It's September 1592, and Sergeant Dodd is still in London with dashing courtier Sir Robert Carey. Carey urgently needs to get back to Carlisle where he is the Deputy Warden; the raiding season is about to begin. However, his powerful father, Henry, Lord Hunsdon, wants him to solve the mystery of a badly decomposed corpse that has washed up from the Thames on Her Majesty's privy steps.
Meanwhile, although he hates London, Sergeant Dodd has decided not to go north until he has taken revenge for his mistreatment by the Queen's Vice Chamberlain, Thomas Heneage. Carey's father wants him to sue, but none of the lawyers in London will take the brief against such a dangerous courtier. Soon a mysterious young lawyer with a pock-marked face eagerly offers to help Dodd. And then, just as Carey is resigning himself to the delay, the one person he really does not want to see again arrives in London to stir up everything.
Carey is on difficult terms with his powerful sire, Henry, Lord Hunsdon. Hunsdon, son of Anne Boleyn's elder sister, Mary -- and probably of a young King Henry VIII -- swings a lot of weight as ""cousin"" to Queen Elizabeth. But Hunsdon needs his ingenious younger son, Carey to sort out the difficulties his elder son has got himself into as an innocent party in a plot to discredit the family.
Accompanied by the shrewd Sergeant George Dodd, who's like a fish out of water as he copes with the strange Londoners, Carey tackles Catholics, treachery, and such persons known to history and students of literature as George Greene and Christopher Marlowe who are working as spies and double agents. Most arresting is a portrait of a love-sick, snivelling hanger-on named Will Shakespeare..../div
Now in Nevada, he's stumbled into the world of a killer: in the small town of San Cristobal, one child was killed accidentally---or so it seems---a few weeks before Mike's arrival. The day after he shows up, an adult is murdered, and soon another child disappears. Mike doesn't want to get involved, but he can't help himself, first because as a stranger in town he's got to prove to the local law enforcement that he's not the killer, and second, because he's in the perfect place to solve the case and redeem himself in the eye of the FBI. Not to mention that at least one more child's life is at stake.
Thomas Lakeman is one of those rare talents who has composed a first novel that doesn't read like a debut at all, but instead is written with the precision and tightly drawn suspense of one of the genre's masters.
As it turns out, the group members' feelings aren't the only things that need sorting out -- they assemble for a session and find a woman dead, killed in bone-chilling fashion and deliberately left on display to send a twisted message. Who would commit such horrendous crime, and who is the intended recipient of the message?
Before long, Lily becomes embroiled in this disturbing murder and its aftermath, one in which the brutal killer's motives are entirely unclear. The truth is, the situation has dredged up more than a few of her own terrible secrets, and she may not be able to rest until she can untangle the who and why of this terrible crime. But can she accomplish this before the killer strikes again, and before her nightmares send her over the edge? Shakespeare's Counselor is the most complex and absorbing installment yet in Charlaine Harris's engaging, original, and more than slightly dark mystery series.