Being a fan of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels and awaiting the next in the series (Spring 2011) with baited breath, I recently dove into The Lily Bard Mysteries, my first foray into a different Harris-created universe. For fans of the author's Southern vampires, the straightforwardness of the Lily Bard mysteries may take some getting used to. There's nothing supernatural in Shakespeare, Arkansas, Lily's adopted home, but the small town intrigue that makes Sookie's life in Bon Temps so remarkable also prevails in Lily Bard's Shakespeare. Lily is something of a real life Buffy the Vampire Slayer without the vampires: time and time again, she unknowingly finds herself in dangerous situations where her martial arts skills are needed. Despite a few anti-social quirks and a painful history, by book number five, Lily has become a true gumshoe heroine.
The five compiled novels in the omnibus play host to the secret pasts and desires of a colorful host of characters, with Harris' trademark humor and casual language fully in tow. The titles, in order, are as follows:
In this INTERVIEW Harris comments on Lily Bard and how some of her own past is reflected in the character (scroll down, the interview is preceded by a review and a list of the author's published works).