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Lily Bard Books In Order

Publication Order of Lily Bard Books

Shakespeare's Landlord (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shakespeare's Champion (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shakespeare's Christmas (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shakespeare's Trollop (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shakespeare's Counselor (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The American author Charlaine Harris is very well known for mystery novels set within the world of the supernatural. With one of her series getting a television adaptation with the HBO series ‘True Blood’ being made from her ‘Sookie Stackhouse’ series of novels, she’s a highly popular author. Creating a number of other series as well as this, she has managed to create a niche all of her own, and one that’s definitely sought after. Another series that she’s come to be well known for is her ‘Lily Bard’ franchise that is also equally well loved, with a worldwide legion of fans. Set in the small-town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, it sees the character of Lily Bard as she attempts to put the past behind her. It is here that she becomes a cleaner, someone who’s attempting to clean their own history, but still she keeps landing herself in a variety of mysteries.

Starting out back in 1996, the first book to be published in this much loved series was ‘Shakespeare’s Landlord’, as it set up the series as a whole. This was then followed the following year in 1997 with the title ‘Shakespeare’s Champion’, then ‘Shakespeare’s Christmas’ in 1998. In 2000 ‘Shakespeare’s Trollop’ came out, followed finally by the novel ‘Shakespeare’s Counselor’, which rounded off the whole series.

Shakespeare’s Landlord

Marking the first book in the ongoing ‘Lily Bard’ collection of novels from Charlaine Harris, this would set the world up overall. Introducing the principle characters too, it would also manage to establish the main premise, allowing the atmosphere to grow and develop. Brought out through the Berkley publishing imprint, it was first released in 1996 to much acclaim, as more would follow shortly after.

A murder mystery in the classical most traditional sense, this is a novel for any fans of the genre, as it follows all the right beats. Taking ideas and working with them in a witty and knowing way, it not only builds a compelling mystery, but it also works as a great character study too. Showing everyone in a realistic light, it really gets to the heart of what makes a small town tick and how it operates. With all the characters being extremely well drawn, it manages to allow the reader to resonate with them, drawing them into their world. The character of Lily Bard herself is also very well drawn, as she is finely crafted and very realistic in the way she approaches situations. This is something that Harris clearly understands, as she definitely has an affinity for her many different characters. The state of Arkansas itself is also very well drawn, as it manages to come alive off the page, allowing the reader to feel as if they’re really there. Bringing the landscape to life, the world that it’s set within is very well rounded, something which Charlaine Harris does very well. Clearly knowing the area in minute detail, she has effectively made it a character in its own right, just as fundamentally important as all the other elements.

Hiding from the violence that threatened to almost destroy her life all those years ago, Lily Bard has escaped to the small town of Shakespeare in Arkansas. It is hear that she is biding her time and keeping herself to herself, that is until she happens to witness a murder occur. That leads to all eyes being on her, as the suspicious town turns their focus in her general direction, as the homicide detective gives her unwanted attention. Who committed the crime? Can she discover the truth? What will become of Shakespeare’s landlord?

Shakespeare’s Champion

Continuing directly from the last, this was to provide another mystery in the series of ‘Lily Bard’ novels for the eponymous protagonist. Published just one year later to much acclaim, it was originally released in 1997 through the Berkley publishing outlet once more. Building upon what came before, it manages to develop the world and the story-lines, as well as putting in a few surprises along the way.

Dealing with contemporary issues and themes this time, this particular novel manages to make an impact. Not shying away from certain subject matter, it continues to combine entertaining drama and compelling narratives with real-world issues. This is what has led to this book becoming beloved by so many, as scores of readers have found it somewhat difficult to put down. The character of Lily Bard herself is also very well drawn, as Harris develops her as a character, bringing the reader further into her world. Over time the reader has also become a lot more familiar with the character of Bard, leading to them feeling a lot close to her. This can also be said of a lot of the secondary characters too, as many more are further built upon too over the course of the novel. Bringing the town of Shakespeare to life once again too, this also manages to bring the character of the town to the forefront too. Becoming a character almost in its own right, it is extremely well realized, as Harris clearly has an affinity for the place. This is something that continues over the following books to, as she develops the town even further, allowing it to become almost real in the minds of the audience.

Still hiding from her past, Lily Bard is attempting to make the most of her life in the small and humble town of Shakespeare in Arkansas. Continuing to practice karate regularly, all whilst keeping her head down and getting on with her cleaning, that is until racial violence rears its ugly head. With a series of racially aggravated assaults, starting with some white teens on a solo black man, she finds herself in the middle of it all after helping him out. Why are these assaults happening though? Who is behind the racism? What will become of Shakespeare’s champion?

The Lily Bard Series

Working extremely effectively as a series of mystery novels, this follows the character of Lily Bard, making her a fully three-dimensional character over the course of the franchise. The mysteries themselves are highly compelling too, managing to keep the reader guessing constantly through the entire story. This is just part of the reason why so many have come to appreciate the series over time, with more and more constantly discovering it every day.

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