Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: A Bad Day for Sorry - 1st in the Stella Hardesty Mystery series
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: May 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Prosper MO
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Sophie's Website/Blog: www.sophielittlefield.com
Stella Hardesty has turned into what I started calling a BAMM—one Bad-Ass Menopausin’ Mama. Shortly before she turned fifty, her abusive husband heaped on the last straw of abuse that broke this woman’s resolve. She grabbed a wrench and dispatched him to the demons of hell where he deserved to go. In the end, she was acquitted and didn’t serve time. But now, other women come to her for help. She’s become her own brand of parole officer, dishing up home-style justice to men who seem to think abusing their wives and girlfriends is acceptable behavior.
She continues to run her sewing shop and does her ‘parole work’ on her days off and after hours. She knows she’s running outside the law, but has decided it’s better to scare men into submission and end abuse than wait for the legal system to do something—which they generally won’t do. She has some unorthodox methods for bringing men around to her way of thinking. From spreader bars to ball gags and other souped-up bondage items, you never know what she’ll use next.
When Chrissy Shaw asks Stella to help with her husband Roy dean, it starts as a normal job. But when Chrissy’s toddler boy is taken, Stella finds herself up against a much bigger enemy than she thought. From hints of organized crime to potential murders, she’s got her hands full trying to get the boy back. All of this done under the watchful eye of the local Sheriff who might have a crush on her.
A Bad Day for Sorry is Sophie Littlefield’s debut novel and it’s obvious in reading this book why she won an award for Best First Novel. Stella is my kind of gal. She’s like who I’d like to be someday, but pumped up on steroids and owning a gun. I’ve always thought in smaller scale like being the parking lot nazi at the local elementary school with driver issues. I’d never thought in a Stella-worthy scale. She’s a woman who has done things in her past that she regrets, but she is determined to save other women from suffering years of abuse. While her methods are unorthodox, they seem to be working and women are escaping from abusive relationships. It’s admirable.
In this story, the suspense builds with the mystery. Nobody really believes organized crime has moved into Prosper, but Stella starts to suspect the rumors are true. Her information wouldn’t be admissible in a court so she doesn’t keep the Sheriff in the loop. I think he’s onto her and aware of more of her ‘rehabilitation program’ than he lets on…I’m interested to read the next book in the series to see if I might be right. Yet, when she’s beaten and left for dead, the sheriff is the one who comes to her rescue. I kept hoping for a little romance to develop, but I understood why Stella would keep herself apart from the Sheriff to make sure she doesn’t get caught.
This is a really light-hearted and fun read that kept turning pages and me chuckling from the beginning to the end.
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