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Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard, #1) eBook –

Being a fan of Harris Sookie Stackhouse series and having just finished reading the first book in her Harper Connelly series, Grave Sight, I was very pleasantly surprised with this book Expecting fluff, I was very impressed with this book, which, while being a lot darker than her other books, had so muchdepth and character than I was expecting I love the main character, Lily Bard, who after living through a very traumatic past, which scarred her both physically and emotionally, is trying to live a very quiet, simple life in Shakespeare, working as a cleaning lady and keeping to herself When she witnesses the disposal of a body late one night while out walking, her nice quiet life becomes quite a bitcomplicated I was very impressed with this book and the depth of the main character The mystery that Lily faced was fun to try to solve along with her and the involvement of the other characters made this a wonderful read I can not wait to get my hands on the rest of the series to see what happens next in the life of Lily Bard When I read Dead Until Dark and fell madly in love I began scouring the internet for other books by Charlaine Harris I found a couple of mystery series she d written This is the first book in her Lily Bard series In some ways, these books are amongst my favorites They re darker than her Sookie Stackhouse books but explore her themes to perfection the outsider trying to make her way through the hypocrisy of self satisfied conventional society, the flawed heroes and understandable villains, the dark humor inherent in even the most serious of situations I m still sorry this series has gone on hiatus I keep hoping she ll find time to give usLily Bard although she did give Lily a guest appearance in one of Sookie s books, which was great fun. There s a nice little comforting feel I get when I enter one of Charlaine Harris worlds I know that her characters will be realistic even her paranormal characters have a touch of the mundane I know I will be in a nice, down home, small town world.This down home comfort feel is most evident in her Lily Bard series Shakespeare s Landlordseems to be a novel about ordinary people living their ordinary lives in a small, ordinary town Well, at least until someone gets murdered.Somehow between the first and second chapter, I was sucked into this world I just could not put the book down What better way to give insight into a world than by using a cleaning lady as a main character This cleaning lady knows everyone s secrets I found it fascinating that the main character Lily could learn so much about her clients without really having to speak with them.Lily s character is an exercise in contracts She s smart she was a National Merit Scholar and graduated from college with a 3.9 GPA She s athletic she body trains daily and attends martial arts classes at her local gym She is scarred both emotionally and physically Lily is a survivor and has worked hard to rebuild her life Lily s character is truly likable she is an ordinary, hard working woman I m looking forward to reading the rest of this series. I read this book in order to count it for Arkansas in my US state challenge I enjoyed it and give it 4 out of 5 stars The author uses a familiar formula A private citizen, in this case, Lily Bard, cleaning lady, is suspected of murder and decides to solve the murder herself The subtitle is Introducing Amateur Sleuth Lily Bard Lily Bard runs a 1 woman cleaning errand service in the small town of Magnolia, Arkansas She witnesses something suspicious, and discovers a dead body She doesn t call the police She calls the police chief anonymously.This is a traditional mystery, where the killer is not revealed until near the end Lily puts it together by assembling a time line of where all the possible suspects were at the time of the murder I did not suspect the murderer until the end.I should warn you that there a brutal gang rape scene that is central to one of the characters outlook.This is book 1 in the series of 5 I will readas I like the series. This is not my favorite Charlaine Harris novel However, it is a good and quick read if your looking for something light and are a fan of the author as I am I really wanted to love this one because I really love the Sookie Stackhouse series AND the Harper Connelly series But this one was just lacking a bit I couldn t really connect with the heroine, Lily She is drab and dark And while I can appreciate WHY she is the way she is, there was just a disconnect there Anyway, I will continue the series to see where it goes and because I already own a few of the other ones Hopefully I will see somecharacter development. I really enjoyed this little mystery, set in Shakespeare, Arkansas Lily Bard, the community cleaning lady, has chosen this small town on a whim because of her last name It seems like the perfect sleepy little community in which to avoid her traumatic past and live a quiet life.Harris excels at portraying small town life, using ordinary people as characters Lily is not someone that most people pay a lot of attention to as a cleaning lady, she tends to blend into the background The only place where she stands out is in her karate dojo, where she excels She reminded me of Harris other small town character, Sookie Stackhouse, who is often overlooked because she is just a bar maid, but has unknown talents telepathy Lily has a skill that many women have she pays attention to detail and she can analyze those details to come to accurate conclusions Not the most exciting mystery that I have every read, but I am already invested in Lily s life and hope to read the next book in the series very soon. Welcome To Shakespeare, Arkansas Lily Bard Came To The Small Town Of Shakespeare To Escape Her Dark And Violent Past Other Than The Day To Day Workings Of Her Cleaning And Errand Running Service, She Pays Little Attention To The Town Around Her So When She Spots A Dead Body Being Dumped In The Town Green, She S Inclined To Stay Well Away But She Was In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time, And Despite Her Best Efforts, She S Dragged Into The Murder Case Lily Doesn T Care Who Did It, But When The Police And Local Community Start Pointing Fingers In Her Direction, She Realizes That Proving Her Innocence Will Depend On Finding The Real Killer In Quiet, Secretive Shakespeare Shakespeare S Landlord Is The First Book In Charlaine Harris S Lily Bard Mysterious Series Shakespeare s Landlord is really short a combination of this and the shortcomings in Harris s writing makes the mystery in this particularly boring and without climax Lily Bard, on the other hand, is a powerfully written character Her past is haunting and scary and her convictions and personality that emerge within this story are actually heartbreaking Lily Bard spoilerz is a past victim of random acts of sexual and other physical violence Her particular story might not be extremely common, but the side effects good and bad that become evident in her relations with others probably resonate with many victims of abuse Throughout this book, Lily never backs down from or caves in to male oppression or power unlike so many other female protagonists living in popular book series Lily s character development is a refreshing take on what a main character can be even with all of the typically Harris male admirers and protagonist beatings that happen before the happy ending. Surprisingly this was my first Charlaine Harris book And really, it s about time I got the first three Lily Bard books for super cheaps on Audible a few months ago finally decided to give them a listen I enjoyed the first one very much Lily Bard is a badass, strong, brave character I enjoyed the supporting characters and the murder mystery and the not so sleepy town of Shakespeare, Arkansas I immediately started listening to the second book A few years ago I was twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the new Sookie Stackhouse book to come out, when I decided to see what else Charlaine Harris had written Turned out she d written a lot of other books, including three other mystery series featuring similarly intrepid heroines My eye immediately settled on the Lily Bard series of mysteries also known as the Shakespeare mysteries because main character Lily lives in the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, and because each book has the word Shakespeare in the title Up until recently all five of the Lily Bard mysteries were out of print, but then Berkeley Prime Crime re released the entire series in very attractive mass market editions My mom gave me the first one, SHAKESPEARE S LANDLORD, as a Christmas present and I started tracking down the other four before I was even twenty pages in A big fan of the Sookie books, I was instantly drawn to this darker, less humorous but no less compelling series Lily Bard isn t precisely in hiding, but she s flying as far below the radar as is humanly possible After chopping her hair off, toning her body into lean, mean fighting machine, and then hiding it all under the baggiest and blandest of clothes, Lily decides to settle in the sleepy, little town of Shakespeare, Arkansas in an attempt to disappear She chose Shakespeare at random off the map because she thought it was rather poetic given her last name During the day Lily works as a cleaning lady, while at night she trains hard at bodybuilding and karate at the local gym Every night she hopes it ll be hard enough to allow her to sleep In her line of work, Lily is in and out of homes, apartments, and office buildings all across town She sees and hears a lotthan she d like Most of it is just your usual small town gossip But one night, while out on one of her frequent restless midnight walks, Lily sees something unusual Someone pushing a cart filled with a large, lumpy something wrapped up in black plastic garbage bags When Lily finds out just what is inside those garbage bags, she becomes inextricably immersed in exactly the kind of gruesome crime she s worked so hard to avoid.And that is how the series kicks off Lily, herself, is an extremely tough, conflicted character I took to her at once She lives an incredibly regimented, perfectly calculated life and it s almost painful to watch this thread of dark chaos worm its way into her peace and order And while she is about as alone as a person can get, Harris peoples Shakespeare with a whole town s worth of kooky, creepy, and funny characters All of whom Lily attempts to sidestep with varying degrees of success With each book in this series, we learnabout Lily and her nightmarish past as she learnsabout herself and those around her In the second book she is joined by a character who is a particular favorite of mine and the two of them together form one of the most well suited pairs I ve ever come across A glimpse of Lily Once upon a time, years ago, I thought I was pretty My sister, Varena, and I had the usual rivalry going, and I remember deciding my eyes were bigger and a lighter blue than hers, my nose was straighter and thinner, and my lips were fuller Her chin was better neat and determined Mine is round I haven t seen Varena in three years now Probably she is the pretty one Though my face hasn t changed, my mind has The workings of the mind look out through the face and alter it Sometimes, some mornings the ones after the really bad nights I look in the mirror and do not recognize the woman I see there This was going to be one of those really bad nights though I had no idea how bad it was going to get But I could tell there was no point in going to bed My feet itched to be moving I dressed again, throwing my sweaty workout clothes into the hamper and pulling on blue jeans and a T shirt, tucking in the T shirt and pulling a belt through the belt loops My hair was only a little damp the blow dryer finished the job I pulled on a dark windbreaker Front door, back door, kitchen door Some nights it takes me awhile to decide.I worked my way through this series with palpable pleasure and it was a sad day indeed when I closed the fifth one knowing there would be noThese are straight up mysteries with a Southern flavor, a fair bit of violence, intense encounters of all varieties, and a lot of grit There isn t even a hint of the paranormal and all the energy goes into the character development and an honest depiction of a strong woman working hard to stay true to herself and keep the ghosts at bay Like Harrisrecent Harper Connelly series, I think the Lily Bard mysteries deserve a good dealattention and I hope those looking to branch out on the Sookie series will find a good home in Shakespeare I certainly did.Reading Order SHAKESPEARE S LANDLORD, Shakespeare s Champion, Shakespeare s Christmas, Shakespeare s Trollop, and Shakespeare s Counselor