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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holidays Can Be Murder...
This is the third book in the Lily Bard mystery series and it takes the reader out of Shakespeare, Arkansas to Lily's hometown. Lily is less than thrilled about going home for the holidays, especially when her sister's wedding is involved. She loves her family, but things just haven't been the same since she was violently assaulted years ago. To add to her notoriety,...
Published on Jan. 23 2003 by Silmarwen

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2.0 out of 5 stars Series Has Deteriorated
In the third outing featuring Lily Bard, cleaning lady extraordinaire from Shakespeare, AR, agrees to attend her sister's wedding in their home town - a town she left when her life was destroyed by a gang. Soon after arriving in town, the doctor and his nurse are killed. Then her new boyfriend arrives. And the chaos of a wedding continues around her as she investigates...
Published on Feb. 12 2001 by P. Bigelow


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holidays Can Be Murder..., Jan. 23 2003
By 
Silmarwen (Huntington Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This is the third book in the Lily Bard mystery series and it takes the reader out of Shakespeare, Arkansas to Lily's hometown. Lily is less than thrilled about going home for the holidays, especially when her sister's wedding is involved. She loves her family, but things just haven't been the same since she was violently assaulted years ago. To add to her notoriety, Lily manages to nab a purse natcher within a few days of her arrival and then is the first to walk in on a brutal double homicide. Before the buzz even begins to die down, Lily's detective boyfriend Jack Leeds shows up at the wedding rehearsal. Much as Lily would like to think that Jack showed up to offer her his moral support in her time of need, she knows better. Jack is investigating an eight-year-old kidnapping and the trail leads right to Lily's hometown - and her sister's widowed fiance. With only three days before the wedding and corpses piling up all over town, Lily must work fast to clean up the messy case before her sister commits...marriage!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think Charlaine Harris should be congratulated for her fantastic characterization and plot pacing. Many reviewers critized this book for having Lily be too soft and/or too much of her and too little of the mystery. They seem to have completely missed the point. Lily is softer in this book because she is at home and is different there. Everyone acts slightly differently when they go home, especially when they have been away for a long time, as Lily has been. As far as there being too much Lily and too little mystery, I thought that this book gave the reader a chance to learn a little bit more about Lily and what makes her tick. When you are reading a novel that is from a first person point of view, you should expect to hear a lot about the lead character - that is the whole point of having a lead character. Anyway, enough complaining - I just don't understand why everyone didn't love the book as much as I did! Buy this one while it is in print - it is a keeper!
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5.0 out of 5 stars murder, kidnappings, molestation - this book has it all, July 4 2003
By 
conrad (Des Plaines, IL USA) - See all my reviews
In the third Shakespeare book featuring Lily Bard, the victim of gang-rape years earlier (and consequently murdering one of the rapists), the former future-housewife turned cleaning lady is on a visit home, to attend her sister Varena's wedding... right before Christmas.
She has barely settled down in her hometown of Bartley, Arkansas, when the small town's doctor and nurse are killed... and she, along with her sister, are the first ones to find them. Sooner than later, her lover - Jack Leeds - comes to town. Being a detective, he is planning on finding out who kidnapped Summer Dawn, eight years before.
Lily joins in on the investigation, planning to help Jack, since she's a native to the town. When one of three girls, who may or may not be Summer Dawn, turns out to be her sister's future husband's daughter, it becomes personal.
In this exciting tale of murder, kidnapping, and some really confusing clues, the reader will be unable to put down this novel. I wasn't especially fond of the first book in the series, and picked this one up - and was pleasantly surprised. If the rest are up to the standards set by this book, there will be no way I won't be getting them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Holidays Can Be Murder..., Jan. 23 2003
By 
Silmarwen (Huntington Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This is the third book in the Lily Bard mystery series and it takes the reader out of Shakespeare, Arkansas to Lily's hometown. Lily is less than thrilled about going home for the holidays, especially when her sister's wedding is involved. She loves her family, but things just haven't been the same since she was violently assaulted years ago. To add to her notoriety, Lily manages to nab a purse natcher within a few days of her arrival and then is the first to walk in on a brutal double homicide. Before the buzz even begins to die down, Lily's detective boyfriend Jack Leeds shows up at the wedding rehearsal. Much as Lily would like to think that Jack showed up to offer her his moral support in her time of need, she knows better. Jack is investigating an eight-year-old kidnapping and the trail leads right to Lily's hometown - and her sister's widowed fiance. With only three days before the wedding and corpses piling up all over town, Lily must work fast to clean up the messy case before her sister commits...marriage!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think Charlaine Harris should be congratulated for her fantastic characterization and plot pacing. Many reviewers critized this book for having Lily be too soft and/or too much of her and too little of the mystery. They seem to have completely missed the point. Lily is softer in this book because she is at home and is different there. Everyone acts slightly differently when they go home, especially when they have been away for a long time, as Lily has been. As far as there being too much Lily and too little mystery, I thought that this book gave the reader a chance to learn a little bit more about Lily and what makes her tick. When you are reading a novel that is from a first person point of view, you should expect to hear a lot about the lead character - that is the whole point of having a lead character. Anyway, enough complaining - I just don't understand why everyone didn't love the book as much as I did! Buy this one while it is in print - it is a keeper!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Series Has Deteriorated, Feb. 12 2001
By 
P. Bigelow (St. Louis, MO) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In the third outing featuring Lily Bard, cleaning lady extraordinaire from Shakespeare, AR, agrees to attend her sister's wedding in their home town - a town she left when her life was destroyed by a gang. Soon after arriving in town, the doctor and his nurse are killed. Then her new boyfriend arrives. And the chaos of a wedding continues around her as she investigates the murders. This series started out as an excellent, if very dark, cozy series. Lily was piecing her life back together, had become self-sufficient, and was recovering. Then, for whatever reason, the author seemed to rethink her main character and quickly evolved her into someone less attractive - less strong, less angry, just less. The author continues this trend in this entry, and this reader will not be reading any more Lily Bards. That's a shame because as Lily was originally drawn, she could have found a place in the same niche as Carol O'Connell's Mallory. Now she's just another cleaning lady in another cozy.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The heroine's personal life overshadows the mystery., July 15 2000
By 
Sharon Wylie (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This series features Lily Bard, an emotionally and physically scarred cleaning lady with a penchant for solving mysteries. (She lives in a town called Shakespeare-- Shakespeare/ Bard...get it?) As a rape survivor, Lily is a loner with little patience for the everyday human interactions that most people thrive on, and cleaning is part of her refuge (as well as her livelihood).
Sound dark? It is. Up to this point in the series, Lily's past has been part of her characterization, part of what makes her interesting and different. In this, the third entry in the Shakespeare series, Lily's past dominates the story as she comes home for her sister's wedding. The neighbors and loved ones she left behind look at her and think "rape victim," not "Lily," and she cannot stand their pity.
Add to this drama a visit from Lily's intense boyfriend (with whom the sex is so steamy the two can barely keep their hands off each other), and the mystery plot is simply incidental. One of three little girls was kidnapped as an infant from her true parents, and solving the mystery is more a process of elimination than an exercise in sleuthing.
This is not a stand-alone mystery; readers should start with the first two in the series, then read this one to understand the development of the character. Though it was nice to meet Lily's family and explore some of her past, I look forward to seeing Lily return to Shakespeare for the next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great mystery with deep insight into the Bard (Lily), Sept. 20 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery (Hardcover)
Lily Bard is sorry that she has to return to her hometown of Bartley, Tennessee to attend her sister's wedding. Several years ago, she was the focus of a media blitz when she was kidnapped, mutilated, and gang raped. The revulsion and pity from her friends and family drove Lily away. She has been relatively happy living in Shakespeare, Arkansas where she runs a cleaning service.
When she returns to her hometown, she is pleasantly surprised to see that her lover Jack Leeds is also there. Though he has come to provide her support, he is also trying to learn if one of the local girls is actually a kidnap victim who was abducted as an infant eight years ago. Lily wants answers too because her sister is about to become the stepmother to one of the girls.
SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS is a fascinating mystery because Charlaine Harris provides much insight into the head of her female protagonist. The who-done-it is interesting and well-designed, but it is Lily's ability to surmount her traumas and move on with her life that touch the reader's heart. This change is so realistically portrayed, it engages reader empathy, who will enjoy a glimpse into Lily's hometown relationships. Ms. Harris has written a wonderful novel that adds much to this top rate dark cozy.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written and charactered series., Jan. 10 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced Mystery With Great Characters, Oct. 17 2001
By 
N. Sausser "pucksau" (California) - See all my reviews
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Lilly Bard is a very interesting character. Her life has been shaped by a brutal assault and rape when she was young. Now, at age 31, she has worked her way back to a fairly normal life. She is strong, capable, and a little prickly, but likeable. In this, the third book of the series, Lilly has returned to her hometown for her sister's wedding. Along with her boyfriend, Jack (a private investigator), she is trying to piece together several recent murders in town that may or may not be related to a child abduction eight years previously. The premise for this story is a good one and it is very well plotted, but it is the characters that make it special. I haven't read the two previous books in this series, but I didn't feel lost. In fact, the references to past events just added a little more mystery. I am looking forward to getting to know these characters better in the earlier and future books in this series.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good story but the writing was pretty awful., Sept. 29 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery (Hardcover)
The story of Lilly Bard visiting her family for her sister's wedding and helping solve a mystery with her detective boyfriend was pretty good. Not having read any of the previous titles in this series, it was hard to decipher some of the references to things that had gone on before (where exactly are those scars, and how were they inflicted??). My main beef with this book is that the writing is full of nonsequiturs, very choppy, and generally in need of a good editor. It was hard for me to continue reading sometimes because I was thinking how some of the sentences and even paragraphs could have been reconstructed to read more smoothly and make more sense. Am I the only reader who feels this way? Sorry, Charlaine, but St. Martin's Press should assign you a good editor in the future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Darker Side Of Cozy, April 4 1999
By 
This review is from: Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery (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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Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery
Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery by Charlaine Harris (Hardcover - Oct. 15 1998)
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