Shakespeare, Arkansas, is home to endless back roads, historic buildings, colorful residents--and the occasional murder. It is also home to Lily Bard, the local karate expert/cleaning woman with a particular knack for finding skeletons in closets.
But when the local woman of ill repute is found murdered, being familiar with her dirty laundry could make Lily the next Shakespearean to die.
"There's nothing more revealing about people than the mess they leave for someone else," says Lily Bard, who has the perfect job for an amateur sleuth--she's a cleaning lady in the small, close-knit town of Shakespeare, Ark. A detached and wary observer of others, Lily reluctantly finds herself investigating the murder of one of her employers, Deedra Dean, in her latest engaging outing (after 1998's Shakespeare's Christmas). It's Lily's misfortune to discover Deedra's violated body in her car on a deserted road, the apparent victim of a tryst gone sour. For Lily, who already knows more than she wants about the promiscuous young woman's habits, the details don't add up. Since many of her other clients are related to Deedra, Lily endures their catty, sometimes malicious gossip, but when she helps Deedra's mother clean out the dead woman's apartment, she quietly disposes of Deedra's collection of compromising photos and videos. The nature of the crime forces Lily to deal with her own scars, legacies of the brutal abduction and rape in Memphis that sent her scrambling for the tranquil environs of Shakespeare. A wise, self-counseled soul, as well as a skilled karate student and fitness buff, Lily is just foolhardy enough to charge into a burning house to save a frail, mean old man. Indeed, Lily has such an engaging voice, full of pain and redemption, that the collecting of clues and the unfolding of the crime take a back seat to her personal story. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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May 03, 2004
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