The calendar says it’s spring here in Ohio, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at Lake Erie outside my window. Yes, most of the ice that coated the lake all winter is gone, but the waves are still gray and choppy, the sky that stretches out over the lake and on toward Canada is still chock-a-block with clouds and the winds that whip over South Bass Island from the north are plenty chilly.
Good thing I have plenty of books to keep me company, and the League of Literary Ladies to discuss those books with. The League? We’re a group of four women and three of us–me, Kate Wilder who owns the island winery, and Chandra Morrisey, the island crystal and tarot reader–were sentenced to be a book discussion group by a local magistrate.
At the time, it seemed like the craziest legal decision ever. I mean, really, just because we were constantly taking each other to court, complaining about neighborhood noise, neighborhood traffic and Chandray’s full-moon bonfires?
As it turned out, that court sentence was the best thing that ever happened to us, and to Luella Zak, who joined the discussion group because when she’s out captaining her fishing charters, she always takes a book along. What started as outright animosity has blossomed into friendship and now, the League of Literary Ladies is tight.
Best friend? Back when I was living a high-pressure life in New York, I never thought I’d have any, but these ladies have turned out to be not only good friends, but good at investigating, too.
You see, along with the books we discuss, we’ve stumbled over a few murders. There was the one that mirrored the happenings in Murder on the Orient Express. And a newer one (that turned out to really be two) as we were celebrating the island version of Bastille Day and reading Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.
Books and murder . . . funny, I never thought they’d go together. But books, murder and good friends . . . nothing can beat that!