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on 19 July 2017
A good easy read, great characters.
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on 23 February 2007
Shakespeare's Counselor is the fifth Lily bard book and a really good read. As usual there is a murder and Lily gets dragged into solving it purely by circumstance.

Lily reluctantly joins a support group for rape victims as she is having trouble dealing with her past and despite herself actually seems to benefit from the group. Unfortunately, before too long somebody dies and Lily gets dragged into solving the case. There are lots of twists and turns and enough to keep you guessing right up to the end when the murderer is revealed.

Her relationship with Jack also deepens and the two seem to grow to trust each other on a deeper level. Lily also starts working for Jacks PI firm, partly because her cleaning business is slightly flagging and partly because she seems to end up solving crimes all the time anyway so why not get paid for it.

This is most likely the last Lily novel as Charlaine Harris is busy on other projects! I hope she revisits her in the future.

If you liked the others then you will like this one and if you haven't read them you should check them out. Use Amazons link to the series. They are good airplane or holiday books as they are short and entertaining.

The Lily Bard ("Shakespeare") Series
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 6 January 2012
Even now no escape from the horrendous events of six years before? A nightmare and its startling aftermath make Lily realize she needs urgent therapy. It certainly helps to meet other rape victims striving to come to terms, but the therapist has problems of her own and a body is found on the premises....

Never does Charlaine Harris minimise the traumas that dog those subjected to violent crime. The five Lily Bard novels depict one trying so hard to adjust. Moving to a new neighbourhood. Throwing herself into her work (cleaning for local residents). Martial arts in order to ensure she can protect herself. Much walking at night to ensure better sleep.

The last thing needed is arrival of a writer intent on dragging up the past - aim a sensational book guaranteed to sell well.

Another disturbing, engrossing read. The final chapters, though, waver a little - introduction of characters with no real part to play, a melodramatic climax that perhaps does not really convince? (Splendid material, though, for intense discussion at book groups!)

Such reservations aside, the whole series deserves praise - Lily splendidly resilient (but vulnerable), she so determined not to be one of Life's permanent victims. The great hope is that she will find happiness with a loved one and friends. Is this to be? Many readers will turn pages anxiously in order to find out.

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VINE VOICEon 7 November 2011
The last one for now and one that delves into the mysteries associated with the past for the principle character Lily. It's well written, its emotional and the principle players take their relationship to a deeper level emotionally and spiritually within the context. It's a beautiful book and when you add Charlaine's trademark writing traits into the mystery alongside the plot it's a book that really will have you on tenterhooks.

Add to this a wonderful sense of fulfilment as emotional wounds begin to heal and the reader really is in for a treat in this current farewell to a cracking series. All round a great experience and one I'm pleased that Gollancz has chosen to print for the UK audience.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 March 2012
Shakespeare's Counselor is the fifth in the Lily Bard series by Charlaine Harris. Lily Bard, Shakespeare's first-rate house cleaner, has decided to train as a Private Investigator, so is working for Jack Leeds. She has also finally admitted that she needs counselling for the trauma she suffered some years ago in Memphis, so joins a group of rape survivors moderated by therapist Tamsin Lynd. But Tamsin has some problems of her own, in the form of a persistent and dangerous stalker. When one of the group members is found, just prior to a therapy session, impaled by stake on the noticeboard in Tamsin's office, Lily wonders if it is a case of mistaken identity, or a message, and if so, for whom. In this instalment, Lily works in a gym, takes part in a stake-out, lands in the hospital, does quite a bit of sleeping and learns the effects of a stun gun, firsthand. Lily Bard is a very human heroine, acknowledging her faults as well as her strengths, and with each book, she becomes less prickly and more sociable. Whilst I would love to read more of Lily Bard, in a way I am grateful that Harris has seen fit to stop before she has done a Jessica Fletcher and killed off everyone in Shakespeare. The Lily Bard series were my first taste of Charlaine Harris, but I will certainly read more of her work. A fitting ending to the series.
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on 5 December 2010
The most disappointing thing about this book is that it's the last of the Lily Bard series currently available. Harris is focusing a lot more of her energy on the far more popular Sookie Stackhouse series, which is absolutely her right. But I would love to have another of these to look forward to reading another of the Lily Bard books.
This book has Lily softening quite a bit from previous books. She seeks counseling after she has a PTSD episode has her attacking Jack in her sleep, and, meanwhile, she has an upsetting medical situation that forces her to take it easy, lest she wind up injuring herself. Neither of these situations make her weak; this is still the same buff, tough Lily Bard, but one who's willing to concede that she's not the only one who suffers if she hurts, and who puts forth a much greater effort to see things from others' eyes.
What I liked best about this book is that it addresses the disappointing victim-blaming mentality Lily engages in from earlier books. Lily is given good reason to rethink her stance, and the argument given in the book is sound. I was relieved to see that Harris wasn't promoting the notion, implicitly or not, that women are to blame for what someone else does to them.
I can't remember the last time I read a book this fast. I got through it in one sitting
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on 13 February 2013
A great ending to the series, I think it wise of the author to end it now before it all becomes too formulaic, the plots and characters totally predictable.

Probably the most far-fetched of all the books and yet despite this it was my favourite.

Not perfect by any means, largely unfeasible, at times lacking focus and with an ending that left me feeling a tad confused, but finally I got to know a slightly more mellow, less robotic Lily.

Also ten out of ten to Charlaine Harris who, through Lily's therapy group sessions, explored some of the issues surrounding violence towards women. Not always comfortable reading but certainly thought provoking, I thought it brave of her to address these in a novel.

Whilst each of the five books in the series is a self-contained mystery and therefore readable in there own right I recommend you read them in order if you are going to read the full collection.

Copyright: Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper.

Shakespeare's Counselor: A Lily Bard Mystery
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 November 2012
Lily Bard is a cleaning woman with a sad and notorious past. She lives in the small town of Shakespeare and the locals have no secrets from someone who checks out their drawers and washing. A past rape victim, she takes self-defence classes and walks at night rather than have nightmares.
In this fifth book Lily has been urged to join a therapy group and one evening she arrives to find the counsellor has been killed in her office. Lily begins to have doubts about the people she knows - some intimately.
She has a boyfriend called Jack who is a PI and now she starts to work for him, with a chase through a hardware store at night for action at the end.
This is a good series, full of personal detail and small concerns, rather than the author's Sookie Stackhouse vampire series which started off well but escalated beyond my caring about the characters.
Better for women than men, but great for mystery fans. (If I lived in Shakespeare, given the murder rate, I'd leave.)
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VINE VOICEon 22 February 2013
Charlaine Harris has done it again with another superb book in the Lily Bard Mystery Series. Lily has decided to go for counseling to deal with her past. True to form she is soon tripping over dead bodies and everyone is confiding in her. This wasn't what she signed up for but clenches her teeth, listens, and sets out to solve the mystery. Of course there are a lot of twists and turns and mishaps along the way. The book flows well and moves along at a decent pace. It is not an on the edge of your seat mystery but there are certainly moments like this.The characters are believable and mostly likeable and it was really nice to find out a lot more about Lily's personal life and her past. I would highly recommend this book and it is well worth reading.
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on 3 July 2014
I got really absorbed by this novel. It focuses as much on Lily Bard’s relationship with Jack, and the personal demons she has to deal with, as it does on the mystery in hand. The two interweave well though, and the personal stuff complements the whodunit element. It’s a thoughtful book; not one that drags you along at lightning speed, but I would have found it less satisfying if it had.
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