Series: Lily Bard #1
Published by Berkley on 1 November 2005
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Source: Kindle Purchase
TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE — To Lily Bard, the sleepy town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, was the perfect place to hide from the violence that nearly destroyed her life years before. Today Lily is strong, confident in the martial arts she studies, her looks disguised by her closely cropped hair and baggy clothes. Working as a housecleaner, Lily comes and goes without anyone noticing -- until she witnesses a murder.
What Lily Bard saw on that dark night has stripped away her, anonymity and earned her the unwanted attention of a homicide detective and a suspicious community. And with her intense, married, karate instructor showing a passionate interest of his own, Lily's plan of a private, well-ordered life is coming unhinged. The killer of an unlamented landlord is lurking close by. And while Lily knows the dirt on her neighbors' dust, drawers, and private live , must admit to a secret of her own: that in the shadow of a brutal murder, she is coming alive again...
Shakespeare’s Landlord is a cozy mystery in a small, sleepy town, where Lily Bard ends up doing just as much detecting as she does cleaning.
My Shakespeare’s Landlord review:
Lily Bard started off as a pretty mysterious character, doing her martial arts training, cleaning people’s houses, and incidentally seeing something suspicious involving her own garbage cart which led her to finding a dead body. Instead of calling the police straight away, she made sure anything that would put her in the spotlight as a suspect would not be found, but then she called the chief for the body to be found before morning. I enjoyed the mystery part of Shakespeare’s Landlord very much, and the character development was well done, too. There are some major trigger warnings, though, because of Lily’s past involving a kidnapping where she was rented out for other people’s pleasure.
At the beginning of Shakespeare’s Landlord, Lily was a very withdrawn character, with no friends but lots of people she worked for or worked out with. As the story moved on, though, she had more than one man in her vicinity who showed her interest. It had been a long time since she had any interest in anything but existing, getting through her days and staying safe, so it was nice to see her starting to live a little. The secondary characters were all seen through her slightly calculating and sarcastic eyes, which I really enjoyed, especially because she had a very keen sense of observation.
Written in first person from Lily’s point of view, and in past tense with a lot of dialogs, the story, which was quite short also moved along at a nice pace. I will definitely keep reading this series, because the small town life as well as the men around Lily all appealed to me, just as she herself did, too.
Some of my favorite Shakespeare’s Landlord quotes:
Though my face hasn’t changed, my mind has. The workings of the mind look out through the face and alter it.
Instinctively, I concealed myself, sliding behind a live oak on the edge of the park. Its branches overhung the sidewalk; perhaps their shadow had hidden me from the presence across the street. My heart was pounding unpleasantly fast. Some tough woman you are, I jeered at myself.
There is something very “edible” about Carlton. He always reminds me of hot chocolate and caramels in the winer, or the coconut smell of tanning lotion and the tang of barbecue in the summer.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: