Disguising herself with short hair and baggy clothes, Lily Bard has started a new life; she's becoming a cleaning lady in the sleepy town of Shakespeare, where she can sweep away the secrets of her dark and violent past. However her plan to live a quiet, unobserved life begins to crumble when she discovers the dead body of her nosy landlord. Lily doesn't care who did it, but when the suspicion of the police and local community falls on her she realises if she doesn't unmask the murderer, her life might not just crumble; it might also end.
This is an eminently readable story with a main character that has survived the worst of human behaviour and retreated into herself. Lily Bard keeps herself isolated in the town of Shakespeare – never getting too close to any one and cleaning other people’s homes for money. When she stubbles onto a mysterious figure disposing of a body, she finds herself coming under scrutiny from the local police force...
For the most part this reads like a cosy mystery, with a main character going about their usual business but able to learn more about the murder and victim than the professionals. However, Lily Bard is different in that her past is horrific and traumatic and this impacts her whole life. Where she is living, what she does for a living, her spare time have all been shaped by her past even her self-imposed isolation have all been shaped by one event. This makes Shakespeare’s Landlord a strange beast in that it is a fluffy light story, but with some real bite. There is a certain aftertaste that stays with you...
Lily is a scarred woman but is trying her best and makes some genuine steps forward here and I’m glad I have the next books in this series to follow her journey. I hope she is able to mend herself and find some peace. Charlaine Harris’s writing is familiar to anyone who likes the Sookie Stackhouse series and is extremely easy to read with the pages turning fast. I managed to finish this admittedly slim volume in a day. It was an entertaining read.
Recommended for fans of Ellery Adams and Heather Blake. 7 out of 10