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A Bad Day for Pretty (Stella Hardesty Series #2)

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Overview

Stella Hardesty, avenger of wronged women, is getting cozy with Sheriff ?Goat? Jones when a tornado blows none other than Goat?s scheming ex-wife, Brandy, through the front door. Adding to the chaos, the tornado destroys the snack shack at the demolition derby track, pulling up the concrete and unearthing a woman?s body. The main suspect for the dumping is Neb Donovan. Years ago, Neb?s wife asked Stella for help getting him sober. Stella doesn?t believe the gentle man could kill any woman, and she promises his ...

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A Bad Day for Pretty (Stella Hardesty Series #2)

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Overview

Stella Hardesty, avenger of wronged women, is getting cozy with Sheriff “Goat” Jones when a tornado blows none other than Goat’s scheming ex-wife, Brandy, through the front door. Adding to the chaos, the tornado destroys the snack shack at the demolition derby track, pulling up the concrete and unearthing a woman’s body. The main suspect for the dumping is Neb Donovan. Years ago, Neb’s wife asked Stella for help getting him sober. Stella doesn’t believe the gentle man could kill any woman, and she promises his frantic wife she’ll look into it. Former client Chrissy Shaw, now fully employed at Stella’s sewing shop, helps with snooping around as Stella must negotiate with the unpredictable Brandy and the dangerously alluring sheriff.

This is the thrilling sequel to Sophie Littlefield’s award-winning debut featuring Stella Hardesty, one of the most applauded and exciting new heroines in crime fiction today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The second novel featuring vigilante Stella Hardesty blends humor and southern-fried crime-solving, to delicious effect.”—People

"No sophomore slump for Littlefield! Her second novel featuring Stella Hardesty, empowered avenger of abused women, is just as compelling and addictive as her debut....You'll race through the pages of this book and then be sorry to leave Stella and her cohorts behind."—RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars)

"Sophie Littlefield’s debut novel A Bad Day for Sorry garnered much buzz and every possible award nomination. A Bad Day for Pretty firmly establishes her as a new brand of writer....It’s a joy when a new writer holds your attention from beginning to end. It’s a treat when she has something so new to say."—Crimespree Magazine

“Sophie Littlefield won this reader’s heart with her unforgettable debut novel, A Bad Day for Sorry. The only thing I was sorry about was that it had to end. Never fear—Stella Hardesty is back to kicking ass and taking names in A Bad Day for Pretty. She’s funny, profane, brave, passionate and honest in this new story of crime and punishment in rural Missouri.”—Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Hideaway

"Who in the hell do I have to run over to get more Stella? Seriously, people, if you aren't reading about this kick-ass woman and how brilliantly Littlefield portrays her world, her heartbreaks and successes, you're missing out."—Toni McGee Causey, author of When a Man Loves a Weapon

Kirkus Reviews
An amateur sleuth finds a corpse almost as fascinating as the sheriff's blue eyes. Stella Hardesty's after-dinner plans for Sheriff Goat Jones are cruelly interrupted by the intrusion of Brandy, the lawman's not-quite-ex-wife, who screams that she needs protection and a little drink. Back home, Stella checks on Chrissy, her assistant at the sewing-machine repair shop of her late, unlamented husband Ollie. When the phone rings, she's enmeshed in her unofficial and highly illegal second job: meting out justice to wife abusers. Neb Donovan, bless his gentle heart, isn't all that bad, though Stella once had to get him off Oxycontin so that his wife Donna could live with him in peace. Now a tornado has relocated the body of a woman that had been interred under the snack shack at the demolition-derby stadium. Neb, presumably the one who'd poured the concrete over the corpse, has wound up in jail, and it's up to Stella to prove him innocent, or not. Her task involves a lot of sighing over the sheriff's blue eyes and neat butt and even more attention paid to his almost-ex and her current beau, the dastardly Wil [sic] Vines. All will turn out just fine in time for a rescheduled evening with old blue eyes. If you like a little mystery with your romance, Stella (A Bad Day for Sorry, 2009) is the gal for you. Readers who prefer crime to cute may want to give her a pass. Agent: Barbara Poelle/Irene Goodman Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312560478
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Series: Stella Hardesty Series , #2
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 524,935
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sophie Littlefield grew up in rural Missouri. Her first novel, A Bad Day for Sorry, won an Anthony Award for Best First Novel and an RT Book Award for Best First Mystery. It was also shortlisted for Barry, Crimespree, Edgar, and Macavity awards. Sophie lives near San Francisco, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Enjoyed it

    I really enjoyed this book. The heroine was refreshingly different than most. Older and imperfect with a unique attitude i will be reading more by this author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    R

    Five plus stars!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a soft boiled crime caper

    In Prosper, Missouri Widow Stella Hardesty and Sheriff Goat Jones enjoy dining together with both looking forward to an after dinner snack. However, Goat's soon to be ex wife Brandy arrives intoxicated and hysterical; claiming she needs protection. Stella leaves frustrated as hurricane Brandy is quite a storm.

    Stella stops at her sewing-machine repair shop she inherited from her late husband Ollie. While looking in on her assistant Chrissy Shaw, Stella answers the phone. Former wife abuser and ex Oxycontin addict Neb Donovan has been arrested for the murder of a woman. Apparently a tornado tore apart the demolition-derby stadium snack revealing a body had been interred there. Neb poured the concrete that was ripped open. Stella, feeling she still needs to protect Neb's wife Donna like she did when her husband was a druggie, investigates.

    Sophie Littlefield's amateur sleuth return (see A Bad Day for Sorry) is a soft boiled crime caper as the heroine balances her inquiry and her desire for "Blue Eyes" in a fun lighthearted whodunit. Sub-genre fans will enjoy cozying with Stella, who could have been a contender except that the inane shenanigans of Brandy and her boyfriend Wil might leave her dead instead.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2014

    I must say Stella got her groove back in a resounding way with a

    I must say Stella got her groove back in a resounding way with a slip of the tongue here, or a quick play on words there, or a face-to-face when the situation warranted itself. She doesn’t back down from anyone, including sheriffs or ne’er do wells, and she sometimes finds herself in precarious situations, but that’s all part of her endearing charm. She’s full of life, spunk, and possibly salt and pepper with a side of cinnamon. And she has the scars to prove her torrid marks on society, and a slew of bad men standing ready to watch her fall.

    Stella Hardesty may not look like much upon first glance, but she has a revenge streak something fierce, and she sees her cases all the way to the end, with a mean side of revenge, even if it means she might dangle from the occasional precipice. I’d say that’s more than part of her appeal, and she has an additional side of charm.

    With a cast of characters ready to excel on the big stage, including the blonde miscreant with possibly an extra hint of cellulite, the sidekick that doesn’t mind dipping her nipple in the nerd gene pool, and the sheriff who has acquired a few skeletons in his own closet, most of which may have been put there of his own volition, there’s a bit of fun for everyone.

    The mystery, though, managed to leave me in dire financial straits, as I wanted a little more bang for my hard-earned buck. This was all about the characters instead of a hard-boiled plot for the ages and times. Not that I minded all that much, but the ending felt a bit forced upon me like a leering side of smashed peas shoved down my gullet, when I would have much preferred a side of sweet candied yams staring up at me with pleading eyes. And not that I mind guessing the ending before it has arrived, but it appeared ready for center stage rather than just a sidelong glance in my side mirror. In that regard, it reminded me of a Lamborghini tooling around in the middle of Arkansas or Mississippi.

    This was a solid effort by a solid voice in the hard-boiled mystery genre, but I’d set my expectations a bit higher.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    !

    Good easy read.

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    Very fun, good to read, lots of entertainment, like old serial books

    I like the style, she sometimes seems to work a little too hard at the homespun end of it, but there is a surprisingly a lot of action in the Stella Hardesty books. I enjoy the twists, like an old Saturday Matinee serial. Stella is one bad chick, and the supporting characters are great as well. Up there with the old Executioner and Destroyer books I read over 30 yrs ago. Very good stuff, hope we get a movie or two. Keep at it, where is #5!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Some fun, but mainly poorly written and edited

    Sure, our Stella has a few memorable lines that left me chuckling, as a newly-minted 50-year old, but the insensitve, but probably target-specific diatribe against working women - in the guise of suggesting that working women harm a dialogue that would help all women was disingenuous - at best. And when the editing is poor (to whit, " would of" instead of "would've"), one knows it ain't even close to the real McCoy, as Stella herself might say. Evanovich, et al., seem to be tired and slipping, but this book isn't the antidote you're looking for.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Enertaining book.

    I like this series; Stella has a lot of old-fashioned "gumption," and she really needs it with the type of business she's into.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Nice, easy reading!

    Part of my summer vacation Nook Book library and it was terrific!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

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    Posted April 22, 2011

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    Posted September 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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