For Christmas my husband gave me The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus (along with a whole stack of other books). This bumper bind-up includes five books by Charlaine Harris. For those of you who don’t know, Charlaine wrote the Sookie Stackhouse series of thirteen books which the TV series True Blood was based on. She’s also written a few more series.
The five Lily Bard books in this 935 page brick of a book include:
- Shakespeare’s Landlord
- Shakespeare’s Champion
- Shakespeare’s Christmas
- Shakespeare’s Trollop
- Shakespeare’s Counselor
These five stories revolve around Lily Bard, who is a plain speaking, tough woman in her thirties who runs a cleaning business. She lives in a sleepy little town named Shakespeare which is located in Arkansas. Lily always seems to get involved in the murders and mysteries that crop up in this small town. She is also the survivor of a brutal attack that left her scarred and in the news a few years ago and she came to Shakespeare for a fresh start.
Charlaine Harris always writes tough female protagonists who work hard at simple jobs and are smart. She also throws in some good mysteries, a bit of romance, conflict, great character development and the paranormal. The Lily Bard mysteries are the first books of hers that I’ve read that don’t have any paranormal element but I still enjoyed them. I also enjoyed the small town setting and the recurring characters that popped up over the five books.
Compared to some of the other Charlaine Harris series that I’ve read, this wasn’t my favourite series, but I flew through each book very quickly. I enjoyed reading about Lily and seeing her evolve as a character, particularly when it came to dealing with her traumatic past. She also takes karate lessons and lifts weights at the gym so is able to defend herself and fight back when necessary. She’s not what you would call a warm person, but that’s understandable given her past. The mysteries were also fun to try to solve.
Verdict: A great read full of mysteries and memorable characters.
Have you read any Charlaine Harris books? Which ones?