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Shakespeare's Trollop (Lily Bard Mysteries) (original 2000; edition 2004)

by Charlaine Harris

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1,051258,009 (3.65)23
Member:wyvernfriend
Title:Shakespeare's Trollop (Lily Bard Mysteries)
Authors:Charlaine Harris
Info:Berkley Prime Crime (2004), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 194 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, read, 2009, january, mystery, murder, vb, gr

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Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris (2000)

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"But it was not her weakness that had caused her death; it was one of her strengths that had killed her."

Many readers have been turned off by the disparaging inner thoughts from the main character, Lily, about victim's lifestyles and "slut shaming." I've seen from reviews that some wouldn't even continue the series. Now, I wouldn't stop the series over something such as that since I know many books start with a character that needs to grow more into realization and knowledge. This book highlights the annoyances so many hold about Lily, not apologizing and actually enhancing the prejudice.

Shakespeare's trollop is even named after the 'town trollop' that Lily mentally disses in each book. I'm not a fan of slut shaming either, but Harris did make it clear the victim has always been ridiculous undiscriminating with who she sleeps with, how often, the toys, the tapes. There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, however, as Lily closes her eyes on the last page, thinking deeper about Deedra and her life.

There was a scene that especially irked me. Lily felt violated and angry about Deedra's death eventually, and in one scene was angry while using her anger against the punching bag. She was trying to reassure herself by saying, "She was nothing," "She was nothing," while punching. That's a low blow. Deedra may have been slutty by Lily's terms, but a nothing because of that? For shame, Lily. For shame, Harris.

There's not a high mystery this time around either. Lily ponders here and there but does not do actual snooping. Things just kind of fall into place as she encounters a situation after another.

There is a development with Jack, of course, that's big for Lily. I'm not feeling realism in their relationship or spark from him. Claude and Carrie are sweet and that development was quick. The villains turned out very surprising, as the person's been around for awhile and this kind of came out of nowhere. That said, it wasn't unrealistic because of that....but it was impossible for a mystery reader to ever guess. It was more of a thriller/suspense book shock ending, not a reasonable conclusion a detective could solve until one of the last page clues.


( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Shakespeare's Trollop
4 Stars

When Lily stumbles across the dead body of Deedra Dean, Shakespeare’s most promiscuous resident, everyone assumes that her lifestyle has finally caught up with her and the suspects pile up. However, a series of seemingly unrelated incidents soon reveal that there is more to Deedra’s death than meets the eye.

To begin with, it should be noted that the strongest criticism of this installment in the Lily Bard series is that Harris appears to be engaging in “slut shaming” and “victim blaming”. While I can certainly see why this is the case considering Deedra’s characterization, once cannot escape the fact that Harris is presenting a phenomenon that is, unfortunately, common in our society not because she condones it herself, but because she seeks to expose it for the misogynistic rubbish that it is. As with the 2nd book in the series, denying that something distasteful exists will not make it go away!

Personally, Lily Bard and the colorful residents of Shakespeare, Arkansas, have been one of the highlights of my reading year. The characters, the town and the mysteries have made the series come to life for me and I’m sad that there is only one more book to go.

It is great to see the growth and development in Lily’s character. While she remains brusque and anti-social, she is slowly opening herself to friendships and to the emotional connection that she is forming with Jack. Even though they have to deal with one or two obstacles in their relationship, Lily and Jack emerge stronger than ever and it looks like they are moving in the right direction.

The who-dun-it has some interesting twists and turns although it is easy to guess the culprit once the clues start making sense. The climax and resolution are as exciting as ever and I particularly enjoyed the fight at the end.

All in all, Harris a skilled storyteller and once I’m done with Lily and company, I will be on the lookout for more of her books. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Jun 1, 2016 |
Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris - Good

Ah, after The Panopticon I needed a light fluffy read and this cosy mystery was just the thing.

I've not ready anything by Charlaine Harris before - she wrote the Sookie Stackhouse novels that became the True Blood tv series. Well this is nothing like that. No vampires.

This is the fourth of the Lily Bard mysteries (annoyed that I started mid-series accidently) set in Shakespeare, Arkansas. Lily is a cleaner and karate expert living in the town. One day, returning from a cleaning job, she spots a car down a track and investigates, only to find the body of Deedra Dean - a 'good time girl' (the Trollop of the title) and also one of Lily's clients.

Lily doesn't particularly set about investigating, but as she is asked to help clean out Deedra's apartment and also cleans for some of her relatives, she finds various clues and gets drawn in.

Nice little, non-demanding, read.
( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
Shakespeare's Trollop
by Charlaine Harris
Berkley Prime Crime, 2004 (reprint)
ISBN 9780425196991 (paperback), 194 pp.

Review date: May, 2015

The five books of Charlaine Harris's Lily Bard series start out pretty good, but about halfway through, they become (at least in my opinion) less enjoyable. I don' t know if Ms. Harris just had these story ideas roiling around in her head and absolutely had to get them out, or if she had a story arc for Lily that she felt had to be told, or if she was just trying to eke out a living following the modern tradition of building series or franchises around a central character—but whatever the case, I think she definitely could have tightened up Lily's personal story and written just a single book, or at least stopped after the second or third.

In the fourth novel of the series, Shakespeare's Trollop, Lily finds herself investigating the death of Deedra Dean, a recurring character in the Lily Bard novels who is known for her promiscuity. I found the central mystery somewhat unsatisfying because despite being strung along by numerous red herrings in the form of Deedra's sexual partners and others, I still ended up picking up on each of the clues a fair amount of time before the protagonist did, and had a pretty good idea of the culprit in the end, although the 'why' of it escaped me until it was explained—and even that felt disappointingly contrived.

Throughout most of the book, I didn't care for the way Deedra was spoken of, being judged—even by Lily—for her promiscuity, but by the end, I came to appreciate this as just another example of Harris's skill in portraying life as it is and people as they are. Whether such attitudes are right is debatable, but there's no denying that they're prevalent in society, and I greatly appreciated that Deedra actually ended up, when all is said and done, as being a pretty sympathetic character, and that Harris found a way to wrap up the murder mystery without the poor victim falling prey to the cliche of 'being punished for her sins'. Because of that, I'm adding an extra half star to an otherwise two-star book, but I still wouldn't recommend it except as discussion material about the subject of female promiscuity or for those who have read the previous books and are extremely interested in the continuing story of Lily Bard's life.

——————————

2½ stars: Better than average. Whereas many reviewers tend to be more generous, most works I rate receive two or three stars. At this rating, all my expectations have been met; there are few technical, conventional, or factual flaws, if any, and I found the work to be mildly entertaining and/or sufficiently informative, but it wouldn't be at the top of my list of recommendations. A 2½-star work is better than just "OK" but I wouldn't quite call it "good". Equivalent to a school grade of 'B-', or a little better than average. ( )
  tokidokizenzen | May 27, 2015 |
Fourth in the Lily Bard Mysteries. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Jan 31, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425196992, Mass Market Paperback)

Shakespeare, Arkansas, is home to endless back roads, historic buildings, colorful residents--and the occasional murder. It is also home to Lily Bard, the local karate expert/cleaning woman with a particular knack for finding skeletons in closets.

But when the local woman of ill repute is found murdered, being familiar with her dirty laundry could make Lily the next Shakespearean to die.

 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:23 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When the local woman of ill repute is found murdered, being familiar with her dirty laundry could make Lily Bard the next Shakespearean to die.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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