What makes Charlaine Harris’s Lily Bard novels stand out among traditional cozy mysteries is the decidedly noirish spin she puts on the seemingly typical charming southern town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, and on her heroine. Lily Bard, a karate devotee by choice and a cleaning woman by trade, is a woman with a dark past; she’s fiercely protective of her independence and reserved about herself. In short, Lily makes a refreshing, compelling amateur sleuth. In Shakespeare’s Christmas, Lily’s third appearance, she heads home to Bartley, Arkansas – always an uncomfortable scenario for the introverted Lily – for her sister Varena’s Christmas wedding. But Lily’s got more to worry about than being a bridesmaid for a sister to whom she’s no longer close. Soon after she arrives in Bartley, Lily’s private-detective boyfriend shows up too, and not just for moral support: He’s investigating a four-year-old unsolved kidnapping. Try as she might, Lily can’t help but get involved when she discovers that the case hits dangerously close to home – for Varena’s new husband is the widowed father of a girl bearing a remarkable resemblance to the vanished child.
Lily Bard Mysteries
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