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

by Charlaine Harris

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982228,747 (3.67)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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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. ( )
  boppisces | Jan 31, 2015 |
This was a decent read, typical of the series. This one was a little less satisfactory to me and I found the ending also somewhat unsatisfactory. I find that Lily is to me becoming too self involved and I get tired of hearing endlessly about her past. I know one could not get over such an incident, but constantly replaying it over and over to herself (and the reader) is counter-productive. Also, I thought it was obvious "who did it" about halfway through the book.
  MissJessie | Oct 16, 2013 |
Another good one, builds on the previous 3, so this is definitely a series to read in order. The mystery is a bit more convoluted, though. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Jun 19, 2013 |
I'm recommending the whole of the Lily Bard series to anyone who likes books with strong female characters. Lily has her problems, but she doesn't let them keep her from getting on with the job of solving crimes that come her way. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
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By the time I opened my eyes and yawned that morning, she had been sitting in the car in the woods for seven hours.
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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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