Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare’s Landlord (#1)

Next: Shakespeare’s Champion (#2)

From Charlaine Harris, the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author behind HBO’s hit series True Blood and NBC’s Midnight, Texas, the first in a series of mysteries that hits as hard as its heroine… 

Lily Bard has no illusions about her little town being safe, or peaceful, or full of goodness. Shakespeare, Arkansas, was nothing but a name on a map when she moved here. But Lily has kept her head down in Shakespeare for four years: cleaned houses, blocked unwelcome memories, and honed her body into a weapon with goju karate. It’s as long as she’s lasted anywhere since the nightmare that changed her life, and she’s willing to dust around the skeletons in her neighbors’ closets—provided they mind their business about her past, too.

But when a dead body is dumped practically in her front yard, she can’t look away and leave it to innocents to find. And as the investigation creeps closer to Lily, her clients, and the secrets they all keep, she knows her hard-fought peace is in danger. She’s living in close quarters with a murderer. The police are sniffing around her history. And once again, all eyes are on Lily Bard.

She could leave town, and give up on the home she’s begun to make. Or she could stay, and root out the killer herself…


“Lily’s an ingratiating heroine, and the author’s easy style makes this one an engaging breeze.”


“Harris has created an intriguing new character in this solidly plotted story.”


“Harris’ finely tuned, colorful and suspenseful tale, filled with vigorous and unique characters, will leave readers hoping it’s the start of a series.”

Publishers Weekly

“Charlaine Harris ventures into new, darker territory […] A memorable character, Lily brings new meaning to the term strong woman. She’s the equal of Kay Scarpetta, Kinsey Milhone and V. I. Warshawski even on a bad day.”

Library Journal

“Harris had done an incredible job launching her new character [...] A well-constructed psychological study that moves at a steady pace, SHAKESPEARE’S LANDLORD also takes a look at how society often views victims of violent crimes.”

Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel


Albuquerque Journal

“Harris has down pat the laid-back atmosphere, country friendliness and occasional sordid secrets of small-town South. SHAKESPEARE’S LANDLORD is a satisfying introduction to a fascinating, complex set of characters. Just keep ’em coming.”

Arkansas Democrat Gazette

“Harris writes about Lily with a quiet compassion that is compelling. A fine writer has written her best book yet.”

The Dead Beat

“Low-key and entertaining […] exactly what you need from a mystery.”


“The story is riveting, and Lily’s triumphant progress from scarred loner to fierce fighter is very rewarding. Bravo, Ms. Harris!”

Pen & Dagger

“The charm of this book lies not in the plot but in its characters, particularly enigmatic Lily whose unfolding history will draw you in.”

The Poisoned Pen

“Lily is as human and likeable as her new town. This is a sparkling series debut.”

Tulsa World

“This book feels light and warm. It also has a full complement of the eminently realistic eccentric characters with whom Harris peoples her books. Reading a book by Charlaine Harris is like meeting with your favorite neighbor in a small Southern town over coffee and cookies in her kitchen and having a cozy chat with lots of juicy gossip. I look forward to reading other books in the series.”

Rhapsody in Books

“Harris’s writing is vivid but also easy going […] SHAKESPEARE’S LANDLORD is a fun cosy mystery. Harris weaves her writerly magic once again and has captured my imagination.”

Book Chick City

“This is a short, well-written mystery that will hook you on the Shakespeare/Lily Bard series, written so ably by Charlaine Harris […] I found the book to be quite humorous as Lily has a wry, dry sense of humor that is very appealing. I highly recommend this book to mystery buffs and for those who enjoyed any of Mrs. Harris’ other books.”

All Readers

“Charlaine Harris leads us expertly to the discovery of the murderer of Pardon Albee with a taut climax where Lily gains some scars and bruises to add to those she already has. Like Hansel and Gretel, Harris has carefully distributed breadcrumbs of suspense and intrigue throughout the narrative, titbits about the residents featured and vignettes of delight when interacting with Lily and these all serve to invite readers to return safely to Shakespeare and the adventures of its heroine, Lily Bard. And it won’t be long before this reader does.”

Rachel Deeming

Awards & Accolades


Mostly Murder: “Year's Best”