Book Review of Shakespeare's Counselor (Lily Bard, Bk 5)

Shakespeare's Counselor (Lily Bard, Bk 5)
reviewed on + 1620 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2


First Line: I connected with a hard blow to the nose, rolled on top of him, gripped his neck, and started to squeeze.


Few people know this in small town Shakespeare, Arkansas, but Lily Bard not only works for private investigator Jack Leeds, she's married to him. However, being married seems to put more stress on Lily and Jack is taking the brunt of it. Lily is still scarred mentally and physically from her horrendous kidnapping and rape that occurred several years ago. She may never completely recover, but if Jack is to survive unscathed, she knows she has to do something to end her nightmares.

Lily joins a therapy group for victims of rape run by newcomer Tamsin Lynd. When a woman is killed before the second group session, Tamsin is scared to death that a stalker has followed her and her husband Cliff all the way to Arkansas from back East. Lily decides to find out if her therapist is right.

This is a series I've enjoyed from the beginning. Due to her history, Lily is an edgy character who's found it very difficult to let her guard down enough to get close to anyone else. This series has been a gradual letdown of that reserve, showing Lily beginning to heal and to trust others.

As I read Shakespeare's Counselor I got the feeling that the book really wanted to be something else instead of a mystery. Lily's rape and recovery has been a theme throughout the series, and with Harris having her actually join a therapy group and interact with other victims, I felt that this was the direction in which the book really wanted to go. The identity of the murderer strained my credulity a bit, so it would've been interesting to see how the book would have turned out if allowed to follow that different direction.

Harris has no plans to go further in this series, and I don't think there's any point. Lily's well on her way to recovery, and she's got a good partner in Jack. If only it were this simple to get all victims of rape back on the right road!

If you like edgy characters and slightly stronger themes in your cozy mysteries, you might just want to give Lily Bard a try.