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A Bad Day for Sorry (Stella Hardesty) Hardcover – August 4, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From 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.


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)

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 (Jay Strafford Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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 (Hallie Ephron Boston Globe)

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- (Entertainment Weekly)

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Product Details

  • Series: Stella Hardesty (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312559208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312559205
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,870,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on April 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Some men just don't know when to stop. Stella Hardesty had enough abuse from her husband, Ollie. She finally hit him with a wrench and removed the problem. Stella pleaded to self-defense and was set free.

Now, women who are at risk and don't know how to rid themselves from abusive situations, approach her as a problem solver.

Stella is a fifty year old woman whose mood is darkened with the effects of menopause. She owns an assortment of guns and tools that she puts to use, convincing heavy handed men that they had better smarten up and behave.

One woman who asks for her help is named Chrissy. She informs Stella that her husband, Roy Dean, has taken her son, Tucker. Chrissy has been abused in the past by Roy Dean and Stella had to give him a lesson in maners.

Stella attempts to trace Roy Dean's trail and finds that he was involved in illegal activities. In her attempt to learn more, Stella makes a tactical mistake and ends up hospitalized.

Chrissy arrives and becomes more forceful. She demands a more active role in searching for her son and so, the women begin working as a team.

Stella is a fresh voice in women's literature. The author's writing style is unique and persuasive. She must have enjoyed creating this overweight, menopausal, former abused woman as her central figure for the novel. Stella makes this reader think of Daisy Duke, from the Dukes of Hazzard, aged thirty years and gaining considerable weight before beginning her adventures.
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Format: Hardcover
Stella Hardesty is just your typical everyday woman...not! She works as sort of a patrol officer/bounty hunter. The only thing that makes her different is that she doesn't work with the law but makes her own rules. Kind of like the great John Wayne or Clint Eastwood.

Her favorite bird is the Raven. When some of her men need more convincing than others to turn their lives around, they end up on the receiving end of the Raven. You don't want to hear this Raven's tune.

When Stella learns that no for good husband Roy Dean has not only beat his wife but vanished with their two year old son, Tucker. Stella is after Roy Dean...like a mouse is after cheese. Stella learns that she is not the only one interested in Roy Dean. He has some very bad men after him as well.

A Bad Day for Sorry is Sophie Littlefield's debut novel. After reading this book, I can guarantee that she will be an instant bestseller. The two things I absolutely love about Stella is that she has a mouth like a truck driver's and she takes no bull from anyone. In fact she calls all the shots and if you don't like it...too bad.

A Bad Day for Sorry is a one sit read. I couldn't read this book fast enough. I almost forgot about doing anything else like eating or sleeping. Mrs. Littlefield has captured my attention. From now on, I will be reading all her books. Now if only I didn't have to wait so long for her next novel.
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By A Customer on August 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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 as she 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
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really, really wanted to like this book but I found it terribly disappointing.

The description sounded so promising: A feisty, take no prisoners middle-aged woman runs 2 businesses--a sewing/quilting shop, and an under-the-radar vigilante justice program to reform men who abuse their women. I was expecting a book that I wouldn't want to put down, it should have had it all--humor, action, suspense...

Instead I found myself struggling to finish. The characters were one-dimensional and cliched, and just not that believable. We're supposed to believe this self-made woman overcame her abusive past to become a kick-a** success yet she makes some really ridiculously stupid mistakes on more than one occasion. And the only way she survives her stupidity is that other characters make equally stupid mistakes. The writing was uninspired--some points were labored to death, others were glossed over, and the humor just didn't work for me.

I'm sorry to be such a downer, but I wish I'd waited for the paperback on this one....
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