Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: A Bad Day for Pretty - 2nd in the Stella Hardesty Mystery series
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-55975-5 (Hardcover)
Release Date: June 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Prosper MO
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Sophie's Website/Blog: www.sophielittlefield.com
Stella Hardesty is a hard-nosed woman who doesn’t take a shine to men who beat on their women. She has her own parole program where she meets with these men—off the record—and gives them some convincing that they need to change their ways. While having a thing for the sheriff might seem counter productive, Stella does have the hots for Sheriff "Goat" Jones. When she finally gets an honest to goodness date with him, what should blow into town but a tornado and his ex-wife, Brandy. Brandy ruins their evening and the tornado does some major damage to the snack shack at the demolition derby track. In the destruction, some of the concrete foundation is ripped out and a body is discovered.
Stella doesn’t mean to get involved, but when one of her good friends, Neb Donovan, is the prime suspect, she can’t stand by and watch him get pinned for murder. It looks like someone doesn’t want Ned to be found innocent—or that he just might be guilty. As Stella sorts through all the information she can find, she knows she’s onto something bigger. Will she be able to clear Ned’s name and keep herself out of trouble? Will Brandy get Goat’s heart again?
What a fantastic second book. I wasn’t sure if Sophie Littlefield would end up being a one hit wonder or not. I’d say not. This sequel to A Bad Day for Sorry is as witty and action filled as the first book. While it does tie into the previous book, you don’t have to have read the first book to read this one. Each book stands fully on its own.
Stella is still a hard-nosed woman out to avenge those who can’t or won’t avenge themselves. She’s not going to be anybody’s whipping post anymore and she knows her mind. I love that we see characters from the previous book and that we get to know some of them better. Stella may have her own brand of justice, but she does have a heart of gold. She really just wants to make the world a better place…but in her own way.
It was lots of fun to see her getting closer to Goat, but still try to hide her side business. Everyone thinks she just runs the sewing shop, but the side business is what is going to keep her afloat. Her jealousy of Brandy causes a few really funny moments that will have you laughing out loud.
The action can be nail biting at times, but I am thankful that it’s not full of gore. It’s something you can read and have the thrill of suspense without the blood and guts.
It’s another home run story from Sophie Littlefield. I look forward to reading more of her work—and more about Stella, in the future.
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