This series is a little different than some of Harris’s other series, because there’s no paranormal element. Lily is a regular girl, at least genetically. Socially, she likes to keep to herself. Her stand-offishness and dedication to staying strong and in shape is understandable, because Lily is the survivor of a brutal attack. But it’s not doing her any favors.
That dedication to her exercise routine (and on-again-off-again relationship with gym owner Marshall) leads to her discovery of a man’s body in the local gym. Lily’s natural curiosity is peaked when it appears that his death isn’t an accident, and she spends the novel trying to figure out not only what happened, but how she can stop it from continuing.
Small-town racial tension is the main theme that runs through this mystery. Lily, who still feels like an outsider despite living in Shakespeare for more than a few years, navigates her way through thanks to her job as a housekeeper — a brilliant way to be an amateur sleuth. Unfortunately, I think she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time a little too often. Really, it’s a fault of the first person perspective. The only way we have to witness these events is through Lily’s eyes, so she needs to be there.
I did enjoy the introduction of a new love interest for Lily. Her back and forth with the police chief was getting a little tiresome, and Jack seems like a better fit for her anyhow.
Despite its flaws, I do like this series and will continue to follow Lily’s adventures.