Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris

   Lily Bard is headed to her hometown of Bartley for her sister's wedding, but she just can't seem to leave trouble behind and always ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time.  On second thought, considering her sharp intuitions and extensive karate training, maybe it's the right place at the right time.  When she arrives in Bartley, she finds that two prominent members of the town have been brutally murdered, and on top of that, her private detective boyfriend has just informed her that he has chased an 8 year-old kidnapping case to the not-so-sleepy little town.  When Lily suspects that the murderer may be closely involved with her family, she works overtime to discover the true identity of the killer.

   This is the third book in the Lily Bard Mysteries series following amateur sleuth Lily Bard in her small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas.  While you don't necessarily have to read these books in order, Lily's personal story makes much more sense if you can at least read the first one in the series (The first book is Shakespeare's Landlord).  But that shouldn't be too hard to do considering that these books are around 200 pages each and very fast-paced.  Shakespeare's Christmas is light and entertaining but I must say, the Christmas theme is pretty weak.  Other than a few brief mentions of cold weather, town decorations and carols, Christmastime is not very apparent.  You really could read this book any time of year, which was a disappointment to me considering how much I love holiday/seasonal themes in literature.  But, Lily is not exactly a sentimental character, so the continuity is preserved with the lack of holiday cheer.  Still, this book is a quick and easy read, which is good for this busy time of year, and if you're familiar with Charlaine Harris's caliber of storytelling (The HBO show True Blood is based on her novels), then you know that she can weave together a very engaging plot with just enough sex, violence, and surprises to keep you on your toes!