Friday, August 20, 2010

Charlaine Harris: Lily Bard x 3

These are some of my summer reads, all mingling together in my memory now of course. Writing about the first Lily Bard I read I remember saying something about how racism is alluded to but not a main issue – well, they are a main issue in the series, I take it all back. It is still interesting to read that the status quo in the South seems to be that the best people, Charlaine’s heroines for example, are not racists at all, but there are plenty of racists still out there and it’s just not done to call someone on their bigotry. You leave people to themselves with their opinions, which they happily state quite openly, and then you only intervene if crime ensues. Must be a bloody awful society to live in, really.

Shakespeare’s Landlord is the first Lily Bard novel, introducing her and the police chief, Claude. On a late-night walk Lily finds her landlord dead in a small park near their home. Not wanting to get involved she makes an anonymous call to another neighbour, said Claude, who nevertheless cops (snigger) on to her identity and pushes her for more information. One of the neighbours, a divorced black man, is having an affair with the promiscuous spoilt girl that Lily finds dead later in Shakespeare's Trollop. I don’t really read Charlaine Harris for the plots, but I do think I was a little surprised at the conclusion of this one, and not just in a positive way.

Shakespeare’s Champion is about Lily finding a dead man at the gym where she works out. He wasn’t a nice man, quite the racist, which of course Lily and other non-racists don’t really appear to confront, but instead just not approve of. Lily is known to be pro-black though since she helped a young black man who had gotten into a fight with several whites. The black fella is later found dead anyway, and it turns out that somehow these two deaths are related. Also this introduces Lily’s hunk, Jack, who turns up investigating. All ends in a massive shoot-out and feels generally a little too conspiracist (a word I just invented).

I read Shakespeare’s Christmas last. Lily goes to her home town for her sister’s wedding, just before Christmas. Turns out Jack has a job there so comes along. He’s looking for an eight-year-old girl who was stolen from her home as a baby. Lily’s sister’s stepdaughter is the right age, and so are two of her friends. Oh sorry, should have ended that sentence with … , my bad! Quite exciting really, but slightly overdone fight scene at the end.

So that’s that and no more, I’ll have to look at the library soon and see if there are any other Charlaines, they’re good for the bus they are.

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