From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Littlefield's rollicking second novel featuring tough-talking Stella Hardesty, who manages a sewing shop and doles out her own brand of justice to wife-beaters, delivers on the promise of her debut, A Bad Day for Sorry
. When a tornado uncovers a mummified woman buried at the Prosper, Mo., fairgrounds, the police suspect Neb Donovan, whom Stella once helped kick an OxyContin addiction, and Stella reluctantly accepts Donna Donovan's pleas to clear her husband's name. Complicating Stella's investigation—and her long-simmering feelings for Sheriff Goat Jones—is the arrival of Goat's former wife, Brandy Truax, who has designs on her ex and a possible link to the murdered woman. With her plucky assistant, Chrissy Shaw, Stella must exonerate Neb while eluding the real killer. Littlefield wields humor like a whip, but never lets it dilute the whodunit. A force to be reckoned with, Stella is a welcome addition to the world of unorthodox female crime fighters. (June)
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Still healing from the gunshot wounds she got on her last case, Stella Hardesty is trying to spur on her budding relationship with Sheriff Goat Jones when his long-estranged-but-still-not-ex-wife, brassy and manipulative Brandy Truax, appears. So Stella has a potential rival for Goat, adding to the concern that her vigilante method of gaining justice for women abused by the men in their lives is diametrically opposed to his. And when a tornado turns up a woman’s mummified body in her hometown of Prosper, Missouri, and Stella sticks her nose in the case because a friend is implicated in the murder, the sheriff is downright annoyed. As former client Chrissy Shaw brushes up her IT skills and becomes Stella’s associate, Stella finds her concerns intertwining and discovers that her far-flung reputation has its downside. Even not fully recovered from her injuries (in A Bad Day for Sorry, 2009), fiftyish Stella is a force to be reckoned with in this second outing in an entertaining series. --Michele Leber