Tuesday, 25 January 2011

THE LILY BARD MYSTERIES #3: Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard just wanted to start life over - but life had different ideas. A thrilling crime series from an international bestseller!

This omnibus contains the titles SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD, SHAKESPEARE'S CHAMPION, SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS, SHAKESPEARE'S TROLLOP and SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR.

Lily Bard is starting over again. She's disguised herself as much as she can, cutting her hair short and wearing baggy clothes and she's moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, where, working as a cleaning lady, she can sweep away the secrets of her dark, violent past.

But Shakespeare is not the peaceful little community Lily had hoped for and her idea of just fading into the background looks like it's doomed right from the beginning, when she discovers the dead body of her landlord...

Before long, everyone is going to know Lily Bard's name.

This is the third book in The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, and I'm really enjoying this series. I have to admit that I'm a little sad, because I only have two more books left to read. :(

Lily Bard is a very tough cleaning lady. She lifts weights, knows how to fight, and can take care of herself just fine. She likes to keep to herself and is really looking forward to spending Christmas with her new beau, Jack Leeds. She's also decided to expand on her business. There's not much she's afraid of and certainly doesn't shy away from telling it how it is. But there is one thing that can weaken her: going back to Bartley, to visit her family.

That's exactly what happens in this excellent installment of this very clever series.

Lily's younger sister, Varena, is getting married and she's agreed to go to the wedding. So she drives out there with new clothes, knowing she's going to be one of the bridesmaids, and just wanting it to be over. Everyone in the small town she grew up in knows what happened to her in the past, and most look at her in a way that reminds her. Still, the town's grown a bit and new residents have settled in. All people that she winds up meeting during one of the many social functions leading up to the wedding.

Of course, this is Lily. So, just because she's not in Shakespeare, it doesn't mean that crime doesn't follow her. Now, she finds herself in the middle of a double-murder, soon followed by another, and it all seems to relate back to the missing child's case that Jack is also in this town investigating at the same time.

Shakespeare's Christmas takes a different approach to Lily's usual story. The murder-mystery doesn't slam you in the face as soon as you start reading, but slowly develops and shocks you when it does turn up. Almost as much as the horrible things Lily and Jack slowly uncover, while trying to keep her sister's upcoming wedding unblemished. It was an interesting glimpse into Lily's past, and meeting her family and past friends was a nice, personal touch too.

Once again, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next two...

The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, January 2011, ISBN 9780575096448, Gollancz Paperback

M&SRC books read: 3/12

2 comments :

anniemishi_xo said...

I just finished the 2nd book in the Lily Bard series and after your review, i'm really excited to read the next one!

btw, new follower here! ;D

-Annie
http://xxanniemishi.blogspot.com/

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

Hi Annie! Thanks so much. I'm really enjoying this series, and just started the fourth book this morning. Poor Lily, she can't seem to get away from crime. ;)

Thanks for dropping in!

 
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