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Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard Mystery, #1)
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Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  18,279 ratings  ·  956 reviews
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 ...more
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Published (first published 1996)
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Wendy
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 much more depth 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 tryin
...more
AH
Jan 15, 2011 AH rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Charlaine Harris fans
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 Landlord seems to be a novel about ordinary people living their ordinary lives in a small, ordinary town. Well, at least until someone gets murdered.

Somehow betwee
...more
Peejay Who Once Was Minsma
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, t ...more
Lauren
Shakespeare's Landlord
4 Stars

Working as a housekeeper in the sleepy town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, Lily Bard only wants a life of peace and quiet. Unfortunately, chaos and turmoil rain down when she witnesses a body disposal in the local park and nasty gifts begin arriving on her doorstep.

Not only is Charlaine Harris a new to me author (yes, I am one of the few who has yet to read Sookie Stackhouse), but cozy-mysteries are not my usual fare. Consequently, I was pleasantly surprised to discover
...more
Colleen
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 commo
...more
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
Originally posted on Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.

"Shakespeare's Landlord" is a really good start to what I hope will be a fun, addictive mystery series. It has all the elements to be so, with a great heroine and supporting cast, and a cosy town where they all live weaving in and out of each others lives.

Lily Bard has a dark past that Harris only hints at, by the end of the book I still really didn't know what had happened to Lily to make her run and set up home in a small town like Shakes
...more
Angie
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 wo ...more
JSA Lowe
Meh. Racist despite trying not to be which just seemed terrible and sad.
Wendi
I'm not a fan of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books because I think Sookie is an annoying character - a tease and always a damsal in distress and then argues when someone tries to save her but wonders when someone will save her. Stupid.

But not so with Ms. Lily Bard. At first I wasn't really sure about Lily Bard. She was completely not what I was expecting. I mean, who writes a series based on the extremely private life of a cleaning lady?

Lily is the complete opposite of Sookie Stackhouse
...more
Dominika
3,75 stars ;) I had a 1-6 grading system at school and 3 still sounds kind of bad to me :P

I really liked this book :) I'm just gonna repeat after someone else's review, but yes, this book is way darker than other works of Charlaine Harris.

I like Charlaine Harris's writing, the way she describes everything up to small details, I like the small towns - so it definitely did not bother me that there is a repeating pattern she seems to use. That's exactly what I want from her :) As for the mystery,
...more
BJ Rose
I chose this book because Charlaine Harris is the author chosen this month for the Featured Author Challenge, and I wanted to find something other than Sookie Stackhouse. I'm so glad I picked this up! This has much more depth than the Sookie series, and Lily Bard is a character the reader can empathize with. Lily is a flawed character, not because of anything she did but because of what was done to her. Because she cleans houses, she knows a lot about the people around her, but she keeps them at ...more
Courtney
I am going to reveiew the entire 5 books series with one review. I have enjoyed all of them. I like Lily Bard better that the Aurora Teagarden character. And I think this series is better written that the previous one. I like the relationship Lily has (books 2 - 5) with Jack. As well as how she fits into the Shakespeare community.

I really like how strong Lily Bard is (both physically and emotional). What she overcame is pretty amazing. I've read that this was a hard series for Charlaine Harris t
...more
Carolyn F.
3.5 stars. It took me a long time to warm up to Lily and her relationship with Marshall was on the verge of skanky. I had no idea until the end of the book who the actual murderer was, which is a nice surprise. I've been reading mysteries for a long time and I usually have an idea. I have the paperback and listened to the audiobook. Narrator did a pretty good job.
readinghearts (Lyn M)
May 05, 2014 readinghearts (Lyn M) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Sue Grafton and those type of mysteries
Recommended to readinghearts (Lyn M) by: Wendy Catalano
3.5 out of 5 stars

A great beginning to a new (for me) mystery series. I really enjoyed Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books, and these books promise to be good, too. The main character is Lily Bard, a person who is trying to hide from her terrible past. She has been living in the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas for four years when the landlord of the apartment building where she works as a cleaning lady is murdered. Lily becomes involved in the hunt for the murderer, and thus sets the s
...more
Victoria Martin
I picked this up from the library hoping it would be as good as the first few books from the Southern Vampire Mysteries (aka True Blood novels).

Harris' style isn't as polished as in the Sookie books. The plot is a little thin with the story focused far more on the main character, Lily's, journey recovering from her difficult past rather than the pesky murder she witnessed.

Lily, however, is quite difficult to like: gratuitously rude to others, extremely judgemental, a little racist, and a fan o
...more
Sue Smith
These middle of the road books are really the hardest to comment on. They're neither bad nor astounding, so you don't want to pan it nor do you want to overly praise them either. I have to admit, mind you, that I was expecting something a little more ......what's the word here.....something that I could have sunk my teeth into (sorry for the really bad true blood pun there....... I couldn't resist). Anyways, I know I'll have to continue on with more of the books just to be sure it's not a 'first ...more
Vanessa
Lily Bard is a series Charlaine Harris started before the Sookie Stackhouse series. Lily had suffered from a random, violent assault years ago and has since spent time keeping people from getting close and living a quiet and nearly anonymous life as a cleaning woman and karate student in the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas. Harris has said the series (she has written five) is likely on permanent hiatus as she found them too difficult to write given the assault in her own past. Don't let that ...more
Regina
This was a light easy to read mystery. It took me about 1 chapter to get pulled in, but once I did I read it straight through. Harris is great with characters, developing them and making the reader fall in love with them. Lily Bard is the lead character in this mystery, if you have read Harris' other series, she is unlike Harper and Sookie. Lily has a dark past and is trying to move on. She is self sufficient and not optimistic about the nature of people. Similar to Sookie and Harper, Lily is a ...more
Hallie
This was the first audio download I got from my library, and I'm glad I got it that way, as it wasn't good enough to take up a full month's credit on Audible. I thought at first that listening just after my big glut of Julia Spencer-Fleming reads might be unfair, as the resolution of the mystery felt so very unsatisfying in comparison. I did know that I was unhappy with the way the book/Lily indulged in quite a bit of slut-shaming, though. This is mostly about Deedra (think that's the spelling), ...more
Tatiana
It seems all Charlaine Harris' series follow the same pattern: female protagonist involved in a crime who at the same time becomes suddenly attractive to several men; mystery set in a small southern town; books filled with details of everyday life of its residents.

Lily Bard series is no different. Lily lives in a small Arkansas town of Shakespeare, runs a cleaning business and practices self-defense in her spare time. One night she witnesses a murder and that's where this first book in the serie
...more
Monica
This book is about a women who is hiding herself in the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas. She finds the dead body of her former land lord in a park and calls the police anonymously, not wanting to blow her cover. She soon realizes the suspicions are turning to her and in order to save herself needs to find the murderer.

I have to be honest, I am not much of mystery fan. I know this, but, I do love Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse and Harper Connelly books so I decided to try this one as we
...more
Viktoria
Lovely crime novel, very interesting characters! Harris is just very good with inventing characters and a setting for them. I'm hooked with this series, I may continue reading it.
Kelley Anne
I am a real fan of Charlaine Harris's fantasy novels, so I figured that I should try out her mystery series. This was an enjoyable book. I think that I was expecting more suspense and such, just because that's what I always seem to find in her other novels. But it was still good. Harris does such a great job of developing some of the most interesting characters. I look forward to seeing where this series might go.
Jordan
This book is alright, but the main character whines and sleeps around. Now I understand she has merit for complaint, but a weak character doesn't make the book fun to read.
T White
Didn't finish it-read the first two chapters and the last chapter. Too many racial slurs-life is too short to read stuff like this
Antonia
it's always comfortable to read ms harris' books. her heroines seem to be pretty similar in their "down-to-earthedness", and the very grounded heroine somehow acquires more than one love interest if not straight at the beginning throughout the book. which is not to say that this is something bad - oh no... just ... comfortable ... "routine-ish".
which also means as always it was enjoyable to read. the mystery was nice, the writing was nice, the characters were nice, the small town american world
...more
Jessi
Being a big fan of Charlaine Harris' "Sookie Stackhouse" series, I really wanted to read some of her other, non-vampire series. With a coin-toss, Lily Bard came up first.

I absolutely LOVE the Lily Bard character. She is a true survivor. With a horrific event in her past that would leave most people heavily medicated and in straight jackets, Lily lives her life quietly, but she prepares herself to take down anybody who tries to do the same to her. I found it odd that she takes nightly walks alon
...more
Sarah (saz101)
"But that's the movies. This is Shakespeare!"

Lily Bard is hiding from her past in the small town Shakespeare. A quiet, anonymous existance is all she wants. But when she witnesses a shadowed figure disposing of a body in the wee hours of the morning, she's unwittingly drawn into a murder investigation, and her web of secrets is starting to unravel.

Arguably some of Charlaine Harris' darker work, the Lily Bard mysteries follow our titular heroine as she overcomes a very dark, and very brutal past,
...more
R.G.
not exactly her best writing... at first Lily is just cynical and constantly criticizes the people around her when it's obvious she's just envious that they can live normal lives while she for whatever reason can't... as the book goes on and you learn more about her you're able to understand why she is the way she is but honestly it wasn't until about half way through that i began to like her at all... it was a slow progression but the book is basically right at the point in her life where she b ...more
Cheryl Landmark
This was yet another enjoyable cozy mystery from the prolific pen of Charlaine Harris.

I liked Lily Bard quite a lot. She was a strong, brave, resilient woman, who managed to overcome her haunted past to start a new life in the little town of Shakespeare. Instead of letting the terrible events drive her into depression or self-pity, she determinedly thrust those memories aside and took up self-defense classes so that she would never be a victim again. Her new life was quiet and uneventful as she
...more
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Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.

Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was wr
...more
More about Charlaine Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Lily Bard (5 books)
  • Shakespeare's Champion (Lily Bard, #2)
  • Shakespeare's Christmas (Lily Bard, #3)
  • Shakespeare's Trollop (Lily Bard, #4)
  • Shakespeare's Counselor (Lily Bard, #5)
Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1) Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2) Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4) Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #3) Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5)

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“I have lived one step away from losing my mind for years. I am quick and accurate in spotting unstable streaks in others.” 74 likes
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