the next one.

Need about visit?  Here are the League of the Literary Ladies in order.


  1. I just added the first book in this series to my wishlist at Amazon - part of the mass adding I did earlier in the week. I think I must have added 20 that day...all cozies. Now I just have to get them and read them. I need like 20 more hours a day to get all the books I want to read.

    1. I hear you on needing more time to read. That was one thing I definitely did enjoy when I was unemployed was all the time I could devote to that. Unfortunately, my bank account does require feeding, if only so I can buy more books to read.

  2. thanks for sharing, sounds like right up my alley