Nose in Book Just Naturally Leads to Murder
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!
A Tale of Two Biddies can be purchased here
About A Tale of Two Biddies: 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 .
GIVEAWAY: Ironically, today, February 7th, is Charles Dickens birthday! Do you have a favorite Dickens novel? (For me, A Christmas Carol is my all-time favorite book. I collect every edition of the book that I can find, as well as dolls and figurines of the characters.) Tell us by noon EST on February 12, and you will be entered to win a copy of A Tale of Two Biddies. U.S. entries only.