Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: A Tale of Two Biddies by Kylie Logan

Please join me in welcoming Kylie Logan to Debbie's Book Bag today. Kylie is here promoting the release of her book, A Tale of Two Biddies. Enjoy her guest post about she was influenced by classic literature. The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A Tale of Two Biddies by Kylie Logan, see details at the end of the post.


Nose in Book Just Naturally Leads to Murder

by
Kylie Logan

Back in the day (and I do mean back!) our local grocery store ran a promotion that these days, sounds pretty odd.

For every purchase you made, you could choose a framed print of an art masterpiece.

I don’t know how many of the pictures my mother ended up with, but I do clearly remember one of them, "A Young Girl Reading," painted by Jean-Honore Fragonard, a French artist, in 1776. Aside from the fact that it’s a pleasant picture, that the colors are warm and easy on the eyes and that the girl looks so content and so downright comfortable, there is a reason this particular pictures stays in my mind–my mother always said it reminded her of me.

Nose in book.

When I was a kid, I always had my nose in a book.
At the time, I wasn’t much for contemporary authors. Maybe that’s because back then (there’s that phrase again!) there weren’t many authors who catered to the YA market. That left me at my favorite place–the library–with a whole host of possibilities, most of them classics of literature.

I read "Lorna Doone" (I don’t recommend it), and "Scaramouche" (all because of the movie, of course, and the crush I had on Stewart Granger). I devoured "Prisoner of Zenda" (see the last comment) and "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and all of Jane Austen, and Conan Doyle and Dumas (pere and fils). When I went to college, I majored in English. How else could I justify my nose constantly being in one of those books?
All that being said, I guess it’s only natural that when I was looking for a hook for a new mystery series, the idea of classical literature popped into my head. Books . . . ah, there was something I was comfortable with, something I knew readers loved to learn more about, something that would surely get my creative juices flowing.

It worked! From that idea grew the concept for the League of Literary Ladies mysteries. The League is based on South Bass island off the Ohio mainland in Lake Erie, and consists of four members: Bea Cartwright is new to the island and owns a B&B. Chandra Morrisey is the island kook, a tarot and crystal reader. Kate Wilder is all business. Since she owns the island’s biggest winery, it’s no wonder. Elderly Luella Zak has taken over her late husband’s fishing charter business. She’s as tough as any Great Lakes skipper ever was.

Four different women, with four different tastes. Brought together by one thing–books.

Well, that and the fact that they’re always feuding and the judge gets so tired of them taking each other to court, he orders them to get to know each other better by sentencing them to become a book discussion group.

The results are anything but predictable, especially when in the first installment of the series, "Mayhem at the Orient Express," the Ladies discover a body and must use the Christie classic they’re reading as a blueprint for finding the killer.

This month, the League of Literary Ladies is back in action with "A Tale of Two Biddies." It’s summer, and the islanders are marking Bastille Day with a week-long celebration. What better choice for reading than Charles Dickens’s "A Tale of Two Cities" with its French Revolution background and its story of secrets, lies and people who might–or might not–be what they seem.

In the confusion, somebody’s bound to lose their head!

To indulge my inner book geek I also added a Charles Dickens look-alike and trivia contest. It’s only natural–this time, the League must turn to Dickens as a guide to solving the murder of the island nobody who might not be as much of a nobody as everyone thought.

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Ohio, it’s gray, gloomy and cold. I can’t promise summer weather to go along with my summer story, but I can say an adventure with the League of Literary Ladies is bound to be a Dickens of a good time!

Book Details:


A Tale of Two Biddies (League of Literary Ladies - Book 2) by Kylie Logan

Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425257762
ISBN-13: 978-0425257760

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Kylie Logan on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Mayhem at the Orient Express (2013), A Tale of Two Biddies (2014)

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, A Tale of Two Biddies, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

When it comes to solving mysteries, these ladies are in a league of their own… 

Summer can be the best of times or the worst of times for the resort town of Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie. For Bea Cartwright, business is booming as guests storm her B and B for the Bastille Day celebration. In honor of the holiday, the League of Literary Ladies is reading the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Tale of Two Cities. It would be hard to make a more apropos selection—especially when they have their very own Defarge sisters, elderly twins Margaret and Alice, who run the local knitting shop.

On Bastille Day, the head-banging rock band Guillotine shows their chops for the tourists—but the celebration is soon cut short. With something needling the Defarge dowagers and secrets that lead to murder, solving this mystery will be a far, far better thing than the Literary Ladies have done before. They’ll just have to make sure to keep their heads while they try to stop a killer’s reign of terror…


Thoughts:

Kylie Logan brings readers the second book in her League of Literary Ladies series, A Tale of Two Biddies. Sentenced by a local judge to spend time together may not have been the best way to start a book club, but these ladies are anything but traditional. Logan takes classic literature to a whole new level with this series. Readers who are familiar with Dickens will love this nod to the literary giant. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

What I liked:

I have always been a fan of the classics and Kylie Logan's, League of Literary Ladies indulges my appetite for all things bookish. Dickens has always been a favorite of mine from reading Great Expectations to Oliver Twist, there was just something that drew me. I liked the fact that Logan uses the work of Dickens in this book. A Tale of Two Cities is an excellent book and paying homage to Dickens is great way to draw in readers who love the classic tales, as well as cozy enthusiasts.

Kylie Logan has a way with characters. She knows how to write four totally different women, who have different beliefs, ideas and even occupations and make them mesh. I loved the fact that in the beginning of the series, they fought like cats and dogs. They just couldn't seem to find any common ground and now they sleuth like a well oiled machine. This may be only the second book in the series, but the cohesiveness of the Literary Ladies is jelling very well. They remind of the women from the movie, Sweet Magnolias, with Sally Field and Shirley McClain. They fight but in the end they truly love each other.

This mystery had everything from a guillotine to a poisoning. There was a lot going on during the Bastille Day celebration this year. I really wasn't quite sure how this murder in this one was going to take place, there were several possibilities, and the poisoning was a bit of a surprise. I didn't think of that until it actually happened. I also had a hard time trying to decide which of the many suspects had a concrete motive for murder. The handyman was anything but handy and the plethora of suspects had me turning in circles. Logan can a write and twisty turny novel to be sure. I loved all the back and forth that it caused for me. It could be this one, no it has to be this, but maybe it was that one. LOL!

What I didn't like:

I actually really liked this one. There wasn't much to complain about on my part. It was a genuinely entertaining book and I can't wait to read the next one. 

Bottom Line:

If you are looking for a cozy series with an interesting theme. This is it. The classics tie in well with cozies and Logan makes it look easy. There is a lot of potential for nods some other great classic writers and I can't wait to see how Logan can tie them all to murder!

A Tale of Two Biddies is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:

Kylie Logan is the author of Mayhem at the Orient Express, the first book in the League of Literary Ladies Mystery series. She also writes the Button Box Mystery series, including Buttoned UpHot Button, and Button Holed, as well as the Chili Cookoff Mystery series, debuting with Chili con Carnage.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A Tale of Two Biddies by Kylie Logan.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, February 19th.

1. Please leave a comment describing some of your favorite literary sleuths.
2. Please fill out the FORM.

18 comments:

Karen B said...

Kinsey Millhone, Cork O'Connor - two of many!
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

gg said...

So many goodies.... I have always been especially fond of Frank Hardy, Hercule Poirot, Aloysius Pendergast, Gene Hawkins, and Encylcopedia Brown.

Dotty Kelley said...

Hercule Poirot, Nero Wolfe, Asey Mayo, Amelia Peabody, Spenser, Sherlock Holmes.... I could go on and on.

Angela Holland said...

I really enjoy Molly Murphy as well as a host of others

Brooke Bumgardner said...

Maybe it is too early in the morning, as I am drawing a blank on library sleuths! I do love when cozies incorporate libraries, bookmobiles, book fairs, etc.

Carol M said...

Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple Philip Marlowe all come to mind.

catslady said...

Agatha Christie is a favorite of mine. I loved this cover and your review!

Charlotte said...

I don't have one.
CABWNANA1@bellsouth.net

lag123 said...

I have always loved Nancy Drew.

lag110 at mchsi com

Bonnie said...

This series looks like a fun one. As far as favorite sleuths, I don't really have one. I do like a great mystery though.

Barbara T. said...

Nancy Drew, Kinsey Milhone and so many cozy amateur sleuths that I could never name them all.

holdenj said...

They run the gamut from when I was a kid--Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew for two! As I grew up, Miss Marple has always been a fave, as well as many cozy/everyday women!

Linda Rima said...

Nancy Drew, Mrs. Murphy, Jane Arnold, Anna Pigeon, Kate Shugak, and any number of bookstore owners, librarians (Miss Zukas), & related book industry, culinary sleuths, animal lovers. Guess I don't truly have a favorite. Although, since nancy Drew was my first mystery-solving female sleuth...maybe a slight edge.

Jane Cook said...

I loved (in order of my age), Harriet the Spy, 'The Three Investigators' (Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw and Bob Andrews); and Sherlock Holmes, of course.

bn100 said...

like Sherlock Holmes

Renee said...

I love Jane Marple or any literary sleuth.

Michelle F. said...

Any Agatha Christie sleuths, Sherlock Holmes, Amelia Peabody, and I also like Rhys Bowen's characters Molly Murphy and Lady Georgiana. I grew up reading Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, the Three Investigators, and Trixie Belden.

catbooks72(at)gmail(dot)com

skkorman said...

There are so many I like, but my favorites are Lincoln Rhyme, Aloysius Pendergast, Temperance Brennan, and Kinsey Millhone!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net