28 July 2010

"A Bad Day for Sorry" by Sophie Littlefield

A Bad Day for Sorry: A Crime Novel (Bad Day, #1)A Bad Day for Sorry: A Crime Novel by Sophie Littlefield

Genre: crime fiction
On my TBR list? Yes, since July 2009

Book one of an ongoing series

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary, from Goodreads:

Stella Hardesty, our salty, unlikely heroine, runs a sewing shop in rural Missouri. She also has a side business helping battered women with their abusive boyfriends and husbands. When Chrissy Shaw askes Stella for help, it seems like a straightforward case, until Chrissy’s no-good husband disappears with her two-year-old son. Now Stella finds herself in a battle against a more formidable enemy as she risks her own life to recover the boy.

This book was suggested to me by Rachael Herron of Yarn-A-Go-Go. I don't normally read crime fiction, but I've liked a lot of other books that she's read so I thought I would give it a try.

Another factor that made me crack the book open was the cover. A gal with a gun captures my attention. The weapon up against the floral dress makes me think of that old saying about watching out for the quiet ones, and the denim poking out underneath brings in the down-home element. With a cover like this, I expect to delve into the novel and read about some no-good Bubba getting his comeuppance at the hand of a sweet woman who has had just about enough of his nonsense.

The main character Stella Hardesty isn't Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher, little old ladies who solved crimes mainly with their above-average deductive reasoning. She is an average-looking fifty-something woman who has taught herself how to use weapons. When she comes to a conclusion, you think to yourself that you would have made the same choice. It doesn't feel like you've figured out the plot ahead of time, though; Stella is doing what you would do in the same situation and you're read to follow her to the next step. Stella could be your next-door neighbor, or at least she could be mine: hard-working, doing her best to make ends meet, a little too busy to clean house or indulge in hobbies as much as she would like. I had no trouble relating to her.

The description mentions that Stella runs a sewing shop, but this is not a "novel+" with quilting tips in the back. I enjoy that genre from time to time, but in this case I think including a pattern would have ruined the work that the bad-ass cover has done. My male coworker, a guy who never reads novels, was intrigued by the cover enough to ask me about the story. There's a better chance of getting a "guy's guy" like him to read it if he doesn't think it is a chick's book.

Overall, this book is a fun read, which I never expected to say about a crime novel. I would recommend A Bad Day for Sorry to anyone, even if they don't normally read crime fiction. I'm looking forward to the day when my library has the second book in the series available.

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