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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entry in the Amateur Sleuth Genre!
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...
Published on 18 Dec. 1998

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS
The third in the Lily Bard/Shakespeare Mystery series. At last a plot that has some substance to it, a whodunit that though the reason why is fairly obvious the perpetrator is less so.

Interesting that the author chose this, the third book in the series, to really explore the aftermath of Lily's assault not just through the eyes of those closest to Lily but...
Published on 15 Dec. 2012 by Tracy Terry


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entry in the Amateur Sleuth Genre!, 18 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Intense- the Expresso of the Cozy Genre, 18 April 2006
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
4.0 out of 5 stars A Darker Side Of Cozy, 4 April 1999
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written and charactered series., 10 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, heartbreaking and triumphant, 7 Nov. 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not overly festive but enjoyable mystery, 4 Dec. 2011
By 
Curiosity Killed The Bookworm (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery (Paperback)
Lily is looking forward to spending Christmas with Jack but first she must return to her home town, and the family she ran from, for her sister's wedding. Before she leaves, she reads an article in the paper about unsolved crimes including a baby snatched around Thanksgiving eight years earlier. When she gets to Bartley, she's horrified to be in the middle of a murder case once more...

Another good mystery from Charlaine Harris. I did think Lily's family were going to be horrible when compared to her thoughts in previous books but they seemed like a nice normal family whose worst crime was caring for her. With a title like Shakespeare's Christmas you'd expect it to be quite festive but the plot unfolds around the wedding plans instead and you would be able to read this any time of year.

Being away from home Lily spends less time working out although she does manage to squeeze in some cleaning!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OUTSIDE HER COMFORT ZONE, 23 Dec. 2011
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery (Paperback)
This third novel sees Lily Bard in Bartley, where she grew up. Although her sister Varena is to marry just before Christmas, back in Shakespeare is where Lily longs to be. Family, friends and neighbours are only too aware of the gang rape and mutilations years ago that drove her away. She really cannot cope with all the pity, hugs, small talk and socializing now expected. Suddenly deaths rock the small sleepy town. At once she is more in her element - especially when her lover Jack Leeds unexpectedly appears....

Astute fans may early fathom the reason for the murders, although the killer's identity is less easy to deduce.

This proves a lighter read than the earlier books. Amusingly we join Lily on a Christmas parade float, reluctantly distributing candy to children. In due course she is babysitting ultra-lively young ones. Unfamiliar pursuits for a martial arts expert!

Nevertheless what happens here is more moving than before. Her family and friends are loving and genuinely care for her. They simply did not, and do not, know how best to react. Those horrendous events changed everything. However hard they try, Lily can never be what she once was.

For several reasons, serious thoughts are provoked. For victims of such savage assaults can there ever be full recovery? Charlaine Harris skilfully makes us feel for Lily and for all those who have similarly suffered.

Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and compelling, 14 Oct. 2012
By 
Wendy Jones "wjones7423" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery (Paperback)
I realise from the other reviews that this is Charlaine Harris's third novel about Lily Bard. I had not read the previous books but this did not matter as it worked well as a stand alone novel. I picked this book up in the library thinking it was going to be a cozy mystery and I couldn't have been more wrong. Lily has returned to her hometown for her sisters wedding, with all the difficulties that presents her when relating to her family. Her past has an impact on this, but the reasons are laid out clearly in this book, and as I say it does not rely on the first two books for a back story. Lily is a complex woman with a lot of anxieties, but this makes her a real person. Her boyfriend, an ex policeman turned PI is also in town, with clues to finding an eight year old who had been kidnapped when she was 8 weeks old. They no sooner arrive than dead bodies start turning up and they find themselves in deeper than they thought. It is a steadily paced mystery with some episodes of on your seat tension. The characters play out well, and work well together. I found myself liking them and rooting for them. I liked this book, and despite knowing a little of the back story I will certainly be reading the first 2 books in the series and any another books by this author
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS, 15 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery (Paperback)
The third in the Lily Bard/Shakespeare Mystery series. At last a plot that has some substance to it, a whodunit that though the reason why is fairly obvious the perpetrator is less so.

Interesting that the author chose this, the third book in the series, to really explore the aftermath of Lily's assault not just through the eyes of those closest to Lily but also through Lily herself's eyes, though this works ok as a stand alone novel it is because of this that I think the books are probably best read in order.

Though still full of coincidences, highly contrived and somewhat lacking in reality (what would law enforcement be without she who solves crimes others fail to?), with none (or very little anyway) of the usual house cleaning and gym elements to the story at last we are rewarded to a good 'old fashioned' murder mystery in which we get to know a far more well-rounded and less one- dimensional Lily.

Enjoyable enough, after reading this I'm at least more inclined to read the other two remaining books in the series.

Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery
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5.0 out of 5 stars a fun read, 25 Mar. 2012
By 
Cloggie Downunder (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Shakespeare's Christmas is the third in the Lily Bard series by Charlaine Harris. It's almost Christmas and Shakespeare's endless tinny carols and tacky decorations are driving her crazy, but when Lily Bard has to return to her hometown of Bartley for her sister Varena's Christmas Eve wedding, she is unenthusiastic. She loves her family but everyone in Bartley looks at her and remembers the traumatic events of seven years ago. Lily would much rather stay in her little cottage with Jack. In the midst of all the wedding preamble, Lily and Varena discover the local doctor and his nurse, bludgeoned to death at their surgery. Not much later, Jack turns up to see Lily, but also on a case: a baby was kidnapped eight years ago, and an anonymous tip has brought him to Hartley. One of the possible candidates for the abducted girl is Lily's prospective niece, Anna: is her sister's fiancé, Dill, a kidnapper? Are the murders of the doctor and nurse related? In this instalment, Lily: apprehends a purse snatcher; babysits five children; attends two wedding showers; goes riding with an old boyfriend; takes part in a Christmas Parade; becomes a Maid of Honour; buys some really nice clothes; belches a baby without shoulder protection and even cleans a few houses. Lily's relationship with Jack takes a serious turn, and she proves, once again, that she can take care of herself. I look forward to Shakespeare's Trollop.
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Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery
Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery by Charlaine Harris (Paperback - 10 Nov. 2011)
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