A new heroine for the author of the Aurora Teagarden series (The Julius House, 1995, etc.), and a far cry from that southern belle. Lily Bard owns a tiny house, next door to a small apartment building, in the tiny town of Shakespeare. She cleans houses, offices, and apartments for a living, has made no friends in her four years in Shakespeare, and spends her leisure time in fitness and karate classes run by Marshall Sedaka. Late one night, on a lonely walk, Lily sees a hooded figure pushing her loaded garbage wagon to a park across the street. Its burden turns out to be the body of Pardon Albee, nosy landlord of the apartment house. Lily anonymously calls Police Chief Claude Friedrich to report it, but her fiercely hidden past, now known to Friedrich, raises his suspicions. And so Lily feels driven to look for Albee's killer among his tenants and the townspeople--Marshall's estranged wife Thea; tenants Deedra Dean and Tom O'Hagan; and nasty drunk Norvel Whitbread, the church janitor, are only some of Shakespeare's citizens with things to hide. It takes Lily a while to come up with the right answers, even as her massive psychological sores begin to heal. The gripping tension of the opening chapters evaporates quickly; there's also an overload of sex sessions and karate lore. Still, Lily's an ingratiating heroine, and the author's easy style makes this one an engaging breeze.