Charlaine Harris never passes up the chance to build up her plots around aspects of social injustice, and you’ve got to love her for that. Most people associate the Sookie Stackhouse series of books with vampires and werewolves, but there are a lot of lessons about homophobia in them as well. And in the Lily Bard series that take place in the town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, we not only see Lily help solve crimes and engage in romances, but we also get insight into violence against women and into the lingering racism that still infects at least some white citizens of the South.
In Shakespeare’s Champion, Lily once again is in the wrong places at the wrong times, and ends up involved in another crime investigation. There is a white supremacist group operating in town, and some unexplained murders seem connected to it. Lily gets too close to finding out the truth, and she almost loses her life. Really, she gets so beat up in these books that I find myself wishing one of the vampires from the Sookie Stackhouse series would make its way to the town of Shakespeare and give her some blood to help her recuperate!
There’s a romance going on, and some sex – it would hardly be a Charlaine Harris book without that, but it’s all done with humor and tact.
Evaluation: This isn’t my favorite Harris series, but it’s still enjoyable enough to keep me coming back for more.
Published by St. Martin’s Press, 1997