Cover image for Shakespeare's counselor
Shakespeare's counselor
Harris, Charlaine.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2001.
Physical Description:
232 pages ; 22 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Cleaning woman and karate expert Lily Bard is a woman with a complicated past. Trying her best to cope with her terrifying memories and horrible nightmares, she decides to join a weekly group therapy session in her hometown of Shakespeare, Arkansas. At first, Lily can hardly believe the number of her fellow Shakespeareans that share her life experiences.

As it turns out, the group members' feelings aren't the only things that need sorting out -- they assemble for a session and find a woman dead, killed in bone-chilling fashion and deliberately left on display to send a twisted message. Who would commit such horrendous crime, and who is the intended recipient of the message?

Before long, Lily becomes embroiled in this disturbing murder and its aftermath, one in which the brutal killer's motives are entirely unclear. The truth is, the situation has dredged up more than a few of her own terrible secrets, and she may not be able to rest until she can untangle the who and why of this terrible crime. But can she accomplish this before the killer strikes again, and before her nightmares send her over the edge? Shakespeare's Counselor is the most complex and absorbing installment yet in Charlaine Harris's engaging, original, and more than slightly dark mystery series.

Author Notes

Charlaine Harris was born in Tunica, Mississippi on November 25, 1951. She attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She wrote poetry and plays before beginning to publish mysteries set in the American South. She is the author of the Aurora Teagarden Mystery series, the Lily Bard Mystery series, the Harper Connelly series, and the Sookie Stackhouse series. In 2001, the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, Dead until Dark, won an Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery. The series was adapted as a TV show on HBO called True Blood.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lily Bard has married private investigator Jack Leeds, although she hasn't told many people yet. In tiny Shakespeare, Arkansas, another dreamtime episode finally brings Lily to understand she needs help, and she finds it in a local therapy group of women who have been raped. Lily's own story is horrific, and this series is as much about Lily's re-finding her own self as it is about solving crimes. The leader of the therapy group is a woman named Tamsin, who is being stalked in spectacular ways. When those ways include a grisly murder in Tamsin's own office, Lily wants to know why. She's mostly given up her cleaning service to apprentice to Jack, and she is still obsessive about her own physical training. This dark-edged series finds surcease from a great deal of bloodshed in Lily's growing awareness of the power of her and Jack's attachment, even through a miscarriage and a vicious attack by one of Jack's ex-wives. GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Harris's fifth Lily Bard mystery set in the small Arkansas town of Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Trollop, etc.) is good enough in part to make one wish it was better as a whole. Its mainstream novelistic promise is left unfulfilled in its adherence to genre conventions. The victim of horrendous violence and plagued by nightmares, anger and self-loathing, Lily joins a local support group headed by Tamsin Lynd, a professional counselor. Tamsin herself has a major problem. She and her husband moved from Cleveland to Shakespeare after being terrorized by a stalker who remains at large. To their horror, the stalker appears to have followed them. First they find a squirrel hung from a tree in their backyard, then the corpse of one of the group in Tamsin's office. Lily, now a professional detective working for her friend/mentor/lover, Jack Leeds, wants to help. It seems two other people connected to the original investigation have followed Tamsin to Shakespeare: one is a woman cop obsessed with catching the stalker, the other a crime writer hoping to find the stuff of a bestseller. In the end, the author delivers a solution too bizarre to be credible. The book's most serious problem, however, is its lack of focus. It would like to be a story about women's pain the trauma of rape and the terror of being stalked but in fulfilling its obligations to the detective story it loses purpose and direction, as well as most of its suspense. (Nov. 12) FYI: Harris is also the author of the Aurora Teagarden mystery series. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Series heroine Lily Bard, of Shakespeare, AR, still deals with her years-ago rape by attending weekly group therapy. At one particular meeting, however, the group discovers a murder victim. Solid, clever, and quick. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.