Friday, June 25, 2010

Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

I don't read much secular fiction these days.  Years ago I did, but over time the amount of coarse language and sex became a bit much for me and I discovered Christian Fiction.  However, there are a few secular series I read with relish (anything by Debbie Macomber... the Elms Creek Quilters series by Chiaverini... the Shenandoah Album series by Emilie Richards to name a few).

I have shared on the blog that we have a new amazing library in my little corner of the world... so close that I could walk... if the temp and humidity ever become bearable!

As I have been perusing the shelves and just marveling at this treasure, I have picked up some books by authors that are new to me.... stretching myself a bit.  Some forays have been delightful.. others not good at all (See previous post on Delta Belles).  Shakespeare's Landlord falls somewhere between the 2 leaning a bit more toward the delightful side.

This is book introduces amateur sleuth Lily Bard of Shakespeare, Arkansas.  I have to admit the Shakespearean link is what caught my eye. I am a huge fan of the Bard... having read most of his works and wrote my Senior Thesis in college on the use of Light and Dark in his plays.  The town's name and Lily's last name are pretty much the only links to ole Will... at least in this book.

The characters are fun.. quirky and eccentric at times... the storyline is fun and well done.  I am one of those folks who usually figure out a mystery early on, but I was very near the end before "whodunit" became clear to me. 

Lily is a loner... with a secret... so she is not thrilled when she stumbles upon a dead body. She does her best to distance herself from the crime, even making an anonymous 911 call... but to no avail.  Her link to the body and her secret soon come rolling out and her life is turned upside down.  Her best bet is to get this crime solved so people can move on and forget it and go back to ignoring her.  

I would caution that there is some coarse language in this book... only 3 or 4 times, but still.. and while there are no grand detailed scenes,  unmarried characters sleep together.  To some these things are trivial.  To others they are deal breakers.  I use to be of the first school... I am finding myself moving more and more towards the latter.  Neither added anything to the story and while I know they are real-world occurrences, I just don't know that I want to read the real world... I spend a lot of time there and when I read, I like real people and settings but cleaned up a bit as the world should be.

Still, all in all it was a nice read.

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