My rating: 4 of 5 stars to Kylie Logan‘s Gone with the Twins, the fifth book in the “League of Literary Ladies” mystery series about a woman who owns a B&B on an island between Ohio and Canada and helps the local police solve crimes using her skills as a secret famous fiction author. I was excited to read this book as it was recently released and one of the only mystery series I am current on. While it was a good story and follow-up to the previous books, it wasn’t my favorite and felt a little too easy this go-round. But still worth a read.
Bea is still upset after finding out a secret about Levi at the end of the previous book, but her heart still wants him. As the story starts out, a rival B&B has opened, taking all of the normal summer guests that would have gone to Bea’s place had the famous Champion Twins not set up camp on the island. Recently thrust back into the spotlight after having been kidnapped, Riva and Quentin Champion have designed their new B&B like Tara from “Gone With the Wind,” which just happens to be the book that Bea and her friends in the literary league started reading. When the local real estate agent who sold most of the homes to the main island inhabitants passes away, her niece, Vivian, takes over and begins making enough enemies that she’s soon found dead in her basement on the evening she was set to meet several people to sell them antiques from her late aunt’s house. When it looks like Chandra, Bea’s neighbor and New Age friend, is the primary culprit, Bea sets out to prove her friend’s innocence. Along the way, she and Levi re-connect and he watches over her when the murderer gets too close. Somehow, it’s all connected and Bea will stop at nothing to figure out what’ at the core of the shenanigans, especially when rumors about her not-true ex-con or ex-psycho status, as well as fake bed bug stories, start popping up all over town. In true Bea style, she dives in with the Chief of Police, Hank, and soon uncovers more connections to her own past than she realized were possible.
Bea’s friends and hijinks are on target. The story incorporates daily life as well as solving the crime, making it a fun and quick read. Her interest in Levi maintains its roller coaster course, providing a good boost of romance, fun and humor. The descriptions of the Twins and their history is something cute to laugh about. And the cast of new characters is vivid and amusing.
The story focuses on Chandra’s relationship with her first husband, who was connected to Vivian, the victim in this book. The Twins figure prominently both in the real estate transactions and the fame of Hollywood being brought to the quiet Lake Bass island. Levi appears frequently while Luella and Kate take a bit of a back seat this time. It’s good to focus on different supporting characters in each book, as we get a more well-rounded opinion of the whole shebang!
The plot was a little too simple in this book. A few red herrings helped create a bit of fun and suspense, but the title gives it away, knowing the Twins have something to do with the mayhem. No spoilers given away here, just mentioning what felt too obvious for a reader. While there were a few potential suspects, the reasons for everyone never felt compelling enough for one of them to want to murder Vivian, but when you find out why, it makes sense. Just a little too loose for me.
The story starts off with the death of the elderly real estate agent who sold Bea the B&B. I would have liked to know that character, Estelle, a little more. Her death and appearance just seemed inserted for plot points. As this is Book 5, I think the author should have dropped more hints about Estelle in Books 1 thru 4 so we as readers felt the loss, too.
The charm and suspense felt a little off in this book, too. I expected more, given the great impressions I had from the earlier books. Still worth a read, just sayin’! That said, I love Bea and the whole premise of the book, and her secret identity as F.X. O’Grady. I hope the next book focuses more on her own past… and I definitely look forward to the next one, even is this one was a little disappointing.