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on October 4, 1997
Lily Bard fled her Tennessee home, expecting to find peace by moving to the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas. Though she works hard as a cleaning woman, for a while, Lily enjoys her new surroundings, but ugly change is in the air. Repressed prejudices rise to the surface, polarizing the black and whites into two opposing communities, and a dangerous militia is starting to surface.
To save his town from the dangerous schism and to protect his father, who he feels has fallen in with nasty individuals, the town's leading citizen hires an outsider, Jack Leeds, to identify the ringleaders. The detective, from the same hometown that Lily is from, has his own scandalous past. Jack and Lily develop a deep emotional bond that may be the only thing that could save both of them from a rising threat to their very lives.
The sequel to SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD (which was named as one of "Mostly Murders'" top 10) is as good and, in some ways, better than its predecessor. SHAKESPEARE'S CHAMPION embodies a first rate mystery, but this time also includes a special relationship drama about two wounded soldiers who heal each other through their love for one another. Charlaine Harris' newest entry deserves top ten consideration again.
Harriet Klausner
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on July 7, 1999
I enjoyed this second installment of the Shakespeare series. Lily Bard and the other residents of Shakespeare are interesting and well developed. Lily continues to try to find a normal life while tripping over her past and dead bodies. Jack is a welcome addition to the people who change and interact with each other while death and mayhem stroll through the streets of this small town. Lily's occupation as a house cleaner gives her an inside look at the way people really live and makes her a part of their lives, whether she wants to be or not. In this story, racial hatred allows vicious men to give a reason for their hatred. Lily and Jack must fight for their lives against a family hiding a secret. Throughly entertaining.
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on August 29, 2003
Lily Bard tries to keep her unhappy past at a distance by working out at the local gym and doing a job, cleaning houses, which keeps her occupied and takes her mind off her past. While going into the gym, she discovers a local bodybuilder with a barbell across his neck. This and other incidents lead Lily to believe that racial problems are getting out of hand in her adopted Arkansas town. She teams up with a handsome detective and they search for the truth, almost afraid of what they may find out about their fellow townspeople. This book is a little too dark to classify as a cozy, but it does make for a good read.
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on November 3, 2001
I've read all four books in this series, and am looking forward to the fifth. This is one of the best. Lily's actions and attitudes ring true with her past, and it's fascinating watching her guard go down in small ways as she starts to let people into her life. The mysteries are intruging, and the characters (Jack is a solid addition) fit the setting.
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on April 24, 2003
This second book in the Lily Bard/Shakespeare series was nicely written and entertaining. Ms. Harris did a terrific job weaving the plot and introducing Jack Leeds. This story brings together the rather sick thoughts hidden behind the gentile Southern manner of a few of the Shakespeare mighty. My my, what you don't know.
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on June 6, 2013
I love Charlaine Harris' books, although I'm not a big fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series. The Shakespeare series are great though with a vulnerable heroine who is also a smart, savvy woman. Highly recommend the entire series..
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on August 29, 1998
the best book by harris yet. she uses a variety of incidences to prove a point. the characters blend into the mysterious town. a super read, not dull or repetitive. does not copy other novels. stands out.
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on June 25, 1998
From Lily Bard to Aurora Teagarden, Ms. Harris writes novels that show the depth of the character and also the interaction amongst characters. Wonderfully imaginative.
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on April 30, 1999
This is the best book I've read in quite a while. Lily is interesting and the book is full of mystery. And Jack just makes it all better.
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on January 18, 1998
Charlaine Harris has joined the ranks of one of the top five female mystery writers. This is her best book so far. Love Lilly Bard!
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