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SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS by Charlaine Harris

SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS

By Charlaine Harris

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-19330-0
Publisher: St. Martin's

But it’s neither Shakespeare nor Christmas, actually, since Lily Bard, the most formidable cleaning woman in Shakespeare, Ark., leaves her adopted hometown in the opening chapter to return to her family’s queasy bosom in Bartley for her sister Varena’s wedding, a Christmas Eve affair that’s bound to upstage the usual round of holiday festivities. What it doesn’t upstage is a long-unsolved kidnaping—the snatching of newborn Summer Dawn Macklesby from her family’s porch eight years before, a crime that springs to alarming life again courtesy of an anonymously donated newspaper clipping announcing that Summer Dawn is one of the three eight-year-olds pictured. The candidates: Varena’s next-door neighbor Eve Osborn, her minister’s daughter Krista O’Shea, and Anna Kingery, daughter of Varena’s intended. Lily, who’s herself the survivor of a brutal abduction and would rather be working than socializing anyway, isn’t about to back down from this challenge, particularly after she and Varena stumble on the bodies of Dr. Dave LeMay and his nurse Binnie Armstrong—a powerful reminder that the Macklesby kidnaping has yet to be laid to rest. The detection is routine (Lily snoops around as she cleans the suspects’ houses), and bucolic Bartley is no Shakespeare. Only Lily herself, in full attack mode, carries the day.