A Bad Day for Sorry (Stella Hardesty Series #1)

( 35 )

Overview

Winner of the Anthony Award for Best First Novel!

Stella Hardesty dispatched her abusive husband with a wrench shortly before her fiftieth birthday. A few years later, she’s so busy delivering home-style justice on her days off, helping other women deal with their own abusive husbands and boyfriends, that she barely has time to run her sewing shop in her rural Missouri hometown. Some men need more convincing than others, but it’s usually nothing a little ...

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A Bad Day for Sorry (Stella Hardesty Series #1)

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Overview

Winner of the Anthony Award for Best First Novel!

Stella Hardesty dispatched her abusive husband with a wrench shortly before her fiftieth birthday. A few years later, she’s so busy delivering home-style justice on her days off, helping other women deal with their own abusive husbands and boyfriends, that she barely has time to run her sewing shop in her rural Missouri hometown. Some men need more convincing than others, but it’s usually nothing a little light bondage or old-fashioned whuppin' can’t fix. Since Stella works outside of the law, she’s free to do whatever it takes to get the job done---as long as she keeps her distance from the handsome devil of a local sheriff, Goat Jones.

When young mother Chrissy Shaw asks Stella for help with her no-good husband, Roy Dean, it looks like an easy case. Until Roy Dean disappears with Chrissy’s two-year-old son, Tucker. Stella quickly learns that Roy Dean was involved with some very scary men, as she tries to sort out who’s hiding information and who’s merely trying to kill her. It’s going to take a hell of a fight to get the little boy back home to his mama, but if anyone can do it, it’s Stella Hardesty.

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 Edgar, Barry, Crimespree, and Macavity Awards, and it was named to lists of the year's best mystery debuts by the Chicago Sun-Times and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

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  • A Bad Day for Sorry
    A Bad Day for Sorry  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Littlefield's amusing, sassy debut introduces Stella Hardesty, a widow and survivor of domestic violence, who owns a sewing shop in a sleepy Missouri town. On the side, Stella solves problems and metes out justice on behalf of battered women, like Chrissy Shaw, whose abusive bully of an ex-husband, Roy Dean Shaw, Stella keeps tabs on. After Roy Dean absconds with Chrissy's baby, Stella learns he's involved with local mobsters in a stolen auto parts ring. Chrissy sheds her victimhood to team up with Stella and do battle. After girding up their weaponry, the unlikely crime-fighting duo trick their way into the home of Roy Dean's mob boss, who they suspect has Chrissy's son. Stella discovers that no amount of preparation and righteous anger can prevail over pure evil, at least not without loads of trouble. Spunky, unapologetically middle-aged and a tad cantankerous, Stella barges bravely and often unwisely into danger. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Renegade justice takes a turn when a domestic-violence case becomes a kidnapping. Stella Hardesty is no lady. She owns a small sewing shop in the depths of Missouri, but she's also got a side job delivering her own special brand of justice to dealers of domestic violence. It's her way of giving back after a life with Ollie, her own death-do-us-part abuser. Having disposed of him years ago, she's managed to keep this little domestic secret and her side job from the watchful eyes of Sheriff Goat Jones. Too bad, too, because she wouldn't mind spending a little more time in the gaze of those eyes. Stella's got a routine down pat: five days a week peddling sewing goods to old ladies, the other two for extracurriculars. When she spots poor Chrissy Shaw, who suffers regularly at the hands of her loser husband Roy Dean, Stella makes a quick visit to Roy Dean and thinks she's taken care of the situation. But then Chrissy's two-year-old son Tucker disappears, with Roy Dean the obvious suspect. Preliminary investigations suggest that the story is far more complex than Stella ever imagined. In addition, Chrissy's quite a bit tougher than Stella figured. Will the two be able to team up and figure out where Tucker's stashed while staying under Goat's radar?First-timer Littlefield creates characters with just the right quirks who charm even in the face of unrealistic plot turns.
Entertainment Weekly

The Story She owns a sewing shop, but what fiftysomething badass Stella Hardesty really does is dispense justice to abusive husbands and boyfriends, having discovered that 'whuppin' ass wasn't so hard.' TV Pitch Put Cagney or Lacey in rural Missouri. Lowdown Crime fiction hasn't seen a character as scrappy, mean, and incredibly appealing as Stella in a long time. A-
Boston Globe

Vigilante justice is getting a workout in crime fiction.
The sleuth who takes the law into her own hands in Sophie Littlefield’s debut novel, “A Bad Day for Sorry,’’ is Stella Hardesty. Having dispatched her own abusive husband with the business end of a wrench, Stella takes tough and ornery to new levels. She has developed a “justice-delivering career,’’ her business driven through word of mouth from satisfied customers. She rides through the rural Missouri countryside in her husband’s beloved Jeep (“a sweet little green Liberty with chrome aluminum wheels and a sunroof’’) to strains of Emmy Lou Harris, stalking recalcitrant abusers and monitoring her “parolees.’’
Stella takes her Johnny Walker straight up, and she’d rather not have to use the yoke and spreader bar with restraint cuffs, or the electric shock baton, or that little Raven .25 “she took off a cheating son-of-a-bitch in Kansas City,’’ but some spousal abusers just won’t stay “whupped.’’ Still, her average quarry is an angel compared with the crew she tangles with when Chrissy Shaw hires her to find her reprobate husband who absconded with her 2-year-old son. Roy Dean Shaw’s new associates don’t mind using any weapon in their considerable arsenal.
By the end, Chrissy has become sidekick to Stella’s Dirty-Harry-in-a-housecoat. Not all the guys are jerks, and Stella gets a welcome assist from Sheriff “Goat’’ Jones, an easygoing hunk with an appreciation for an older woman who isn’t and never was a beauty queen.
An abundance of violence is leavened with humor and heart in this debut novel in what I hope is the start of a new series.

— Hallie Ephron

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Try to picture a more pacific view of small-town Americana than this: a 50-year-old widow who runs a sewing-machine shop in Missouri.
But Stella Hardesty will make you change your mind. Sure, she knows about sewing, but she also knows how to bring a cheating, abusive man to his knees -- or to the hospital.
Such is the premise of Sophie Littlefield''s first mystery, A Bad Day for Sorry (288 pages, Minotaur Books, $24.95), and it''s markedly original. In this initial outing, Stella, who runs a vigilante service for abused women (she was one, herself) is approached by Chrissy Shaw, who tells her that her no-account husband, Roy Dean Shaw, has taken off with Tucker, Chrissy''s toddler son from a previous relationship. As Stella sets out to retrieve Tucker and bring Roy Dean down a notch or four, she finds her own life in peril.
Littlefield uses words, not drawings, but this is as graphic a crime novel as you''ll find this side of the thriller subgenre. The story''s compelling, the dialogue perfect -- and Stella is one of the most memorable characters of this summer or any other.

— Jay Strafford

From the Publisher

A Bad Day for Sorry is another of the year’s best debuts, a standout mystery distinguished by its charming protagonist and her compelling voice. We don’t get many characters like Stella in mystery fiction, but we should. She’s fresh and sassy and an awful lot of fun to read about.”--David J. Montgomery, Chicago Sun-Times

“In her debut novel, Sophie Littlefield shows considerable skills for delving into the depths of her characters and complex plotting as she disarms the reader.….Littlefield keeps the plot churning with realistic action that doesn't let up. She also allows the moral ambiguity of vigilante justice to enhance this story….Littlefield's exciting debut should be the start of an even more exciting series.”—South Florida Sun Sentinel

“Ass-whuppin’ 50-year-old Stella is nothing if not inventive….Littlefield puts a new spin on middle-age sleuths in this rollicking, rip-roaring debut.”--Booklist

"Expect the unexpected with Stella Hardesty, who's quite the intriguing character....From Stella's opening remark...the reader can't help but be drawn into her world and wonder where it all will lead."--Romantic Times BOOKreviews (4 Stars)

Richmond Times-Dispatch - Jay Strafford

Try to picture a more pacific view of small-town Americana than this: a 50-year-old widow who runs a sewing-machine shop in Missouri.
But Stella Hardesty will make you change your mind. Sure, she knows about sewing, but she also knows how to bring a cheating, abusive man to his knees -- or to the hospital.
Such is the premise of Sophie Littlefield's first mystery, A Bad Day for Sorry (288 pages, Minotaur Books, $24.95), and it's markedly original. In this initial outing, Stella, who runs a vigilante service for abused women (she was one, herself) is approached by Chrissy Shaw, who tells her that her no-account husband, Roy Dean Shaw, has taken off with Tucker, Chrissy's toddler son from a previous relationship. As Stella sets out to retrieve Tucker and bring Roy Dean down a notch or four, she finds her own life in peril.
Littlefield uses words, not drawings, but this is as graphic a crime novel as you'll find this side of the thriller subgenre. The story's compelling, the dialogue p
Boston Globe - Hallie Ephron

Vigilante justice is getting a workout in crime fiction.
The sleuth who takes the law into her own hands in Sophie Littlefield's debut novel, "A Bad Day for Sorry,'' is Stella Hardesty. Having dispatched her own abusive husband with the business end of a wrench, Stella takes tough and ornery to new levels. She has developed a "justice-delivering career,'' her business driven through word of mouth from satisfied customers. She rides through the rural Missouri countryside in her husband's beloved Jeep ("a sweet little green Liberty with chrome aluminum wheels and a sunroof'') to strains of Emmy Lou Harris, stalking recalcitrant abusers and monitoring her "parolees.''
Stella takes her Johnny Walker straight up, and she'd rather not have to use the yoke and spreader bar with restraint cuffs, or the electric shock baton, or that little Raven .25 "she took off a cheating son-of-a-bitch in Kansas City,'' but some spousal abusers just won't stay "whupped.'' Still, her average quarry is an an
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312643232
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Series: Stella Hardesty Series , #1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 473,221
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Sophie Littlefield is an Anthony and RT Book Award winner. She lives with her family near San Francisco, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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(11)

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an enjoyable jocular frolic as middle aged Stella takes on the world

    In Missouri, after several years of abuse from Ollie Hardesty and not believing in divorce, Stella took care of business. The widow opens up a sewing shop and could wear a T-shirt that says "I survived domestic violence the old fashion way by burying my spouse".

    Stella also believes she needs to help battered women like she was as a form of redemption for putting up with Ollie much too long and as an avenging angel dispatching retribution on these bullies. Stella keeps an eye on Roy Dean Shaw, ex mean ass husband of gentle mom Chrissy Shaw. When Roy Dean abducts Chrissy's two years old son Tucker, Stella decides this punk needs a permanent lesson in how to treat a lady. She affirms her feelings about this abusive moron when she learns he is part of the stolen auto parts mob. Chrissy, upset with his taking her infant, has had enough. As Sheriff Goat Jones watches Stella with his dreamy eyes, she hopes it is for her body and not her activity asshe leads Chrissy into hell as they team up to take care of Roy Dean and his car ring associates to rescue the baby from the mob.

    This is an enjoyable jocular frolic as middle aged Stella takes on the world with no looking back as to whom she runs over when she does. She makes the tale work although the rest of the key cast members are fully drawn especially Chrissy and Roy Dean. The latter will soon learn what the wrath of a lioness is as she and her sidekick kick butt to rescue the infant. A BAD DAY FOR SORRY is a good day or three for readers.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great read - different

    I was intrigued by this book after reading the sample chapter. I love strong woman books and this fit the bill to a T. It was an inspiring story about a woman that has enough of her abusive husband and pays it forward. She delcares herself the protector of woman. It was a good read that makes you cheer for her to win, no matter the methods. I enjoyed this and will be searchig out the other books in this series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Enjoyable

    Good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Loved it

    I love this series!!!! I cant wait to read more by this author and have added her to my favs list

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    R

    Bravo! My new fav.author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    A Gem of a Story

    Ms. Littlefield has crafted a gem of a story. From Stella Hardesty to the people populating Prosper, the characters pop off the page. Stella, a domestic violence survivor teaches abusive men to behave.....or else. I laughed and cried from page 1 to The End.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A great summer read

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The premis was a little off-beat and fun. I enjoyed and connected with the main character because of her age and down to earth out look. Great summer escapism.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A Bad Day for Sorry rides on the wings of two main features: a f

    A Bad Day for Sorry rides on the wings of two main features: a fresh, original voice, and a unique protagonist in Stella Hardesty. Stella's stats might make you think "cozy" at first -- a divorced, middle-aged woman who's an amateur detective -- but there's absolutely nothing cozy about Stella or her work. Having dispatched her abusive husband with a wrench, Stella now adjusts the attitudes of wife-beating lowlifes around Prosper, Missouri. Naturally, this gets her involved in things she hadn't bargained for.

    If you can imagine Justified with a sense of humor and told from Mags' point of view, you wouldn't be too far off the mark. The characters and dialog are spot-on; you can clearly hear the twangs and see the unfortunate fashion choices and feel the rhythms of life in a place far from the usual big-city settings. The finale threatens to spin out of control into Robert Crais territory, but Littlefield manages to pull it back just in time to maintain the integrity of the story and preserve Stella for her next two adventures. Y'all check it out, y'hear?

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