A Bad Day for Sorry
Review: Sophie Littlefield introduces Stella Hardesty, a widow by her own hand and whose reputation thereafter puts fear into those men who dare to abuse their wives or girlfriends, in A Bad Day for Sorry.
Stella fancies herself a parole officer of a sort. But she "wasn't bound by all the bureaucratic red tape that real parole officers had to wade through. She didn't have to fill out paperwork. She didn't report to a boss. She didn't have to appear in court. And she could make the parolees tell her any damn thing she wanted to know. She couldn't, however, always make them tell the truth. Her latest subject is a repeat offender, Roy Dean Shaw, who, as Stella puts it, made his new woman cry. She finds him and has a "friendly" chat, but waiting for her at home is Chrissy Shaw, Roy Dean's ex-wife. Chrissy is frantic: her little boy Tucker is missing and she thinks Roy Dean has taken him. Stella isn't so sure, since she'd recently seen him, but she can't let a missing boy stay missing very long. She soon discovers, however, that not only is Tucker gone but Roy Dean has disappeared as well, and the case is far more complicated … and dangerous … than anything's she's been involved with before.
A Bad Day for Sorry is filled with so many unsympathetic characters that they mask a relatively good, solidly plotted story. Carrie Underwood with a Louisville Slugger may be able to get away with murder (as it were), but Stella Hardesty with a semi-automatic, not so much. Stella's passive/aggressive attitude (a mild-mannered sewing shop owner by day, a super woman righter of wrongs by night) just doesn't resonate here, and somewhat unfortunately, this larger than life character isn't just a participant in every scene, she dominates them. Some readers will undoubtedly find Stella a hoot, and the book pure entertainment; but to others, Stella will come across as a mean-spirited, abusive woman herself, one whose approach to an investigation and solving a crime somehow doesn't seem all that appealing.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of A Bad Day for Sorry for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in A Bad Day for Sorry: Missouri
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A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield — A Stella Hardesty Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: August 2009
List Price: $24.99