Book Review: Lily Bard Mysteries

10 05 2010

This is actually a review of 3 books: Shakespeare’s Landlord, Shakespeare’s Champion, and Shakespeare’s Christmas.

Back Cover, Shakespeare’s Landlord: Lily Bard is a loner. Other than the day-to-day workings of her cleaning and errand-running service, she pays little attention to the town around her. But when her landlord is murdered, Lily is singled out as the prime suspect, and proving her innocence will depend on finding the real killer in quiet, secretive Shakespeare.

Back Cover, Shakespeare’s Champion: There’s something rotten in Shakespeare… Lily Bard was running from shattering memories when she moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas.  Now cleaning houses pays her bills.  Working out helps her heal.  Still protecting her scars, she hides a hard body and impressive skill at martial arts under baggy sweats.  And nobody knows how strong she is until racial violence has her looking behind closed doors for a killer–doors to which a housecleaner might have the key.

Back Cover, Shakespeare’s Christmas: 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 her. Now she’s heading back to home and hearth–just in time for murder.

I’m a big fan of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books. Big Fan. I had been meaning to read some of her stuff for a while now and while looking for something to entertain myself while waiting in line at the courthouse I bought the first one for my iPhone-Kindle.

Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. I bought the next two books hoping the first one was a fluke, but after the same problems with all three books, I can’t make myself buy the fourth (there’s 5 so far in the series if memory serves).

The plot is very well done. Harris is excellent at this aspect of writing. Plotting, pacing, setting… she’s got it down. In this series it’s the characters that fall short. Lily is just… flat. She’s one dimensional. It’s not that I don’t like Lily, I think I do, she just doesn’t jump off the page at me the way Sookie does. I don’t feel like she grows or changes as a person.

All three of the books felt really short. Maybe I just read them fast, but every time I got to the last page and thought “Really? That’s it?” I think I wanted there to be more, that maybe the books would have been better if there was more to them.

Summary

Unfortunately, the best I can give these books is a big, fat, “Meh.” I’ll give them 2 *’s. If you decide to read them, don’t buy, get them from the library.

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