Read Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris Online


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 destroyedEven 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.The town's doctor and nurse have been bludgeoned to death at the office. And Lily's detective boyfriend suddenly shows up at her parents' door. Jack Leeds is investigating an eight-year-old kidnapping and the trail leads straight to Lily's hometown. It just might have something to do with the murders...and her sister's widowed fiancé. With only three days before the wedding, Lily must work fast to clean up the messy case before her sister commits...marriage!...

Title : Shakespeare's Christmas
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440234999
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 242 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Shakespeare's Christmas Reviews

  • Jilly
    2019-03-18 03:30

    Overall, I would say this series fits into the "meh" category. They have disturbing and dark things happen in the crimes, but they seem to be brushed over a bit. The characters are mediocre, of course with all of the police and detectives being worse at investigating than Lily, the maid. And, the love story doesn't have very many feels. It's like the books are trying to tackle big issues without being willing to get as dark as these issues would really take to be meaningful to the reader. There is a definite feeling of separation between the darkness and the reader. It could be because the whole thing is narrated by Lily, who has lost touch with feeling much of anything since her victimization. That is understandable. But, I would rather read books that either stay away from things like rape, torture, child abuse, and racial hate-crimes than to read them in a way that glosses over them quickly.

  • Cyndi
    2019-03-01 02:25

    Warning this book has some terrible topics. There is child abduction, past rape and more awful stuff. And not much Christmas unless you include using decorations as weapons.Since Charlaine Harris came out with this series years ago I had been circling around giving them a try. So since I’m using my ‘Christmas book read’ to sample a few different series, I thought I would try this one. Now I know to give it a pass. I didn’t like the heroine very much, but it may have been more because of the audio reader. Her voice was kinda flat and didn’t give Lily a lot of personality.So basically, not my cup of tea, but I will probably try other books by this author. I liked her True Blood in the there’s that. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    2019-03-15 22:35

    I enjoyed how the author took Lily out of the small town of Shakespeare and back to her small hometown, the root of her pain and issues, the family members she felt so awkward around. Of course there is a mystery thrown in when she arrives, to be solved amidst family dramas and wedding plans, Jack popping into town to stir up her loins, and Lily again getting uptight and moody if anyone tries to act normal around her.The parents and sister don't stand out too much, but they were enjoyable written. The father wasn't in many scenes but turned out to be my favorite. Jack and Lily's relationship, again, not sure about the insta-magic when he appeared last time, see it's still going strong. I was intrigued by the cop and the back-story of how he reacted to Lily tugged on my heartstrings.These books aren't known for their intense mysteries, but this one holds the more intriguing, complex, and twisted one of the series. Involves kidnapping, child baby switching, potential murders that may have happened offpage a long time ago, and a gross, perverted revelation at the end. Dark stuff but a happy ending after all. This is likely the best mystery of the Lily Bard series, where Lily actually has to snoop a bit on purpose. She doesn't come to by a Hercule Poirot or anything, but it's an interesting story nonetheless.This one was a better one as, besides the story being rich, the background with her adjusting to her family and hometown made it more lively. Her raised eyebrow at her sister about strength was a little annoying though. Lily has become a bit snobby with some of her preconceptions of others, although she does come to admire some strengths with her sister. The ending felt too abrupt to me, and I don't get how she couldn't look back at all when she eagerly left her family and hometown. They seem to be sweet people. Overall a good installment of the Lily Bard series, maybe the best yet.

  • Katreniah
    2019-03-17 19:34

    Normally, I do my homework, check and see if the book is part of a series, double-check to learn what type of book it is, do some research on the author, but I didn't do any of that for this book, and I won't make that mistake again. I had been given this book, I read the back, and I plowed right into it one day. I didn't even look for the author's name until I was finishing chapter 3, so imagine my surprise when I learned it was Sookie Stackhouse's Charlaine Harris. I'd read the entire Sookie series - in order - and I loved it.The three things the Lily Bard series and the Sookie Stackhouse series have in common are really interesting main characters, well-written stories, and my determination to collect every book in the series.Turns out, though, that this book is 3rd in the series (I started to get suspicious around that same chapter 3), so I'm already reading them out of order.This book is way darker than the Sookie books, and it features so many characters that I was debating about making a list. But the main character is so fascinating that I have to read more.

  • Jim
    2019-02-26 23:40

    Another good mystery, although the story got a little convoluted & confusing at a couple of points. May have been my fault for not following all the character names closely enough, but there were a fair few. Lily goes back to her home town, so she knows everyone & seems to meet half of them. This has added depth to Lily's character & I like her more with each page. Very admirable lady. On to the next!

  • Wanda
    2019-03-23 21:28

    I would rate this at 3.5 stars out of 5. Certainly good enough to keep me reading the rest of the series.In this installment, we change small towns and therefore a lot of the people that Lily Bard is interacting with and it’s a good change. She returns to her home-town and her family’s home for her sister’s wedding right before Christmas. After her traumatic rape & mutilation, Lily fled the town, her family and her friends, to start a new life in Shakespeare, Arkansas. Although she doesn’t regret the change of scene, in this book she learns that she maybe left too soon, not giving anyone (including herself) time to get used to her new normal. Like many people, Lily is reluctant to return home to face the family. She is not comfortable in her own skin yet, although she’s getting there, and doesn’t have the social skills to deal with those close to her effectively. A very typical introvert, she finds that it doesn’t have to be quite as difficult as she envisioned it—her family will meet her half-way if she makes an effort.One thing that did improve this book was that Lily was out of her regular routine—so although she takes on some cleaning tasks (as part of her “investigation” of what’s going on in her home-town), the reader isn’t subjected to as many detailed scenes of her cleaning routine. Also, she is away from her gym, so ditto with the karate/strength training that permeates the first two books.I think this could be a good series for people who care too much about the opinions of others, particularly those not close to them. Lily seems to be far too worried about what the community thinks of her and not worried enough about what she thinks of herself. Lily, if they aren’t paying your bills, their opinions don’t matter!

  • Dagny
    2019-03-03 19:38

    My favorite so far in this series! It is actually easy to like Lily in this book as she returns home for her sister's wedding and to reconcile with her family.

  • Tracy
    2019-03-17 03:40

    Better than the second book. Less disturbing somehow. Lily goes home for Christmas. Her relationship with Jack is less troublesome, more real. Lily is still cantankerous as hell, but seeing her at home makes this easier to understand. I'm starting to know Lily better now.

  • Julie (jjmachshev)
    2019-03-22 01:42

    I've enjoyed every one of Charlaine Harris' 'Shakespeare' mysteries. These are much darker than her other series with the exception of the 'Harper Connelly' series. If you're expecting anything like her 'Dead' series...don't. But if you like a gritty mystery with a kick-ass heroine with a dark'd be doing yourself a favor to try this series out. These were originally written in the 90s, but have been reprinted in the last couple of years.Lily has to return to her hometown after all this time. Her sister is getting married and Lily will be one of the attendants. Lily isn't doing too badly back home. But then two people are murdered, her detective boyfriend shows up looking into an old missing baby case, and there's another murder. All Lily really wanted was a quiet Christmas!Like I said, I've read the whole Shakespeare series and only wish there were more.

  • Emily
    2019-03-07 03:28

    I've gotten very attached to Lily Bard. It was interesting this time around to see her outside of the Shakespeare setting and interacting with her family. (view spoiler)[ Can't say I'm very fond of her new bro-in-law after their last conversation. What a tool. And after she cleaned his house (albeit with ulterior motives) for him too.(hide spoiler)] I like how Lily, even though there seems to be a murder every time she turns around, has gradually started to enjoy life again. She's beginning to trust people, she's making friends and she's coming to think of Shakespeare as home.I think the cute cover art on some of the editions gives the wrong impression, though. These are not cozy mysteries. Harris doesn't shy away from disturbing subject matter, and this book is no exception. But she doesn't revel in it either.I don't think I've ever read so many mysteries in such a short period of time. On to the next!

  • Sesa38
    2019-03-22 01:30

    This was my first book in the Lily Bard series. I was looking for Christmas books so read this out of order. I'm not a huge Charlene Harris fan - I don't care for the vampire series at all- but loved this one. I immediately downloaded and read books 1 and 2 in the series next. The main character is a woman who had been brutally attacked in the past and goes on to learn self defense and get very strong. Because of her experiences, she has as hard time relating to people but is making friends in the small town she lives in. I like the characters. These books move very quickly. I usually read cozies and this is a bit more graphic than a cozy but a great series. I'll read the rest.

  • Tina
    2019-03-22 00:44

    Now this one was quite a bit better than book #2 Shakespeare's Champion and I even liked the plot and mystery more than book # 1 Shakespeare's Landlord.Lily's Sister is getting married and Lily needs to go home to participate in all the pre-wedding celebrations because she is the maid of honor.Since the rape/torture that happened to her over seven years ago, Lily has remained largely apart from her family. They simply didn't know how to react to her trauma and in the aftermath Lily simply did not know how to communicate with her family either. So she's moved away and has led a distant relationship with them.But she can't back out of the wedding and since it is so close to Christmas, she feels that she needs to be there. Also, Lily has healed a bit and has become a bit more centered since her relationship with PI Jack Leeds.So Lily heads back home and is slowly feeling her way back into her family and into her home town when Jack show up unexpectedly. He is on the trail of a missing child. A baby was kidnapped eight years ago and Jack has received reliable evidence that one of three little girls who live in Lily's hometown is that baby. But horrors, one of those three little girls is the daughter of Lily's sister's fiance. Lily is reluctantly drawn into Jack's investigation even while she and Jack are falling in love and he manages to charm her family.This book had a much better flow and feel than the previous book. The mystery was interesting and quite suspenseful. And the best part was reading how Lily and her family negotiate through their feelings and expectations to come to some terms with what happened to Lily.The only thing about this book that niggled at me, and it could just be a flow over from how he was introduced in the previous book, is Jack. As a character he is actually quite interesting. He has a great back story and looks really good on paper. The problem is, his relationship with Lily leaves me feeling oddly cold. He is charming and wonderful and they are seriously falling in love. There isn't anything sinister or alarming about him. I get the impression as reader that he is exactly who he (and the author) says he is -- the guy for Lily. And yet, I am not feeling them at all. But that aside, this book was a really good read and actually made me feel like I was reading a good cozy mystery.

  • Lauren
    2019-03-23 20:54

    Shakespeare's Christmas4 StarsReturning home for her sister’s wedding, Lily is dreading the inevitable confrontation with the harsh memories of her past. All this takes a back seat, however, when Lily finds herself enmeshed in a new mystery as her boyfriend, private investigator Jack Leeds, arrives with the troubling news that Lily's soon to be brother-in-law may be a kidnapper. While Lily is definitely not the most affable of heroines and some readers may find her directness curt and discourteous, to me she is refreshing, original and admirable. The insights into her life immediately following the attack and the reactions of her friends and family at the time, provide additional depths to her character and reinforce her amazing strength of will and resilience. Jack and Lily’s romance is going strong and there are several entertaining scenes with the two of them trying to define their relationship and its future direction. Jack can charm the pants off anyone and the reactions of the various Bard family members to his presence are priceless. The mystery involves a killer’s attempts to cover up a kidnapping and once again the reader follows Lily as she uncovers the clues and confronts the culprit. The actual investigation is rather slow going as the case builds against several likely suspects, but the climax is exciting and the resolution satisfying. Although the mystery is solved and the villain is apprehended, Lily’s departure from Bartley is somewhat abrupt and there are a couple of loose ends remaining, such as (view spoiler)[What happened to Jane Osborne? (hide spoiler)] and (view spoiler)[Lily’s family’s reactions to events (hide spoiler)].In terms of the audiobook, Julia Gibson’s narration is enjoyable although there are still lengthy gaps between sections that can be distracting. In sum, Lily has become one of my favorite heroines and the more I read of this series, the better I like it. Looking forward to the next installment.

  • Shorty
    2019-03-13 19:37

    I am so glad to have Lily actually connecting with her new boyfriend Jack in such a way that he may become permanent. She has grown-up feelings, and recognizes them, and isn't running away from them, or Jack.Lily is growing, coming out of her shell, and becoming more confident in herself, and others. She is willing to see that opening yourself up to others and their feelings SOME times does not end in pain, and is trying, once more.Lily went to be in her little sister's wedding, and helped Jack solve a missing child case that transformed into a multiple murder case as well. It kept you guessing as to who the missing child was, right up until the end. The murderer was hidden from us as well. It is my favorite of the first three as well, and LOVE that it's a very serious series, and that they don't keep rehashing the details of The Bad Thing that happened to Lily, 8 (or so) years ago.Lily is faced with some demons of the past, and is better for it. She goes home and sees her family and friends, From Before her life changed, and lives through it. She hangs around some kids, and seems to connect with them, even though she's convinced herself she doesn't like them much.All in all, a damn good read. Very addicting, and I finished it in one day. I will read on, until the library doesn't have anymore.

  • Tracy Terry
    2019-03-05 02:32

    The third in the Lily Bard/Shakespeare Mystery series. At last a plot that has some substance to it, a whodunit that though the reason why is fairly obvious the perpetrator is less so.Interesting that the author chose this, the third book in the series, to really explore the aftermath of Lily's assault not just through the eyes of those closest to Lily but also through Lily herself's eyes, though this works ok as a stand alone novel it is because of this that I think the books are probably best read in order.Though still full of coincidences, highly contrived and somewhat lacking in reality (what would law enforcement be without she who solves crimes others fail to?), with none (or very little anyway) of the usual house cleaning and gym elements to the story at last we are rewarded to a good 'old fashioned' murder mystery in which we get to know a far more well-rounded and less one- dimensional Lily.Enjoyable enough, after reading this I'm at least more inclined to read the other two remaining books in the series.

  • Candice
    2019-02-27 23:48

    Lily Bard is much darker than Sookie Stackhouse. I've know that, I figured it out the first few books. But even so, this one gave me nightmares. I have a sister who is deeply disturbed (I am as well, I just handle it better) by crimes involving children. If you are, this might not be the best book for you.I have one large issue with this installment ... the hurry up to the end. All the Lily Bard mysteries are quick reads. But mostly the mystery stretches out throughout the book. In this one, there was essentially no "lead" or alley to chase until the last ten pages. And then, it happened quickly and was over even more quickly. So through 3/4 of the book nothing happened. Not plot hooks, no lead in, and I just felt the whole "Jack is here" part of it all seemed incredibly forced on Harris' part. Eh, I'll still be reading the rest of the series so what am I complaining about?

  • Nikinnia Smith
    2019-03-03 21:29

    I didn't enjoy this book as much as the 1st two in the series. In this book Lily leaves Shakespeare to go back to her home town for her sister's wedding. (view spoiler)[ Her boyfriend Jack is also there investigating a case about a missing girl who was taken as a baby. Lily suspects her sister's fiance's daughter is the missing little girl. Turns out she is not, but the little girl's friend, Eve, is actually the missing girl. Her father kidnapped her after he most likely killed his newborn son. The father is a pedophile and wanted a little girl. Once the mother finds out that Eve is not hers and tries to tell Jack the father kills her, and the doctor and nurse who did the blood test on Eve. Of course Lily saves the day and solves the case.(hide spoiler)]The problem I had with this book is that everything was so weird with her family and the citizens of Bartlett.

  • graveyardgremlin (formerly faeriemyst)
    2019-03-02 23:50

    The weakest entry so far, but still not a bad read. The book takes place out of Shakespeare and in Lily's hometown of Bartley, which it was nice to learn more about her family and other background info. She's still prickly and ill-suited to normal human interactions, but she is trying. I hope by the end of the series, she'll be even closer to fully healing. Lily's relationship with Jack is interesting and weird, but they're still figuring things out, and have similar feelings towards committment it seems. The mystery could have been stretched into a longer book and not wrapped up so quickly, but it didn't bother me very much. In the end, it was a fast and easy story, and a good but not great third book in the Lily Bard series.3.5 stars

  • Vickie
    2019-02-22 19:30

    This was a perfect-for-me holiday read. Murder and mystery as written by Charlaine Harris. Yep, perfect. And it's still good. Above was written 23 Dec 2008. Read it again as a holiday favorite.

  • CalamityMane
    2019-03-14 01:40

    Le sigh. I'm tiring of Harris' writing characters who are so severely damaged that they don't make sense anymore. What woman who's been through what Lily Bard has been through would find herself attracted to a physically aggressive man like Jack? And if Jack is the person he's supposed to be - a man who knows what Lily Bard has been through - why is always manhandling her in such a way that she has remind him not to?The premise for this book was better than the previous two, but the disjointed writing and horrible characters (NO person in her family understood and took her side?!) ruined this. Also, the pathetic and disturbing reasoning for why the villain did what he did made this anticlimactic. The ending is what my sister calls a "this-needed-to-in-by-5-o'clock-and-it's-4:59" ending.It didn't help that she recapped characters and incidents from previous books (save for the one theme that kept coming up over and over again). I feel that in a series, the reader takes their chances if they choose to start in the middle.I've read better by Charlaine Harris and may simply persevere with this series since there are only two books left. Definitely not my favourite.

  • Mackey St
    2019-03-24 03:46

    Shakespeare's Christmas During the holidays I like to read books centered around the season. Unfortunately that is becoming more and more difficult to do unless one really likes trite, cozy mysteries or steamy holiday romance novels. Since I have previously read all of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, I decided to give Shakespeare's Christmas a try. Yes, it is a cozy mystery and yes it is written in exactly the same style as all other Harris books. Harris writes exactly as she speaks - in down home, southern flavor. Her books are written simply and and there will be NO surprise twists at the end. However, if you want a seasonal book, an easy read, something to cozy up next to the fireplace with while it's snowing outside then this book is perfect. And I did....

  • Lisa
    2019-03-10 01:45

    As my cold gets worse instead of better, Lily Bard heads home for her sister's wedding preparations. While Lily tries to navigate familial relationships, Jack Leeds unexpectedly appears in her hometown, drawing her into a missing person's case and a murder (she's becoming a little like Jessica Fletcher, who I'm amazed ever got invited anywhere what with her presence guaranteeing that a dead body would show up).While Jack still makes my shit itch - if a potential boyfriend ever showed up to a family gathering to which I hadn't invited him, I'd be dumping his ass rather than getting all misty-eyed at him, and Jack is also way too possessive for my liking - the books are still undemanding and yet compelling enough for me to appreciate around medicated dozes.

  • Angela
    2019-03-07 19:38

    Better than the second one by far, but still lacking in the mystery department. She did do some actual investigating in this one, which was nice, and the case was much darker than a guy being killed over...I completely why the landlord was killed in the first book. Ohhh, right - made the wrong comment on the wrong day to the wrong person, and they freaked. Right, well, in that case, this mystery was world's darker.Starting to get tired of the constant mentions of shaving, but it could be much, much worse, so I'm just gonna quit here for now and read something else before finishing the series.

  • Cherie
    2019-03-14 03:39

    Another great entry in the Lily Bard Mystery series. In this one, Lily travels home during the holidays to be a bridesmaid in her sister's wedding, and of course trouble follows her... as does her sexy new boyfriend Jack! ;) We learn a bit more about Lily's background in this one as she stays with her family during her homecoming. This is really the first time she's been home since the incident which scarred her both physically and emotionally.I'm looking forward to reading more of this series!

  • Mira
    2019-03-08 21:43

    I have a love/hate thing with Charlaine Harris. While I have come to tire of the relentless damsel in distress that is Sookie Stackhouse, the protagonist of this novel was a strong woman more than capable of taking care of herself. I approve of this heartily.The pacing of this novel is good, it keeps the interest up and it gives enough clues to the plot that you can keep up. A great relief that there is no magical deus ex machina to save this heroine. I'm not sure that I'd seek out other books in this series but I'd pick them up if I saw them hanging around the library

  • Jan C
    2019-03-03 22:25

    Kind of interesting. What happens where someone who left home because of neaucoup scandal when she was raped has to go back home when her sister gets married. Plus, boyfriend Jack is working on a case about a girl who was snatched and there are three possible girls in Lily's home town of Bartley who could be it and one of them is her future brother-in-law's daughter. Another belongs to the local minister. And, of course, once Lily and Jack show up the bodies start falling. But, oooooooh, the tension in that household could be cut with a knife.

  • Sarah Adamson
    2019-03-10 01:38

    3rd in the series and the hardest book to find for a long time until Charlaine Harris became famous from Sookie. This is a Reread! This book explores Lily's family as she returns home for her sister's wedding. She is dreading the whole social scene and having to be a part of it when Jack shows up, not just for her but with a job - to find a kidnapped child. The child, kidnapped as a baby almost 8 years ago, may be one of three girls including Lily's soon-to-be niece. Another great mystery full of twists and turns with the real mystery hidden until the end!

  • Elyse
    2019-03-05 20:24

    Murder follows Lily Bard around. Which I guess is the point of the series. Ha. It was good to see Lily interact with her family and mend some fences. I thought the plot was surprising, not what I was expecting. I'm not Jack's biggest fan and I'm not sure why...his descriptions from the second book I wasn't over the moon over, I guess. I liked some of the hometown characters that Lily hadn't seen in many years. Healing has happened. I can't believe I have only 2 books left! :(

  • Kristine Hansen
    2019-03-05 02:48

    Lily Bard has got to be my favorite tortured hero(ine). With a past that haunts her, the last thing she wants to do is go home for Christmas. Then the corpses start piling up. Because, you know, it's a Lily Bard book.I love the blossoming romance. I love that she's a damsel that's never in distress so long as she can get her hands (or feet, or whatever) into play. Tough and feisty and still very very fragile, Lily is actually my favorite of Ms. Harris' characters.

  • Ronda
    2019-03-20 22:35

    This one has been my favorite so far. It takes place outside the comfort of Lily's new home and life in Shakespeare and finds her revisiting her childhood home for her sister's wedding. Lily doesn't want to be there, but it seems the visit might be cathartic for both her and her family--so long as her brother-in-law to be doesn't turn out to be guilty of kidnapping and murder.