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.
I am a total fan of Charlaine Harris. Shakespeare is a great series to read. Ms. Harris has created great characters of who you really are interested in their life and experiences in the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas.
I found this one harder to read, some of the themes were tough for me to read and not be shaken. More heartfelt then expected I think. I do like the series over all and I am glad Lily finally becomes more human in this one.
I read the Lily Bard books as if they were one big book.
I enjoyed the story arc with Lily and her beau. The stories are not as "snarky funny" as the "Dead" series by the same author but they are sweet and the literary references are amusing.
I didn't like this book as much as the others. I found it sorta of boring and could almost predict the ending. I couldn't do that with the other books in the series!!! I do like how Jack and Lily are features in the Sookie Stackhouse novels though!!!!
damn good book! I remember why I read all the TrueBlood books now! Extremely fast read and lots of twists and turns...I was wondering 'who done it' till the very last chapter...and then it wasn't at all what I expected.
Great addition to the series. Amazing character development and intriguing plots. Cleaning woman and karate expert Lily Bard is a woman with a complicated past. Trying her best to cope with her terrifying memories and horrible nightmares, she decides to join a weekly group therapy session in her hometown of Shakespeare, Arkansas. At first, Lily can hardly believe the number of her fellow Shakespeareans that share her life experiences.
As it turns out, the group members' feelings aren't the only things that need sorting out -- they assemble for a session and find a woman dead, killed in bone-chilling fashion and deliberately left on display to send a twisted message. Who would commit such horrendous crime, and who is the intended recipient of the message?
Before long, Lily becomes embroiled in this disturbing murder and its aftermath, one in which the brutal killer's motives are entirely unclear. The truth is, the situation has dredged up more than a few of her own terrible secrets, and she may not be able to rest until she can untangle the who and why of this terrible crime. But can she accomplish this before the killer strikes again, and before her nightmares send her over the edge?