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on December 18, 2003
I won't write a synopsis because others have done so, instead I'll tell you what I find most compelling about this book.
For me it's less the mystery elements, and more watching the evolution of the protagonist Lily Bard. Now most people who post negative reviews about Harris' later novels in the Lily Bard series complain about the same thing; they dislike the fact that the protagonist appears to be changing. That's right...Oh, the Horror! A character actually growing and evolving...what will be next?!!
If you want a static personality then go read a bad book, or a terrible series. What makes this a good series and a pretty good book, although not my favorite, is that like a real person Lily's character evidences change. She suffered a horrible rape and instead of being permanently emotionally stunted by this( which is what most people seem to be complaining about)she is slowly starting to get her life back together. To go back to the person she would have been, if not for her rape. I'm not saying she'll be the some happy-go-lucky, unaffected, innocentmiss, I don't really see that happening. But instead of having a permanent well of rage and anger inside her she's learning how to be happy. Like a real person would.
That's what I like about these books.
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on January 23, 2003
Lily Bard is back in her fifth mystery in Shakespeare's Counselor. Lily is a woman with a complicated past, to put it mildly, and is determined to overcome her problems on her own. However, when she awakens in the middle of the night and finds that she is trying to strangle her lover, Jack Leeds, she decides that he may have a point when he suggests that she needs some outside assistance. As coincidence has it, Jack discovers a flier outside of the store that announces a rape-counseling group for women right in little-ole Shakespeare. Lily is less than enthusiastic about sharing details of the experience that shattered her life, but promises Jack that she will give it a try. As it turns out, Lily discovers that she is getting more problems instead of help when she goes to her group meeting and finds a woman dead, killed in a bone-chilling fashion and deliberately left on display with a twisted message. It appears that Shakespeare's counselor, Tamsin Lynd, has more than few secrets of her own. But who could be so obsessed with Tamsin that they follow her from town to town, making threatening phone calls, leaving messages and dead animals on her porch and now killing for her?
This 5th book in the Lily Bard mystery series was absolutely riveting. Lily came a long way in book #4, but she really seems to be coming into her own in this book. She and Jack, her boyfriend, are still a hot item, but their relationship is still undefined. Charlaine Harris introduces some more characters who reside in Shakespeare that are absolutely hilarious and are well-worth getting to know. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series to come out! Charlaine Harris has created one of my absolute favorite mystery series in the Shakespeare/Lily Bard tales. Highly recommended for anyone and everyone!
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on January 14, 2002
Lily Bard, former cleaning woman, karate expert, and now apprentice private detective is moving forward and trying not to look back. She has a great man, Jack Leeds, in her life, a new and promising career, and she's finally taken the big and positive step to rid herself of the demons and nightmares from her past...she's joined a rape counseling and support group. But the group has problems from the beginning. Their therapist, Tamsin Lynd, has serious issues of her own. She's been stalked and terrorized for years, and though she's just moved here, and is new to Shakespeare, she seems to have brought her stalker along with her. When one of the group's members is found murdered and left "displayed" in Tamsin's office, Lily needs to know why, and uses her detective skills to start looking into the case. As the violence escalates, Lily finds herself on a mission to uncover the whole truth, not just to help Tamsin, but so that she can put the past behind her, and begin her new life..... Charlaine Harris is back with the fifth installment of her dark and compelling Shakespeare series. This is a well paced, intricate, psychological thriller, full of suspenseful, riveting scenes, twists, turns, and more than a few surprises, that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and turning pages to the end. Ms Harris' eloquent writing is crisp, spare and intelligent. But it's her marvelously drawn, complex, and intriguing cast of characters that really makes this novel stand out. Detailed character development is definitely Ms Harris' forte. Though the ending is a bit rushed and clumsy, it doesn't take much away from a tense and absorbing story. This is a series that just gets better with each new installment. For those new to Lily Bard and Shakespeare, Arkansas, start at the beginning with Shakespeare's Landlord, and read them all. For those of you who are already fans, Shakespeare's Counselor doesn't disappoint.
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on November 16, 2001
Lily Bard joins a rape recovery group to help deal with her own issues. She doesn't expect to have to deal with the counselor's issues too. Except that psychological counselor Tamsin Lynd has problems. Although she has fled her previous home, someone has followed, stalking her, staking out a dead squirrel in her yard, and finally escalating to murder. Lily knows she won't find peace herself until she helps track down the person who is doing these things--or could Tamsin be doing them herself?
Author Charlaine Harris writes sympathetically about a woman whose faith in men was brutally betrayed and who is fighting to restore at least part of this trust. What happens to Tamsin shakes Lily's relationship with her new husband Jack, and threatens to open all of her old wounds. Harris's descriptions of small town living in Shakespeare, Arkansas also ring true, vividly presenting a part of the world that is alien to many of us without either glorifying or diminishing its unique character.
SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR delivers fine character development, character growth, and a compelling mystery plot. This short (232 pages in the hardback edition) novel delivers an emotional wallop.
Well done.
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on October 17, 2001
Following a gang raping and a media feeding frenzy, Lily moves to Shakespeare, Arkansas accepting work as a cleaning woman. The small town has had several homicides and usually Lily is found in the middle of the investigation. She does not expect to ever have a normal relationship ever again until Lily meets private investigator Jack, who convinces the scarred woman that she is beautiful inside and out.

Jack and Lily marry, but she still suffers nightmares from that brutal attack and enters group therapy under the auspices of Tamsin Lynd. The therapist has some problems caused by a stalker who actually kills one of her patients. A reporter who wants to do a story about Tamsin is also murdered. Lily and Jack decide to take down the stalker though it places them in danger from a homicidal maniac.

SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR is the best work in this fine series because the audience empathetically feels the healing of Lily predominantly due to her bond with he beloved Jack. The mystery is loaded with red herrings that hide the villain in plain sight so that the audience is stunned when the culprit is revealed. The vulnerable facet of Lily's personality emerges turning her more likable and less of an object of pity. This strengthens a strong character and turns a wonderful series into a powerhouse.

Harriet Klausner
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on August 3, 2003
I alsmot didn't buy this book after reading the Publisher's weekly review. I had the impression that Lilly spent her time in some sort of dark depression wandering through a mystery with no focus. Turns out the book was well-written, the ending to the mystery followed the clues, and while the book dealt more solidly with the violence in Lilly's past it was well-placed and not contrived. I enjoyed the book. The characters were as well-developed as in her past books and so was the story.
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on April 24, 2003
I thought this book (#5) was the best of the series! I was all wrong about who the perpetrator was, and I was pleased with the way the mystery was resolved. This one was darker than the previous four books, but it was very much in line with who Lily Bard is. I was glad to see the character address certain issues that seemed so obviously to stalk her from book 1. Would love to have a sixth book in the series to enjoy.
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on January 1, 2002
I love this series, and this newest addition didn't disappoint me. Lily continues to grow and change, both in her personal and professional life. I thought Ms. Harris combined the mystery, with Lily' personal struggles to come to grips with her past and future, very well. I hope there will be more Lily, Jack, and Shakespeare Arkansas.
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on February 21, 2014
I don't know how to rate it, the mystery is excellent and I'm in love with Lily Bard and Jack and even I don't read love stories.
If you have an opportunity, there's 5 books in the series and if you start at the first one, you'd be hooked!
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on February 24, 2003
There's something very interesting in the way Charlaine Harris writes her characters. I've read and re-read all her "Shakespeare's ....." books. They are simply an enjoyable read.
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