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The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus Paperback – Nov 25 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (Nov. 25 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575096446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575096448
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 5.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,509,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Lily Bard is starting over again. She's disguised herself as much as she can, cutting her hair short and wearing baggy clothes, and she's moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, where, working as a cleaning lady, she can sweep away the secrets of her dark, violent past. But Shakespeare is not the peaceful little community Lily had hoped for, and her idea of just fading into the background looks like it's doomed right from the beginning, when she discovers the dead body of her landlord ...Before long, everyone is going to know Lily Bard's name.

About the Author

Charlaine Harris is the author of several NEW YORK TIMES bestselling series. She is married, with children, and lives in Arkansas.

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By Byron Freeman on Jan. 1 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Charlaine Harris at her Murder-Mystery best! April 9 2011
By Alpha Reader - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I first read Charlaine Harris's `Lily Bard' series shortly after discovering her `Southern Vampire: Sookie Stackhouse' books. I wanted to fill the Sookie void between books, and thought reading Harris's previous works would be a good start. I'm so glad I did, because this series is now one of my all-time favourites.

`Lily Bard' is by far Harris's darkest work. When Charlaine Harris was younger she was the victim of a sexual assault. With this knowledge in mind, it becomes clear that the `Lily Bard' series is perhaps closest to Charlaine's heart.

Lily Bard has a tragic history. She is a rape survivor. So horrific and awful was the assault, and so dramatic was her escape, that Lily's name and story were in the news for months following her recovery. Because of the undue media attention Lily effectively went into hiding; finding the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas on a map and deciding that she would live out her life in solitude. Before escaping into anonymity Lily underwent a physical change; she discovered bodybuilding and set herself the task of making her body into a weapon so that she would never again feel physically threatened.

I love Charlaine Harris. She is a beautiful writer, able to effortlessly flip between fresh prose and acerbic wit. Her stories are often fanciful, but grounded in reality. And her heroines all follow the same mould of being utterly ordinary women living extraordinary lives. Sookie Stackhouse, for instance, is a thoroughly ordinary waitress whose life is irrevocably changed when a vampire walks into her town. Likewise, Lily Bard is a cleaning lady whose loner-existence is changed when her landlord is murdered. Charlaine's other murder-mystery series, `Aurora Teagarden', has a title character who is a librarian but finds herself thrown into a murder investigation when a friend is found bludgeoned to death.
The contrast of ordinary woman/extraordinary circumstances has more meaning in the `Lily Bard' series than any other of Charlaine's works. Lily's extraordinary circumstances can be stretched to the event that brought her to Shakespeare, Arkansas to begin with - her rape. Lily was an ordinary girl when one event changed the entire trajectory of her life.

The `Lily Bard' series is very dark - far more so than Charlaine's other books, even the most recent Sookie novels. But surprisingly enough the Bard series has a very clear, uplifting message at its centre. The series is ultimately about reconnecting. In the beginning Lily is a determined loner, scarred by the events of her past, Lily is convinced that the key to her well-being lies in never allowing anyone to get close to her. Over the course of five books however, we witness Lily making tentative connections with those around her - she finds romance, love, and friendship and learns that these connections are important to her continued physical and mental recovery. It is a beautiful message - and seems to be Charlaine imparting her own wisdom to victims about how to continue living your life without fear of the past. And although the series has a lot of darkness, it ultimately ends on a high-note and happy ending.

I love this series, not least of all because of Lily Bard herself. Lily is a ballsy, funny, loyal and hard-working woman. When you learn, in explicit detail, the events of her rape your respect for Lily increases ten-fold. In the beginning Lily is defined by the rape. The ordeal shaped her entire life - she moved far away from home (and the pitying looks of family and friends) to live out a life in quiet, safe solitude. She began bodybuilding as a means to protect herself, so fearful that the past would repeat itself. Clearly letting tragedy define who you become is no way to live - and Charlaine articulates this message beautifully through the character of Lily as she evolves throughout the five books. In each book there is a new murder-mystery, and as the local cleaning lady privy to the skeletons in her client's closets, Lily finds herself at the centre of all of the cases. Through these mysteries Lily is able to measure her own mettle, push herself and discover the levels of her bravery;

I also love this series because of the romance at its centre. In book two `Shakespare's Champion' Lily finds her leading man - Jack Leeds - and trust me when I say he is H-O-T. The Bard series also has one of my all-time favourite secondary characters - Bobo - the son of one of Lily's cleaning clients who pines after her in the sweetest puppy-love fashion.

If fans of the `Sooke Stackhouse' books come to the `Lily Bard' series with a hope that it will scratch a Sookie itch, they will be disappointed. This is in no way supernatural or urban fantasy. This series is strictly murder-mystery. The only similarities between the books are Charlaine's love of a good, steamy romance for her heroines, ordinary leading ladies leading extraordinary lives and doing so with tremendous courage and biting wit.

Highly recommend this series.

P.S. - Sookie fans might be interested to know that Lily Bard and Jack Leeds make a cross-over appearance in Sookie book #5, 'Dead as a Doornail'.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lily Bard Omnibus Aug. 22 2011
By Elizabeth Yurack - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very happy to receive this book since some of the five novels were unavailable at my library. Since it was a new copy the vendor got it to me in good shape and faster than I expected it to arrive. I was very pleased with the experience.
Lily has gumption July 14 2013
By Kelli of I'd So Rather Be Reading - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I found the Lily Bard series to be much better than Harris' Aurora Teagarden series. I understand that the Aurora Teagarden series was Harris' debut, and it shows. It seems like debut novels/series are just a toss-up. They could be The Help good, or Beautiful Creatures bad.

Lily has been through a very traumatic ordeal and is recovering from that in a new town. She cleans houses for a living and practices self-defense in her spare time. I like how Charlaine Harris sticks to the same themes for her series: single women living alone, often working in simple jobs, recovering from a sometimes tragic past, whose lives get really interesting after one or a series of events. The reader comes in when the protagonist's life gets interesting. I guess that appeals to me because I am a lover of consistency!

I think the reason why I liked this series much better than the Aurora Teagarden series is that I respected and liked Lily so much. I like a female lead who can take care of herself, and Lily certainly can. Like the Aurora Teagarden series, each book in this series is a mystery that gets solved by the end of the book with the story of Lily's love life continuing between books. I like the end of the series---things are wrapped up but not unrealistically so.

Just One Gripe:
This series is heavy on the everyday life. More so than the Sookie series.

The Best Thing About This Series:
I like Lily. She's got gumption!
strong, empathetic characters, great small town setting Nov. 5 2012
By Deborah - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
much less famous than Sookie Stackhouse, Lily Bard is equally wonderful.
Lily moves to the small Arkansas town of Shakespeare to work as a domestic cleaner, or maid, looking for a quiet life. But Small towns of course have their own secrets, and sometimes open conflicts. Charlaine Harris has created a marvellous flawed heroine in Lily - I admire Lily's strength of character, feel for her loneliness, understand her defensive habit of keeping people at arm's length. And reading these great mystery novels also inspires me to exercise more (much lighter weights than Lily can lift!) and do a little to tackle my untidy house (how I wish Lily were real and living in my neighbourhood - and that I could afford to hire her as my cleaner!).
Love, desire, hatred, greed, bigotry, friendlienss - there's a terrific ensemble of characters around Lily whose stories intersect naturally in the small community of Shakespeare.
Always a good read Sept. 8 2012
By Smartcat - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love all of Charlaine Harris' writings. She uses such descriptive language that it becomes like watching a movie in your mind. You might expect her to run out of ideas for crimes to solve but the stories she writes never become stale. The Lily Bard Mysteries are not going to dissapoint. You can feel empathy for Lily who has had to overcome a lot in her life to learn to trust. The people she meets are just the ones to help her and you most assuredly know someone like every character in these books. Charlaine writes delicately about class and capital differences in this story more than any other as well. In conclusion I would recommend these books to anyone, well worth reading.

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