As they turn on the lights, they find Del's body lying on a pressing bench in a corner. At first they believe that his throat had been crushed by the weight of the bar, but the lights were all off when they arrived. Besides, he had said that a spotter was to meet him the previous evening.
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Had he been murdered? Del is the third death in Shakespeare within a month or so.
First the young black boy Darnell Glass was beaten to death. Then the white Len Elgin was shot. Now Del is dead.
Shakespeare's Champion: A Lily Bard Mystery by Charlaine Harris - Books - Hachette Australia
Racial tensions are rising again for the first time in thirty years. It all started with a minor auto accident. A local boy hit Darnell's car and refused to admit that he was at fault. An argument ensued and all four white boys accosted Darnell. Darnell got in the first punch, but the other three white boys started swinging at him.
Two policemen -- one off duty and the other on patrol -- were present, but stayed back from the fight.
Lily and a black Marine separated the boys, but Lily got blindsided and fell down, knocking her head against a table. Lily has lost several clients, so she goes down her waiting list for a new one. After several failures, she makes arrangements to spend a couple of hours cleaning Mookie's house.
They are both surprised when they first meet, since Lily had been expecting a white and Mookie had expected a black.
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Yet Lily's only complaint is that Mookie can't sit still and talks everytime she walks by. Then blue fliers with white supremacist jargon start appearing under wiper blades.
The local blacks have a meeting at Golgotha AME to discuss the situation. Claude and the county sheriff attend, but reluctantly admit that the fliers are not illegal. After the meeting adjourns, a bomb goes off and shreds the pews into deadly splinters. Lily is injured in the blast and drenched with blood from a woman decapitated by an offering plate. She is thrown through the air and lands on a young girl.
As Lily fuzzily rights herself, she discovers that the girl is dead. Then she notices that her hearing is gone. As she wanders through the wreckage helping survivors, she finds Claude pinned down under a fallen light fixture. The ambulances start carting off wounded to the local hospital.
As she is lying in the corridor waiting for medical attention, Lily blearily notices a familiar face.
It belongs to the man who replaced Del at Winthrop Sporting Goods. This tale involves Lily with a group of black hating good old boys. They aren't very smart or well educated, but they know how to make bombs by following instructions in a book. Lily also finally meets Jared Fletcher -- Del's replacement -- after seeing him various places.
This story lands Lily in a lot of trouble. The next installment -- Shakespeare's Christmas -- finds her in more hot water. Read and enjoy! Highly recommended for Harris fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of martial arts, hate crimes, and stubborn women. Good but what's the deal with the race relations? From Amazon CH brings this up a lot in some of her past books, and I just don't get it.
This book is a good read, but it is darker than I would have wanted. The whole racist group plot was a little weird and at times too contrived for me. However, I liked the book, so it got that many stars. This book in the series is my least favorite, though. A good note is that important character development begins in this book that carries through the entire series. Good combination of mystery and romance. 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!
I do think of Sookie when I think of Harris. I do like her writing; have reviewed Grave Secret from the Harper Connelly series and liked it very much. I think I may have picked a few of these up from my library sales…sounds interesting. So, I can be a Charlaine Harris fan without reading about vampires? Okay, I like that. Cozy mysteries with a little romancer suits me better.
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I had no idea Harris had written other series. Such is my ignorance! Might have to try this. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.
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