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A Bad Day for Scandal: A Crime Novel (Stella Hardesty Crime Novels) Hardcover – June 21, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Edgar-finalist Littlefield's lively third crime novel featuring feisty Stella Hardesty (after 2010's A Bad Day for Pretty), Priscilla "Priss" Porter asks Stella to get rid of a corpse. When Stella, who specializes in solving problems of the abusive husband variety in her small Missouri town, refuses to help, Priss threatens to go public with some very damning photos that could not only damage Stella's budding relationship with Sheriff Goat Jones but maybe even land her in jail. After Priss; her brother, Liman; and the photos vanish, Stella becomes the prime suspect. Stella and her assistant, Chrissy Shaw, decide to get the photos back themselves, but that's easier said than done when they run up against an oversexed female judge with ties to Priss and Priss's new business venture. Littlefield's eccentric cast of characters grows richer with each book, and Stella continues to dazzle with her wit, charm, and ease with firearms. (June)

Review

"This is the author's third comic novel starring brassy Stella Hardesty....You have to root for a gal who can hunt down murder suspects--and lust after local sheriff Goat Jones--without rumpling her Spanx Hide & Sleek Hi-Rise Panty."--AARP: The Magazine
 
"This caper is more fun than eating cotton candy on a Ferris wheel. Littlefield's zesty dialog and astute observations make this irreverent third series entry (after A Bad Day for Sorry and  A Bad Day for Pretty) fly by. The zaniness evokes Janet Evanovich or Harley Jane Kozak; the story itself, Ben Rehder, who writes so well about good old boys behaving badly."--Library Journal

"
If we all had mothers like Stella, this would be a better world. Fans of quirky mysteries straddling the line between tough and funny need to grab a Littlefield pronto."--Kirkus Reviews

"Littlefield's eccentric cast of characters grows richer with each book, and Stella continues to dazzle with her wit, charm, and ease with firearms."--Publishers Weekly
 
"Fiftyish Stella...continues to carry the day, as always, in this sassy mix of comedy and mystery."--Booklist

"It's great to visit with vigilante Stella Hardesty and her friends and foes once again. As usual Littlefield tucks themes of empowerment and sisterhood in between the chase scenes and small-town shenanigans. She also tells a darned good comic adventure story."--RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

“Sophie Littlefield hits solid gold with A Bad Day for Scandal. Stella Hardesty is a funny and endearing heroine—with just a hint of Dirty Harry thrown in. The true-to-life dialogue moves at a quick clip and the mystery will keep you turning the pages way past bedtime. Bottom line: Don’t mess with Stella Hardesty—and don’t miss this gem of a book.” Linda Castillo, New York Times bestselling author of Pray for Silence

"Sophie Littlefield is a major talent whose complex characters, brilliant dialogue and captivating style make for an engrossing—and at times fabulously irreverent—series that gets better with every book!  This is contemporary crime fiction at its finest."--New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle

"Hooray for Sophie Littlefield for creating such a real, funny, and complex protagonist in Stella Hardesty. I can’t wait for the next BAD DAY, and Stella’s newest quest for off-brand justice."--New York Times bestselling author Susan Donovan


In Edgar-finalist Littlefield's lively third crime novel featuring feisty Stella Hardesty (after 2010's A Bad Day for Pretty), Priscilla "Priss" Porter asks Stella to get rid of a corpse. When Stella, who specializes in solving problems of the abusive husband variety in her small Missouri town, refuses to help, Priss threatens to go public with some very damning photos that could not only damage Stella's budding relationship with Sheriff Goat Jones but maybe even land her in jail. After Priss; her brother, Liman; and the photos vanish, Stella becomes the prime suspect. Stella and her assistant, Chrissy Shaw, decide to get the photos back themselves, but that's easier said than done when they run up against an oversexed female judge with ties to Priss and Priss's new business venture. Littlefield's eccentric cast of characters grows richer with each book, and Stella continues to dazzle with her wit, charm, and ease with firearms. (Publishers Weekly)

With things heating up between self-styled vigilante Stella Hardesty and sexy sheriff Goat Jones, Stella finds both her relationship and her livelihood at risk by the possibility of blackmail. Priss Porter, generally disliked for turning her back on Prosper, Missouri, returns to the small town and demands Stella's help in disposing of a body. If Stella refuses, Priss threatens to tell all how Stella's "covert benevolent aid society" for abused women actually operates. When Priss and her brother disappear, Stella becomes a person of interest, forcing her to do her own sleuthing, all the while worrying about how her spirit-of-the-law tactics conflict with letter-of-the-law Goat. This third in this series (after A Bad Day for Pretty, 2010) is livened up with Stella's daughter Noelle's concerns about her sexuality, the development of Chrissy Shaw as Stella's assistant, and plans to celebrate Easter in grand style. But it's fiftyish Stella, healthy and toned after her recent injuries, who c (Booklist)
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Product Details

  • Series: Stella Hardesty Crime Novels (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312648375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312648374
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sophie's first novel, A BAD DAY FOR SORRY, has been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, Barry, and Crimespree awards, and won the Anthony Award and the RTBookReviews Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Mystery. Her novel AFTERTIME was a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Horror award. GARDEN OF STONES was the Target Book Club selection for March, 2013.

Sophie is the author of:
A BAD DAY FOR SORRY (Minotaur, 2009)
A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY (Minotaur, 2010)
A BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL (Minotaur, 2011)
A BAD DAY FOR MERCY (Minotaur, June 2012)
A BAD DAY FOR ROMANCE (Pocket, September 2013)
BANISHED (Delacorte, 2010)
UNFORSAKEN (Delacorte, 2011)
HANGING BY A THREAD (Delacorte, October, 2012)
AFTERTIME (Harlequin Luna, 2011)
REBIRTH (Harlequin Luna, 2011)
HORIZON (Harlequin Luna, 2012)
BLOOD BOND (Pocket, November 2012)
SHATTERED BOND (Pocket, November 2013)
GARDEN OF STONES (Harlequin MIRA, March 2013)
HOUSE OF GLASS (Harlequin MIRA, March 2014)
THE MISSING PLACE (Gallery, October 2014)
INFECTED (Delacorte, January, 2015)

Upcoming titles include:
THE GUILTY ONE (Gallery, August 2015)

Sophie grew up in Missouri, attended Indiana University, and worked in technology before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She lives in Northern California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A Bad Day for Scandal is Sophie Littlefield's third mystery featuring Prosper, Missouri's answer to... I want to say Clint Eastwood, but that's not right. Stella Hardesty is one tough lady. Don't let the sewing machine shop fool you; it's a cover. Her real calling is meting out justice and vengeance, often in equal parts. Ever since she emancipated herself--permanently--from her abusive husband, she's been helping out other ladies in the same boat.

Therefore, it really isn't that unusual when Stella's phone rings in the middle of a social gathering. Like so many professionals, she's on call 24/7. Priss Porter's timing couldn't be much worse, though. Stella was entertaining, among others, the one man she should be keeping her distance from, Sheriff "Goat" Jones, and for once, things seem to be moving forward between the two of them. But Priss is over at her brother's, in town from Kansas City, insisting that she needs to see Stella immediately.

It has been said that friends will help you move, and that really good friends will help you move bodies. Well, rest assured, Stella and Priss aren't THAT close. Stella wants nothing to do with the little problem decomposing in Priss's trunk. When Stella proves to be unbuyable, Priss moves on to blackmail to elicit her help. That doesn't work either. Unfortunately, before Stella can get a feel for how to handle Priss, both she and her brother turn up missing. The Sheriff is looking at Stella askance. And Stella and her associates again find themselves following a convoluted path in search of answers.

What I described above are the opening scenes of an enjoyable enough mystery, but unusually for the genre, it's not the plots that make this series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By PoCoKat on July 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of this series! I love that Stella Hardesty is a very realistic middle-aged woman with imperfections galore yet at the same time has overcome incredible obstacles to become an amazing take charge woman. As a very discrete vigilante who sets about pointing abusive men in the right direction, she is a heroine to all women! In her latest adventure Stella is dealing with a former Prosper resident, Priss Porter who calls upon Stella for help then disappears thus the adventure begins! The characters in these novels and in particular Stella's extended family and friends are realistic and fun to read about!

Highly recommend A Bad Day for Scandal as well as Ms. Littlefield's two earlier Stella adventures in the Bad Day series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Kansas City based businesswoman Priss Porter returns home to Prosper, Missouri, aware of Stella Hardesty's reputation for dealing with spousal abuser; Priss demands Stella dispose of a murdered corpse lying inside her car trunk. Stella refuses. Without blinking, Priss shows Stella incriminating photos that could end her new fragile relationship with Sheriff Goat Jones and worse spend time in prison.

When Priss, her brother Liman, the dead guy and the flash drive containing the photos disappear; Stella knows she will soon be the prime suspect. Stella and her assistant Chrissy Shaw try to retrieve the damaging pictures, but run into a judicial problem and a Kansas City male escort service that may need their infiltration.

The eccentric cast makes for a wonderful amateur sleuth tale as Stella knows that any day is A Bad Day for Scandal. The story line is fast-paced from the opening pie and rolls sequence to the final denouement. Readers will relish this super regional thriller and seek Stella's previous Bad day capers (see A Bad Day for Sorry and A Bad Day for Pretty) as she and her assistant try to clean up the mess that Priss the tornado brought to town.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback
4.5 stars. When I think of Stella Hardesty one word comes to mind: BADASS. Now, lest you think I am taking advantage of marketing my blog in the text of this review - let me prove to you why Stella is so gosh darned BADASS.

1. At the age of 50 she redefined her body from chubby to svelte, powerful and able to endure a lot of physical activity.

2. At the age of 49 she killed (in defense and out of anger) her long standing physically abusive husband. (Note: I am not endorsing murder, this is simply a factor in her badassedness).

3. Stella knows how to use a gun, a knife, and various implements of torture - -and not for 50 Shades of fun but for the defense and protection of herself and other women.

4. Stella protects women and children who are fleeing abusive situations.

5. Stella still has that something special - enough to turn the eye of the hot local sheriff in her direction.

6. Stella goes toe to toe and nose to nose with mobsters, drug dealers and local snobby women.

7. Stella can cook, sew and take care of kids in addition to wielding a gun and taking down villains.

A Bad Day for Scandal is the best in the series so far, which is saying a lot because this series is really really good. I listened to the audio (as I did for the first two), the narrator is different for this one and she is fabulous. What makes this one so good? The character and relationship development and the pushing of the overall story arc. Sophie Littlefield is skilled at including full conversations, rather than small snippets here and there. The full conversations might not be necessary for the overall plot line, but they are important to get a fuller picture of the characters and a richer context.
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