Shakespeare’s Champion (#2)

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Shakespeare, Arkansas, is a small Southern town with plenty of secrets, and Charlaine Harris’s Lily Bard, fresh from her acclaimed debut in Shakespeare’s Landlord, is just one more of its residents—albeit one harboring a few secrets of her own—with a desire to live quietly. 

Lily keeps to herself, between her job as a cleaning woman for several townspeople and her visits to the gym, where she’s a devotee of karate and bodybuilding. These two pursuits seem a bit odd for the petite Southern woman, but as work and play, they keep her focused and balanced.

When a fellow gym member is found dead after a workout with a barbell across his throat, Lily wants to believe it’s an accident. But looking at the incident against the background of other recent events in Shakespeare, including a few incidents that appear to be racially motivated, she’s afraid it could be a part of something much, much bigger–and more sinister…


“As good and, in some ways, better than its predecessor, SHAKESPEARE’S CHAMPION embodies a first-rate mystery, but this time also includes a special relationship drama about two wounded soldiers who heal each other through their love for one another. Charlaine Harris’ newest entry deserves top ten consideration.”

Midwest Book Review

“Wheels within wheels in a suspense story packed with nasty characters, a few good guys, some graphic sex, and more exercise and karate lore than you ever wanted to know. Lily’s stubborn, moody, gutsy persona holds it all together, and most readers will be with her to the finish.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“Full of surprises, this second fast-paced and gripping Lily Bard adventure showcases the amateur sleuth’s strength, determination, and martial arts prowess […] An engaging puzzler that's propelled smoothly along by Lily’s easy no-frills narration.”

Publishers Weekly

“We love the heroine of this compelling mystery […] Lily is too cool.”


“Precise storytelling and original characterizations make SHAKESPEARE’S CHAMPION, Charlaine Harris’ second Lily Bard mystery, surpass last year’s debut.”

Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Awards & Accolades


#8 MWA Bestseller List


Mostly Murder: “Year's Best”