Friday, 14 January 2011

THE LILY BARD MYSTERIES #1: Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard just wanted to start life over - but life had different ideas. A thrilling crime series from an international bestseller!

This omnibus contains the titles SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD, SHAKESPEARE'S CHAMPION, SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS, SHAKESPEARE'S TROLLOP and SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR.

Lily Bard is starting over again. She's disguised herself as much as she can, cutting her hair short and wearing baggy clothes and she's moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, where, working as a cleaning lady, she can sweep away the secrets of her dark, violent past.

But Shakespeare is not the peaceful little community Lily had hoped for and her idea of just fading into the background looks like it's doomed right from the beginning, when she discovers the dead body of her landlord...

Before long, everyone is going to know Lily Bard's name.

I suppose it was just a matter of time. This is the only series by Charlaine Harris that I had yet to sample, and now I have. And I wasn't disappointed!

Lily Bard is a woman who likes to spend time alone, but is rarely lonely. She lives in the small town of Shakespeare and has been there for four years now. She's a cleaner, with a full workload. She enjoys going for walks at night and keeps fit by going to the gym regularly. She lifts weights, and is total kick-ass when it comes to self defense. But she wasn't always like that.

In the past--a past she's tried very hard to escape, but will never forget--she was just another average girl working in an office, with a boyfriend, and a family who cared about her. Yet one night, that all changed and her average life was stolen away from her. Her life has never been the same. Some experiences are so violent and horrifying that they never fade and reshape our lives. That's exactly what happened to Lily.

The night she's out strolling and witnesses someone carting something suspicious in her garbage-can cart, she finds the body of Pardon Albee dumped in the nearby park. This changes her life again. All of a sudden, she becomes involved with the investigation, and her secrets begin to surface. Someone's leaving her little clues about the past, while she's trying to enjoy getting to know the gym's owner a little better.

Shakespeare's Landlord is an interesting mystery book that kept me guessing to the end. It's also the story of a very strong and brave woman who finds herself trying to figure out who murdered the nosey landlord and why. She knows it was someone in the building near her house, but who? I also liked Lily as a narrator. She made everyday routines interesting to read, and sure is tough. She's not afraid to fight back, or shies away from a little violence, and always speaks her mind. I loved that!

Looking forward to reading the other four installments, which are all included in this heftly omnibus. :)

The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, January 2011, ISBN 9780575096448, Gollancz Paperback

M&SRC books read: 1/12

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