Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shakespeare's Counselor by Charlaine Harris

Title: Shakespeare's Counselor
Author: Charlaine Harris
ISBN: 0425201147, Berkley Prime Crime, 2005
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, #5 Lily Bard mystery
Rating: B

First Line: I connected with a hard blow to the nose, rolled on top of him, gripped his neck, and started to squeeze.

Few people know this in small town Shakespeare, Arkansas, but Lily Bard not only works for private investigator Jack Leeds, she's married to him. However, being married seems to put more stress on Lily and Jack is taking the brunt of it. Lily is still scarred mentally and physically from her horrendous kidnapping and rape that occurred several years ago. She may never completely recover, but if Jack is to survive unscathed, she knows she has to do something to end her nightmares.

Lily joins a therapy group for victims of rape run by newcomer Tamsin Lynd. When a woman is killed before the second group session, Tamsin is scared to death that a stalker has followed her and her husband Cliff all the way to Arkansas from back East. Lily decides to find out if her therapist is right.

This is a series I've enjoyed from the beginning. Due to her history, Lily is an edgy character who's found it very difficult to let her guard down enough to get close to anyone else. This series has been a gradual letdown of that reserve, showing Lily beginning to heal and to trust others.

As I read Shakespeare's Counselor I got the feeling that the book really wanted to be something else instead of a mystery. Lily's rape and recovery has been a theme throughout the series, and with Harris having her actually join a therapy group and interact with other victims, I felt that this was the direction in which the book really wanted to go. The identity of the murderer strained my credulity a bit, so it would've been interesting to see how the book would have turned out if allowed to follow that different direction.

Harris has no plans to go further in this series, and I don't think there's any point. Lily's well on her way to recovery, and she's got a good partner in Jack. If only it were this simple to get all victims of rape back on the right road!

If you like edgy characters and slightly stronger themes in your cozy mysteries, you might just want to give Lily Bard a try.


  1. I'm having lots of fun with the Sookie books and I should give this series a try. Kind of nice to read a series that has a specific end!

  2. I have only associated this author with the vampire mystery books. I will have to check this series out, as perhaps it is a little more my style.

  3. Everyone seems to enjoy Charlaine Harris's work. I've signed up for the Sookie challenge, so I need to start with those first.

  4. I haven't heard of this series...thanks for highlighting this mystery series.

  5. I have the Sookie series staring at me from my bookshelf :( Good to know that her other work are also worth reading!

  6. Intriguing theme - sort of reminds me of Karin Slaughter.

    I too, am interested in the Sookie books first however!

  7. Hi there. I'm sorry this is off topic, but I love your blog. I have been reading your new and old posts. I'll be visiting again.



  8. This Charlaine Harris sure is prolific!

  9. I really enjoyed this series, and liked how, and that, it ended. It was nice to read a series that left you wanting more, and yet satisfied with how the characters ended up. Plus, there couldn't be many people left to randomly die in Shakespeare!

  10. Beth-- I must've OD'd on vampires with the Twilight books because I just can't get interested in picking any more up! LOL I have to be honest and admit that it is *very* nice to read a series that has a definite end. I can actually say I've finished a series now! THUD!

    Molly-- I hope you do give it a try. It's really interesting to see Lily work her way out of her shell.

    Kathy-- Harris has another series featuring Harper Connelly that's very good, too.

    Serena-- You're welcome!

    Mel-- Yes, they are. I've read 2 of her 3 series and really like them both. I don't think I'll be picking up Sookie any time soon. Meyer's killed my interest in vampires for a while! :)

    Rhapsody-- Everyone goes for Sookie. Let it to me to be different! LOL

    Helen-- Thanks so much for stopping by, Helen. I'm glad you like what you've seen so far!

    Jenners-- Isn't she, though?!? I've always wondered how authors can keep multiple series going all at the same time.

    Raidergirl-- That's probably one of the reasons why Harris had the series come to a rather quick end: she didn't want to turn Shakespeare into Cabot Cove!


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!