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Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery Paperback – 10 Nov 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (10 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575105291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575105294
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charlaine Harris was born in Tunica, Mississippi, and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area in the middle of a cotton field. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and, later, teenage angst, she wrote plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and started writing novels a few years later.

After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched a light-hearted mystery series 'starring' Georgia librarian Aurora Teagarden. The first of the eight books, Real Murders, was shortlisted for Best Novel in the 1990 Agatha Awards. In 1996, she released the first of the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses.

Charlaine Harris then wrote the first of her Southern vampire mysteries starring Sookie Stackhouse, the quirky, telepathic waitress who works in a bar in the fictional Northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. Dead Until Dark won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery. It also won Harris a whole new fan club of devoted readers and pushed her into the bestseller lists. The Sookie Stackhouse series, in which Sookie has to deal with vampires, werecreatures and other supernatural folk - not to mention her own complicated love life - was also instrumental in creating the urban fantasy genre.

Sookie Stackhouse also enchanted Alan Ball, creator of the smash TV show Six Feet Under, who took an option and wrote and directed the pilot episode for True Blood himself. It was an instant hit when it premiered in the US, and that success was repeated when it was first aired in Britain last year. The second season of TRUE BLOOD will start this spring.

Harris's newest series features Harper Connelly, a young woman who, after being struck by lightning, finds herself able to locate the bodies of the dead and to determine the cause of their death. There are four Harper titles (Grave Sight, Grave Surprise, An Ice Cold Grave and Grave Secret).

Charlaine Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. She is married, the mother of three, and lives in a small town in Southern Arkansas. When she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously!


Here are the Sookie Stackhouse True Blood novels in series order:

Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse 1
Living Dead In Dallas: Sookie Stackhouse 2
Club Dead: Sookie Stackhouse 3
Dead To The World: Sookie Stackhouse 4
Dead As A Doornail: Sookie Stackhouse 5
Definitely Dead: Sookie Stackhouse 6
All Together Dead: Sookie Stackhouse 7
From Dead To Worse: Sookie Stackhouse 8
Dead And Gone: Sookie Stackhouse 9
Dead In The Family: Sookie Stackhouse 10
A Touch Of Dead (a Sookie Stackhouse short story collection_

Here are the Harper Connelly novels in series order:

Grave Sight: Harper Connelly 1
Grave Surprise: Harper Connelly 2
An Ice Cold Grave: Harper Connelly 3
Grave Secret: Harper Connelly 4

Product Description

Review

" Fresher, more unusual, than any other mystery I've read lately." --"The Washington Post Book World" " This one works on every level. The writing and plotting are first-rate." --"The Washington Times" " A seamless story...In her Lily Bard novels, Charlaine Harris blends a noirish atmosphere with a traditional mystery." --"Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel"

Book Description

A must-read mystery from the No. 1 Bestseling author behind HBO's award winning TRUE BLOOD series!

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Dec 1998
Format: Hardcover
Shakespeare's Christmas is the third and most recent entry in the Lily Bard mystery series, and the first of Charlaine Harris' books that I've had the pleasure of reading. 
Lily Bard is a maid with a past, and much, much more -- she's one of the amateur sleuth genre's most fascinating heroines. In Shakespeare, Arkansas Lily leads a relatively simple life cleaning houses, working out, and studying karate. Still struggling to deal with the physical and emotional aftermath of a terribly violent past, Lily is a complicated and mysterious woman who readers will get to know fairly well in Shakespeare's Christmas.
When Lily returns to her family's hometown of Bartley, Tennessee to participate in her sister's wedding, she (with the rather unexpected assistance of sexy boyfriend and P. I. Jack Leeds) tries to uncover the facts surrounding a mystery that is four years old. Four years ago, an infant was stolen from her parents and years later, an anonymous note arrives, indicating that the missing child is alive and living under a changed name in Bartley.  As Lily and Jack search for the missing child, they start narrowing down the list of suspects, and suddenly the quiet town of Bartley is shattered by a series of violent deaths that hit close to home for Lily.
Ultimately, Lily and Jack are left with only a few possible suspects, one of whom happens to be the man Lily's sister is about to marry. Harris' ability to combine a great who-done-it with some wonderful regional southern flavor and a compelling heroine put Shakespeare's Christmas into a class of its own in mystery series.
If you're looking for a great stocking stuffer for mystery fans, you've just found it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Scriber_scouse VINE VOICE on 18 April 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third installment of the Lily Bard series and I think the most compelling. Lily Bard lives in small town Shakespeare, Arkansas a small town populated by eccentric characters, a place where everyone knows everyone else's business and Lily as the town cleaner knows more of those secrets than most.

Lily Bard is an incredible and surprisingly complex character for the genre. After surviving a vicious gang rape and attempted murder Lily hones herself into an organic weapon with martial arts training. One thing that Lily hasn't faced up to in moving on from her troubled memories is her family. In this installment she reluctantly goes home to reunite with her family for her sister's wedding but trouble, not just of the personal kind, comes home to roost with her. Lily's new love Jack, a private detective ends up spending Christmas in her home town too, as he tracks down a missing child who was abducted years ago. The problem is that he has three likely suspects including Lily's soon to be new brother in law.

This is a wonderfully crafted novel, the mystery cracks on at a terrific pace seamlessly blending with the personal angst of the overall character arc. The reactions of Lily's parents regarding their daughter's attack are sensitively handled and Harris eschews taking the easy sloppily characterised route and delivers an uncompromising look at the darker heart of small town America.

This is a keeper and well worth shelling money out for. It would be all too easy to make Lily a whiner or self pitying but for the most part this is neatly avoided, and her tragedy is never overplayed there is a particularly lovely scene about her friendship with a boy she grew up with who is now a cop. The overall child abduction mystery keeps you guessing until the last page. I don't give 5 stars lightly but this earned it on every level.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this third chapter in the life of Lily Bard, a cleaning woman with a bent for cleaning up murder mysteries. I find the characters so life-like and believable that I can't wait for the fourth in this series. This time out we learn more about Lily's family and get some insight into what helped form Lily into the person that she is. I really enjoyed meeting her mom and dad and sister-about to be married-Varena. The mysterious Jack Leeds is back again and involved with Lily and the kidnapping investigation. This is a cozy on the darkish side but I think cozy readers will enjoy it as much as I did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Jan 1999
Format: Hardcover
If you haven't met Lily Bard of Shakespeare, Ak, you are in for a rare treat in the mystery genre. A victim of gang rape, coupled with a vicious knifing, Lily has reinvented herself, left home and become a cleaning lady in a small town. Now, however, she must go home for her sister's wedding and the family from whom she's become almost estranged. On her first morning home, she and her sister discover the bludgeoned bodies of a doctor and his nurse. Also in town on the case of a child abducted years before is the new love of Lily's life, Jack. One of the suspects in the kidnapping is her sister's widowed fiance. A taut, well-told tale of suspense with three dimensional characters. I would suggest that before reading this, one should read "Shakepeare's Landlord" and "Shakespeare's Champion." This different and much darker series by the author of the Aurora Teagarden books should not be missed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
Another cracking Harris title and one that for the time of year is going to be a lot of fun to help the reader unwind from the hard days preparations. As with the other titles its wonderfully creative, the cast continues to grow and with the current mystery its one that is going to be hearbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. It's intriguing, it's an arc that won't let you go and its definitely one that will stay with you until the final page is turned and you discover all the inner truths behind the latest tale.

Well written, thought provoking and it's a cracking read all in that I absolutely couldn't put down. It really does show how far Charlaine has come on in these series and why she's one of the biggest names in the Urban Fantasy genre today.
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