Shakespeare's Landlord

(Lily Bard, #1)

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...

I'm relieved I enjoyed this one so much. Besides the Sookie novels, I haven't ventured far into other Charlaine Harris worlds. 

Lily Bard is an unusual character who is scarred both mentally and physically. She's an unusual main in a mystery but that only adds to the storylines. She is a bit stiff and unpleasant to people, but that's explained concerning her backstory. I do wish she would be more welcoming sometimes, but hoping this will change over time. The cop, Claude, is intriguing, especially in a scene where my breath stopped for a second and he revealed "he knew." I'm not as crazy about Lily's romantic interest for some reason - not sure what it is, just not feeling it.

The small town element always intrigues, and with this one set in her own apartment building with all the suspects living next door, it makes it more interesting. In cozies and such, usually people randomly stumble on murders. Her doing this by being a cleaning lady is kind of ingenious since the maid is privy to all sorts of hidden aspects in their clients lives. The different personalities she faced in her work was also enriching. 

There may be a small love triangle in sight - I know who I'm rooting for already. The killer was a surprise and the small clue was actually there, but it's hard to catch unless you give it deeper thought than I did.

   Book Quotes:

“I have lived one step away from losing my mind for years. I am quick and accurate in spotting unstable streaks in others.”