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Shakespeare's Christmas (Lily Bard #3)

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3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  11,382 Ratings  ·  413 Reviews
Even in a sleepy Arkansas town, the holidays can be murder.

Lily Bard is going home for the holidays. More comfortable in baggy sweats than bridesmaid's frills, Lily isn't thrilled about attending her estranged sister's wedding. She has moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, to start a new life, cleaning houses for a living, trying to forget the violence that once nearly destroyed
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Mass Market Paperback, 242 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Dell (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
I enjoyed how the author took Lily out of the small town of Shakespeare and back to her small hometown, the root of her pain and issues, the family members she felt so awkward around. Of course there is a mystery thrown in when she arrives, to be solved amidst family dramas and wedding plans, Jack popping into town to stir up her loins, and Lily again getting uptight and moody if anyone tries to act normal around her.

The parents and sister don't stand out too much, but they were enjoyable writte
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Katreniah
Feb 18, 2009 Katreniah rated it it was amazing
Normally, I do my homework, check and see if the book is part of a series, double-check to learn what type of book it is, do some research on the author, but I didn't do any of that for this book, and I won't make that mistake again. I had been given this book, I read the back, and I plowed right into it one day. I didn't even look for the author's name until I was finishing chapter 3, so imagine my surprise when I learned it was Sookie Stackhouse's Charlaine Harris. I'd read the entire Sookie s ...more
Jim
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
Another good mystery, although the story got a little convoluted & confusing at a couple of points. May have been my fault for not following all the character names closely enough, but there were a fair few. Lily goes back to her home town, so she knows everyone & seems to meet half of them.

This has added depth to Lily's character & I like her more with each page. Very admirable lady. On to the next!
Julie (jjmachshev)
Nov 16, 2008 Julie (jjmachshev) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
I've enjoyed every one of Charlaine Harris' 'Shakespeare' mysteries. These are much darker than her other series with the exception of the 'Harper Connelly' series. If you're expecting anything like her 'Dead' series...don't. But if you like a gritty mystery with a kick-ass heroine with a dark past...you'd be doing yourself a favor to try this series out. These were originally written in the 90s, but have been reprinted in the last couple of years.

Lily has to return to her hometown after all thi
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Dagny
Sep 10, 2016 Dagny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite so far in this series! It is actually easy to like Lily in this book as she returns home for her sister's wedding and to reconcile with her family.
Emily
Sep 08, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2013
I've gotten very attached to Lily Bard. It was interesting this time around to see her outside of the Shakespeare setting and interacting with her family. (view spoiler) I like how Lily, even though there seems to be a murder every time she turns around, has gradually started to enjoy life again. She's beginning to ...more
Sesa38
Dec 29, 2010 Sesa38 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book in the Lily Bard series. I was looking for Christmas books so read this out of order. I'm not a huge Charlene Harris fan - I don't care for the vampire series at all- but loved this one. I immediately downloaded and read books 1 and 2 in the series next. The main character is a woman who had been brutally attacked in the past and goes on to learn self defense and get very strong. Because of her experiences, she has as hard time relating to people but is making friends in t ...more
faeriemyst
Jan 15, 2016 faeriemyst rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, library-loan
The weakest entry so far, but still not a bad read. The book takes place out of Shakespeare and in Lily's hometown of Bartley, which it was nice to learn more about her family and other background info. She's still prickly and ill-suited to normal human interactions, but she is trying. I hope by the end of the series, she'll be even closer to fully healing. Lily's relationship with Jack is interesting and weird, but they're still figuring things out, and have similar feelings towards committment ...more
Lauren
Shakespeare's Christmas
4 Stars

Returning home for her sister’s wedding, Lily is dreading the inevitable confrontation with the harsh memories of her past. All this takes a back seat, however, when Lily finds herself enmeshed in a new mystery as her boyfriend, private investigator Jack Leeds, arrives with the troubling news that Lily's soon to be brother-in-law may be a kidnapper.

While Lily is definitely not the most affable of heroines and some readers may find her directness curt and discourteo
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Tina
Dec 09, 2009 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Now this one was quite a bit better than book #2 Shakespeare's Champion and I even liked the plot and mystery more than book # 1 Shakespeare's Landlord.

Lily's Sister is getting married and Lily needs to go home to participate in all the pre-wedding celebrations because she is the maid of honor.

Since the rape/torture that happened to her over seven years ago, Lily has remained largely apart from her family. They simply didn't know how to react to her trauma and in the aftermath Lily simply did no
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Candice
Aug 19, 2014 Candice rated it liked it
Lily Bard is much darker than Sookie Stackhouse. I've know that, I figured it out the first few books. But even so, this one gave me nightmares.

I have a sister who is deeply disturbed (I am as well, I just handle it better) by crimes involving children. If you are, this might not be the best book for you.


I have one large issue with this installment ... the hurry up to the end. All the Lily Bard mysteries are quick reads. But mostly the mystery stretches out throughout the book. In this one, the
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Nikinnia Smith
Mar 26, 2015 Nikinnia Smith rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the 1st two in the series. In this book Lily leaves Shakespeare to go back to her home town for her sister's wedding. (view spoiler) ...more
Vickie
Dec 19, 2012 Vickie rated it really liked it
This was a perfect-for-me holiday read. Murder and mystery as written by Charlaine Harris. Yep, perfect. And it's still good. Above was written 23 Dec 2008. Read it again as a holiday favorite.
Sarah Adamson
May 06, 2015 Sarah Adamson rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, mystery
3rd in the series and the hardest book to find for a long time until Charlaine Harris became famous from Sookie. This is a Reread! This book explores Lily's family as she returns home for her sister's wedding. She is dreading the whole social scene and having to be a part of it when Jack shows up, not just for her but with a job - to find a kidnapped child. The child, kidnapped as a baby almost 8 years ago, may be one of three girls including Lily's soon-to-be niece.
Another great mystery full o
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CalamityMane
Le sigh. I'm tiring of Harris' writing characters who are so severely damaged that they don't make sense anymore. What woman who's been through what Lily Bard has been through would find herself attracted to a physically aggressive man like Jack? And if Jack is the person he's supposed to be - a man who knows what Lily Bard has been through - why is always manhandling her in such a way that she has remind him not to?

The premise for this book was better than the previous two, but the disjointed w
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Tracy Terry
The third in the Lily Bard/Shakespeare Mystery series. At last a plot that has some substance to it, a whodunit that though the reason why is fairly obvious the perpetrator is less so.

Interesting that the author chose this, the third book in the series, to really explore the aftermath of Lily's assault not just through the eyes of those closest to Lily but also through Lily herself's eyes, though this works ok as a stand alone novel it is because of this that I think the books are probably best
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Lisa
As my cold gets worse instead of better, Lily Bard heads home for her sister's wedding preparations. While Lily tries to navigate familial relationships, Jack Leeds unexpectedly appears in her hometown, drawing her into a missing person's case and a murder (she's becoming a little like Jessica Fletcher, who I'm amazed ever got invited anywhere what with her presence guaranteeing that a dead body would show up).

While Jack still makes my shit itch - if a potential boyfriend ever showed up to a fam
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Alex
Jul 28, 2016 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good it just wasn't my favorite. I'm not sure where the disconnect for me was but like I said it was still a good book.
Angela
Aug 20, 2013 Angela rated it it was ok
Shelves: whodunit
Better than the second one by far, but still lacking in the mystery department. She did do some actual investigating in this one, which was nice, and the case was much darker than a guy being killed over...I completely why the landlord was killed in the first book. Ohhh, right - made the wrong comment on the wrong day to the wrong person, and they freaked. Right, well, in that case, this mystery was world's darker.

Starting to get tired of the constant mentions of shaving, but it could be much, m
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Mira
Jan 08, 2012 Mira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a love/hate thing with Charlaine Harris. While I have come to tire of the relentless damsel in distress that is Sookie Stackhouse, the protagonist of this novel was a strong woman more than capable of taking care of herself. I approve of this heartily.

The pacing of this novel is good, it keeps the interest up and it gives enough clues to the plot that you can keep up. A great relief that there is no magical deus ex machina to save this heroine.

I'm not sure that I'd seek out other books i
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Jan C
Jun 24, 2010 Jan C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, south
Kind of interesting. What happens where someone who left home because of neaucoup scandal when she was raped has to go back home when her sister gets married. Plus, boyfriend Jack is working on a case about a girl who was snatched and there are three possible girls in Lily's home town of Bartley who could be it and one of them is her future brother-in-law's daughter. Another belongs to the local minister.

And, of course, once Lily and Jack show up the bodies start falling.

But, oooooooh, the ten
...more
Lisa Williamson
Apr 17, 2015 Lisa Williamson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris Once more Ms Harris gives us an interesting mystery.

Lily has to leave Shakespeare for her sister's wedding. going back to her hometown is not something Lily is looking forward to. Everyone there knows about THAT day and she doesn't want to face the pity but this is her sister's wedding.

When she arrives things are less tense than she expected. This novel deals with all the wonderful chaos of a classic southern middle class wedding, Christmas and of cour
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Bridget
Dec 12, 2014 Bridget rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Well, this was interesting to me. I had not read any previous books in this series, and frankly, am not interested in any of the author's other series, but this was a book I liked.

Lily Bard lives in Shakespeare, Arkansas, and when the book opens, she is participating in the town's Christmas parade, to promote her cleaning business. Lily is an interesting character, not a cuddly, sweet type, more a defensive, tough type. Which is apparently a result of having survived an abduction, rape, and muti
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Audrey Jane
I'm dropping this series because of two reasons: first the lack of mystery/suspense, second Lily Bard.

- There's way too much descriptions and telling what Lily is going to do from Monday to Sunday. It's always the same routine anyway. Than she will eventually find a dead body, speculate while working or making out with Jack and just getting nowhere. All the while the reader exactly knows who did it because the culprit is just so obvious, but only in the last chapter does Lily find out and do we
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Cherie
Apr 06, 2008 Cherie rated it really liked it
Another great entry in the Lily Bard Mystery series. In this one, Lily travels home during the holidays to be a bridesmaid in her sister's wedding, and of course trouble follows her... as does her sexy new boyfriend Jack! ;)

We learn a bit more about Lily's background in this one as she stays with her family during her homecoming. This is really the first time she's been home since the incident which scarred her both physically and emotionally.

I'm looking forward to reading more of this series!
Kristine Hansen
Dec 29, 2015 Kristine Hansen rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Lily Bard has got to be my favorite tortured hero(ine). With a past that haunts her, the last thing she wants to do is go home for Christmas. Then the corpses start piling up. Because, you know, it's a Lily Bard book.

I love the blossoming romance. I love that she's a damsel that's never in distress so long as she can get her hands (or feet, or whatever) into play. Tough and feisty and still very very fragile, Lily is actually my favorite of Ms. Harris' characters.

Linda
Nov 19, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, audio-book
Lily Bard has returned home at Christmas to be in her sister's wedding. Having lived in Shakespeare, AR for several years, Lily was reluctant to go home because of a violent attack that had ripped her world apart while she was still at home.

While she is trying to help her sister get ready for her big day the local doctor and nurse are murdered. While it does put a bit of a damper on things everyone decides that the wedding must go on. Meanwhile, Lily's boyfriend, Jack Leeds, a private detective
...more
Mike Finn
Sep 29, 2014 Mike Finn rated it really liked it
Don't be misled by the title, "Shakespeare's Christmas" is is not a "Christmas Special" where we get to see the people of the small town of Shakespeare acting as if they were in a remake of "It's A Wonderful Life". It is the darkest, and I think the best, book in the series so far. It's set before, not at Christmas and most of it takes place outside of Shakespeare.

The mystery in "Shakespeare's Christmas" is not a polite "whodunnit" murder under the mistletoe, but the death of a young mother, kni
...more
Ronda
Dec 07, 2008 Ronda rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, romance
This one has been my favorite so far. It takes place outside the comfort of Lily's new home and life in Shakespeare and finds her revisiting her childhood home for her sister's wedding. Lily doesn't want to be there, but it seems the visit might be cathartic for both her and her family--so long as her brother-in-law to be doesn't turn out to be guilty of kidnapping and murder.
Jessica
May 14, 2016 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books
Pleasantly surprised. Lily Bard is so different compared to Harris's other sleuths. More complex, darker and edgier. That's what I liked most about this book. It didn't feel fluffy and most importantly Lily is a true survivor and I thought the author wrote her well. I just wish I had read the first books. Now I will have to search for them online because I felt I was missing some key moments in the series. The last few books I have read by C.Harris it wasn't necessary for me to read the others, ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris 3 14 Nov 16, 2015 08:53AM  
Can I read the other two books after this? 10 84 Apr 02, 2014 09:13AM  
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Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.

Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was wr
...more
More about Charlaine Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Lily Bard (5 books)
  • Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard, #1)
  • Shakespeare's Champion (Lily Bard, #2)
  • Shakespeare's Trollop (Lily Bard, #4)
  • Shakespeare's Counselor (Lily Bard, #5)

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