Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast (1993)

by Bill Richardson

The bachelor brothers are fraternal twins named Virgil and Hector. Their bed and breakfast on a remote Canadian island somewhere off Vancouver operates to capacity solely by word of mouth. The guests are invariably bibliophiles, as are Virgil and Hector, and the attraction of the place — besides the affable hosts — is that there's not much to do but read.

This delightful book is a series of whimsical, funny first-person reflections by the twins and their guests, a few reading lists, and even poems and recipes. From the fiftysomething twins we hear about their free-thinking, adored, and now departed mother; Mother's parrot, Mrs. Rochester; Waffle, the cat who adopted the house; and assorted neighbors, including Hector's girlfriend, a cosmetic saleswoman, part-time reporter for the local newspaper, the Occasional Rumor, and would-be romance novelist. The guests' musings range over childhood remembrances to reading preferences to pets and people in their lives.

Though Virgil and Hector don't care to venture far from the homeplace, they are cosmopolitan. That's due not just to their wide reading but to their particular business, through which they broaden their experience without going anywhere. "We enjoy our visitors," Hector writes. "Both my brother and I feel the richer for the bits of the world they track in with them."

Richardson created Virgil and Hector for his program on CBC Radio and elaborated on his radio segments for Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast. It won Canada's Stephen Leacock Award for Humour and was followed in 1997 by Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast Pillow Book.


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