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Shakespeare's Counselor (A Lily Bard Mystery, #5)
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Shakespeare's Counselor (Lily Bard #5)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  10,624 Ratings  ·  384 Reviews

Cleaning woman and karate expert Lily Bard is a woman with a complicated past. Trying her best to cope with her terrifying memories and horrible nightmares, she decides to join a weekly group therapy session in her hometown of Shakespeare, Arkansas. At first, Lily can hardly believe the number of her fellow Shakespeareans that share her life experiences.

As it turns out, t

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published (first published November 6th 2001)
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May 16, 2010 Starling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this book 5 stars. The others in the series only got 4 stars, but this one has something extra.

Charlaine Harris writes the best final books for a series I've ever seen. Her characters grow and you can see them moving on from where they were in the first book. Whatever the threads were that moved from one book to the other, get tied up, while making it obvious that life did go one even if we didn't get to see it do that. As with the Harper Connelly series, there could easily be more bo
Dec 21, 2008 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The fifth (and to my knowledge, last--I don't know if any more are forthcoming) Lily Bard book is almost more about developments in Lily's life than it is an actual crime. This is not to say that there isn't one in Shakespeare's Counselor, because there is, and a pretty warped one at that. Our heroine, now that her relationship with her lover Jack has progressed to a point where she's willing to take his suggestion to start addressing some of the issues in her life, joins a rape survivor therapy ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

Besides the first, this closing book is probably the best of the series.

Lily Bard may still be stiff and socially awkward, but she's grown on me more. A lot of her past gets explored as she attempts a help support group after attacking Jack in her sleep during a routine nightmare. The women's group meetings were interesting - I do think they should have been followed up with a bit more in the second half, but they dropped off the radar page completely. I also wish we could have witnessed the
And so we come to the end of the series, to find Lily now working to get her PI license alongside Jack while still cleaning part-time, and having been talked by Jack into attending a therapy group for rape survivors. Which is how she comes into contact with Tamsin Lynn, Shakespeare's Counselor and target for a particularly nasty stalker. When the stalking escalates into a woman being found dead in the therapist's office, Lily can't help but start nosing around.

A decent end to a decent series, bu
Aug 25, 2008 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fifth and final installment in the Lily Bard series wraps up Lily's story quite nicely.

In addition to finally settling down with Jack, Lily has decided to face her past and begin attending group therapy sessions. Of course, these sessions become the scene for yet another murder in cozy little Shakespeare. And as usual, Lily is right smack in the middle of the action.

As others have said, this wasn't the best in the series. I think some of that was because there weren't any loose ends to lea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bonnie Randall
Aug 05, 2013 Bonnie Randall rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozies
The series finale for Lily Bard ranked a disappointing 'ok' for me; Lily had been such a well-constructed heroine up to this point - she had a brutal backstory that shaped her into the person she was: wary, distrustful, solitary and standoffish. I truly believed this novel would provide her the opportunity to complete her character arc. I was not expecting a fairy godmother-like transformation but hey - a likeable Lily would have been nice. Instead she's standoffish, at times openly churlish (an ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the highest ratings I have given a Charlaine Harris book. It is the final book in her Lily Bard series and by far the best. It took me two books to really like Lily, because she reminded me a lot of myself. In fact, she embodied a lot of the things I wish I could change and move past. We are not identical by any means, but share similarities. Half way through this books, I knew that I had really grown to love and sympathize with her, because I found myself shedding a few tears ove ...more
Nov 13, 2013 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2013
Well, the series didn't exactly end with a bang. I like Lily and Jack enough that it was worth the read, but this particular plot(especially the resolution) didn't do it for me. Felt like she was trying to pack too much into one book and ended up with kind of a haphazard result.

More like a 2.5 star book for me, but I'm rounding up since I liked the series overall, mainly on the strength of the Lily Bard character.
Aug 08, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listen to audiobooks every night, but lately I've been listening to them in the day as well, because I love these readings of Charlaine Harris' Lily Bard series so much. They are firm favorites of mine and I bring them to the top of my iPod frequently. The voice is flatly southern & matter of fact, perfect for tough Lily, a rape survivor with PTSD who has moved to the small town of Shakespeare to try to make a new life for herself. She sees the world as a harsh and unfair place, she doesn' ...more
"So you have a stalker, and Janet doesn't. I got raped, you didn't. Saralynn was murdered, Carla wasn't..."

"So you don't believe a divine plan runs the universe?"

I just laughed. Some plan.

"Don't you believe that most people are innately good?"

"No." In fact, I found the fact that some people did believe that to be absolutely incomprehensible.

Tamsin looked really horrified. "You don't believe that we're only given the burdens we can handle?"

"Obviously not."

She tried again. "Do you believe in the e
Sati Marie Frost
I think this was my least favourite book in the series, even more so than Shakespeare's Trollop. Lily seems to have backslid a lot here - after growing as a character throughout the last few books, and healing somewhat, her fear and anger has suddenly taken a turn for the worse.

It's not unusual for people to have relapses after trauma, but Lily's anger seems to go completely out of control in this series finale. She outright admits that she despises all men (except, I assume, Jack), which sadden
Almost two weeks ago I decided to re-read the first two books of this short series. At the time I had enjoyed the first one, but been more reserved regarding the second one. As with any other book you have to be in the mood to enjoy the peculiarities of it, and I find that Harris' particular brand of habits, and ramblings, does not sit well with me most of the year.
However the Lily Bard series was what I wanted, needed, these past few days, and I spent a nice time with it. I enjoyed the down to
Jun 17, 2013 James rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
This is a poorly written book about a cleaning lady with a traumatic past who solves crimes on the side. From the description above I can only blame myself really for having wasted the time it took to read this book. I love a good crime novel and expect (Kate Atkinson and William Boyd aside)that writing will take a backseat to the plot and thats the deal. Sometimes though the writing is so bad as to be virulently distracting. The whole story is written in the same way a seven year old would desc ...more
Nikinnia Smith
Mar 31, 2015 Nikinnia Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm sad to see the Lily Bard series come to an end. I really admire her. In this book Lily finally seeks counseling for the horrible ordeal she went through. She was encouraged to seek help after attacking her boyfriend Jack. I was happy to see that they got married, although I don't understand why they did not want anyone to know. Lily didn't even tell her parents.

Of course there was a murder. One of Lily's fellow group member's sister in law was murdered. Lily as always saves the day, but thi
Jun 25, 2016 Elyse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So sad to get to the end of this series! Maybe Harris will go back to Lily Bard as she's going back to Aurora Teagarden after many years. I listened to the whole series in less than 2 weeks! I made more time for listening than I usually do because I couldn't stop! This was a very serious book. I think it was wise for Lily to join a support group but dang, this one was a mess! It was interesting getting to know some new characters and old characters with more information. There was a lot of heart ...more
Rebekah Johnson
Shakespeare's Counselor - the 5th book in the Lily Bard series by Charlaine Harris.

Picked up this book after reading the Sookie Stackhouse series by the same author. While it's a fairly enjoyable read with plenty of action and twists that left me guessing right up until the end it's also pretty dark, with very little humour. The main character Lily is a strong woman who is working to overcome her trauma and while she's got plenty of depth I couldn't really say the same for the rest of the cast.
Another good one. Very convoluted mystery this time. It's the last one I have, thank goodness. These books are like candy. Very hard to quit reading, but not especially fulfilling. Still, they're fun.
Nov 29, 2009 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the heroines in Charlaine Harris' books, I like Lily Bard the best. She is believable and grows emotionally throughout the books. I sure hope Charlaine will be writing more Lily Bard mysteries.
Dawn Michelle

Oh how I have loved this series. And I am sad that there are no more books. I hope someday Lily pops back into Ms. Harris' head and demands another book be written about her. I would be first in line to buy that one. :-)
Jun 02, 2013 Edith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
J'ai finalement bien aimé cette série. Dans le genre pas trop léger et qui se lit rapidement. L’héroïne connait une réelle évolution au travers des 5 volumes. Rendue au 5e volume, je l'aimais bien et je lirais volontiers d'autres aventures avec elle.
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
May 08, 2010 Cindi (cheesygiraffe) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-read
Another twisted mystery. It took me most of the book to figure it out and I didn't quite have it all.
Mary: Harry Dresden's Love Slave
I was a little disappointed in the end of the series. It just seemed to end with no really epilogue as to how Lily's life turns out.
Mar 22, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been a very fun series! I've loved the characters and their adventures. I highly recommend it - read from the beginning.
Oct 13, 2009 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This may be the most frustrating and unrealistic of the Lily Bard series. The characters and story were not particularly well-developed, and Lily seemed even less likable than normal.
I experienced a lot of plot confusion in this one; it raised a lot of issues for me, so my reading was more emotional than is typical. I still give it 4 stars because of its character and plot complexities, so much like the complexities I experience in my off-the-page life.

I thought both characters and plotlines were well crafted, with continuing character and story development within the series, and deft handling of the new characters and events. I listened to this one, but will probably get h
Jeff Cothern
Sep 28, 2012 Jeff Cothern rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Welcome back to the sleepy little town of Shakespeare*, Arkansas*, where secrets come to hide.

Lily Bard has joined a group therapy session, determined finally to face her past. It sounds positively enlightening, until the murder of a fellow member sends a warning. But who was the message meant for? Why? And who's next to fall victim to a killer's head games?

From Publishers Weekly

Harris's fifth Lily Bard mystery set in the small Arkansas town of Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Trollop, etc.) is go

Mike Finn
Oct 12, 2014 Mike Finn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Shakespeare's Counselor" is the final book in the Lily Bard series. I was surprised to find that I took great pleasure in this series. In some ways it is one long novel, charting Lily's journey from isolated, insomniac, night-walker, to a woman with a life that she has built through her strength, her integrity and finally by being courageous enough to allow herself to have something to lose.

The final book thankfully doesn't go down the path of unlikely happy endings. Bad things happen to Lily i
Oct 04, 2010 Dlora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
Shakespeare's Counselor has nothing to do with Shakespeare (unlike the last book I read). Shakespeare is a small town in Arkansas where Lily Bard has settled down to try to overcome the effects of a horrific rape in her past that has irrevocably changed her life and personality into someone she barely recognizes. This series is one of Charlaine Harris's darker stories because of the psychological damage her main character is dealing with, trying to just to survive each day. In this story, Lily r ...more
Jul 28, 2010 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone's favorite housecleaner is working on a career change. Lily Bard is back for her fifth case, and this time it is going to take place just as she is getting her troubled life back in order. The newlywed, who married private investigator Jack Leeds in the previous novel, has started as an apprentice investigator with him in the hopes of getting a better handle on her finances. Considering her previous novice experience and an innate skill for solving crimes, it is not a surprising choice. ...more
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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 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 Christmas (Lily Bard, #3)
  • Shakespeare's Trollop (Lily Bard, #4)

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“When I went home…I promised myself, I would take a cool shower and I would read. After a day spent dealing with others, television was just one more batch of voices to listen to; I’d rather have a book in my hands than the remote control.” 5 likes
“No one expected to be safe until this century, if you read a little history. Think of the thousands of years before- years with no law, when the sword ruled. No widespread system of justice; no immunizations against disease. The local lord free to kill the husbands, husbands free to rape and kill their wives. Childbirth often fatal. No antibiotics. It's only here and now that women are raised believing they'll be safe. And it serves us false. It's not true. It dulls our sense of fear, which saves our lives.” 3 likes
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