Shakespeare's Landlord Mass Market Paperback – Jul 7 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
While on a late-night job in tiny Shakespeare, Ark., Lily Bard, 31, sees a furtive figure placing large plastic garbage bags in the local park and, untying one, discovers the body of her former landlord. In a quick but anonymous phone call (she is determined to avoid any questioning), she reports it to the police chief. With skill and wry wit, Harris, the author of the Aurora Teagarden series, soon reveals the horrific facts in Lily's background that explain why she is solitary, confrontational, obsessed with self-defense—and why she chooses, despite a first-rate education, to eke out a living as a cleaning woman. Realizing, however, that her fingerprints on the body of the dead man might make her a suspect, Lily subtly and insightfully queries her customers, some of them tenants of the murdered landlord, in the process meticulously evaluating their closets, drawers and motives. The renters are a well-defined lot: a happily promiscuous idler; a sanctimonious and hypocritical reverend; and an aging couple with much to grieve about. As Lily investigates, she develops a wary but cordial relationship with the police chief and forms a warmer tie with her karate instructor. But at the same time, someone has discovered the unspeakable facts about Lily's past and has begun stalking her. Harris's finely tuned, colorful and suspenseful tale, filled with vigorous and unique characters, will leave readers hoping it's the start of a series.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Harris, author of the Aurora Teagarden series, now introduces Lily Bard, resident of Shakespeare, Arkansas, a woman fiercely protective of her privacy, determined to succeed as a one-woman cleaning agency, and just as fiercely determined to excel in karate. When the unpopular and very nosy owner of the apartment building next door is murdered and the body dumped in the local park, Lily reports the body to the police--anonymously. The local police chief, however, is nobody's fool and quickly discovers Lily's involvement and her own past, which makes her a possible suspect. Given the situation and, since she cleans for many of the other possible suspects, some opportunities, Lily decides that the only way to clear her name is to find the real killer. Harris has created an intriguing new character in this solidly plotted story. Expect more from crime fiction's first cleaning-lady series. Stuart Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
My first reading, however, proved disappointing. I was used to the lighter, humorous tone of the Aurora Teagarden series and was a bit unprepared for the darker Lily Bard.
And then, I loosened up and let myself go with it, and I'm all the better for it. I have encountered few characters as well drawn as Lily Bard. She is an incredibly complex character, yet painted so deftly that the reader gets a full sense of her person. While it is much easier to accomplish this feat with the first-person, as is used here, Ms. Harris allows us to learn about Lily primarily through her actions and interactions with others.
The plot itself is not out of the ordinary--someone's dead, Lily is suspected, she must find the real killer before the cops close in on her, but it's the main character that makes this novel stand out. Why, oh why hasn't someone bought the movie rights to this series?!?
Suddenly she is faced with a difficult choice - to share what she has learned with the police and lose her hard-won anonymity and gain unwanted attention or to pretend that she never saw anything. Then her married karate instructor starts showing a passionate interest in her and her plan of a private, well-ordered life comes unhinged. Meanwhile, the killer of an unlamented landlord is lurking nearby. And while Lily knows the inside dirt on her neighbors' dust, drawers and private lives, she must admit to a secret of her own: that in the shadow of a brutal murder, she is coming alive again...
This is a short, well-written mystery that will hook you on the Shakespeare/Lily Bard series written so ably by Charlaine Harris. Lily is a fascinating character as she is so strong/tough and yet has her softer side and her weaknesses. In short, she is human. The way she solves the murder is quite entertaining as she uses her knowledge of cleaning the various locations in Shakespeare to eliminate suspects as she goes along. I found the book to be quite humorous as Lily has a wry, dry sense of humor that is very appealing. I highly recommend this book to mystery buffs and for those who enjoyed any of Mrs. Harris' other books. It is unfortunate that books 2 & 3 in the series are out of print, but if I was able to hunt them down, you can too - its well worth it!
And I like Charlaine Harris' view of small town America, with its tawdry secrets and perversions. The town of Shakespeare is populated with people I know, and Lily Bard and I chuckled at how seriously they take themselves and their small passions.
But why would anyone want to kill the landlord? He was no better or worse than any of the rest of them, and his shadowy self is not finely enough drawn in this novel to provoke even the smallest curiousity about why he was mangled and his corpse elaborately hidden in the apartment complex. Lily Bard and the society she lives in are the reason I read the book with interest: the plot is superfluous at best
Most recent customer reviews
Awesome, I have read most of her different series and really enjoy them. I took this one on vacation and ended up having to download the other 4 to my kindlePublished on June 3 2014 by larissa
I found this book an easy read & was finished the book in an afternoon.
The characters are interresting and you can actually figure out 'who-done-it'. Read more
Usually the mystery genre isn't really my thing but this book is an exception. The mystery itself wasn't really anything special but the heroine is the most interesting character... Read morePublished on June 11 2004
I enjoyed this first book in the Lily Bard/Shakespeare series. The mystery is not one with too many twists and turns, but the characters, especially the protagonist, are nice to... Read morePublished on April 24 2003 by ProudBookWorm
Another of Ms. Harris's small town quiet heroines. Well written with a good pace; I liked it well enough to seek out the rest of the series.Published on Oct. 29 2002
I like the works of author Charlaine Harris a lot and this book is no exception. I enjoyed this story. I thought the plot was interesting and intriguing. Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2002
I think Harris is an excellent writer and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the second I've read by her. Read morePublished on June 23 2001 by shirleygr