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A Bad Day's Work: A Novel (A Lilly Hawkins Mystery) Paperback – August 3, 2010
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"A wonderful debut novel! Action packed, with a heroine who's sure to win your heart." -Marcia Muller, New York Times bestselling author
"This cozy mystery-with-an-edge is especially appealing because the characters are not typecast. Far from bland, their zaniness is reminiscent of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. The next installment of this excellent new series can't come soon enough." -BookPage
"McFarland, herself a former "shooter" for a Bakersfield TV station, nails the newsroom as well as her feisty, funny accidental sleuth..." -Publisher's Weekly
"Packed full of adrenaline and attitude, A BAD DAY'S WORK is a roller-coaster ride of a mystery. Don't miss it!"
—Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Look Again
Top Customer Reviews
Then she is visited by two men demanding the tape and saying they are willing to pay for it. Those men turn out to be crooked cops. Soon, she also has a local gang after her, too. Can Lilly figure out a way to stay one step ahead of everyone chasing her long enough to figure out what the heck is going on?
The book started out well with plenty of action, but as it progressed, I was amazed at the character development. The characters started out simple, but their layers were slowly peeled away as things progressed.
The plot is strong as well. The mystery was a tad on the simple side, but there was more than enough action to keep me turning pages. The climax was logical and very satisfying.
My only real complaint was that the character arcs seemed to end abruptly. I liked how the book left things, but it felt like something that we should have seen after two or three books and not at the end of the first one.
Really, that a minor complaint. I loved every page of this book and can't wait to read about Lilly's further adventures.
Nora McFarland's first Lilly Hawkins mystery, A Bad Day's Work, is an entertaining mystery. In addition, the character development, setting, and almost classical time frame ratchet McFarland's first novel a level above many of the more popular chick lit mysteries. Once the protagonist Lilly realizes that she has unwittingly pushed her way into a physically dangerous situation, neither she nor the reader is allowed a break in the action. Lilly roars onward to save her life and her career. Readers get to ride along in the news van and Uncle Bud's land yacht, all over Bakersfield, finding clues to who committed murder, who is covering up what, and who is a trustworthy ally.
The subplot of career sabotage complicates Lilly's detective work and forces some painful self-reflection that results in personal insight and change. Lilly is as brave and honest about her own weaknesses as she is in the face of physical threats.
In fact, Lilly is as brave as Sue Ann Grafton's Kinsey Millhone, but funnier, and more likeable. She is described by one of the characters as a pit bull, and it is possibly this tenacity born of stubbornness that saves her life.
McFarland's use of setting is masterful. The reader is immediately caught up in the world of a television photographer ("a shooter") and must master the jargon and technology of the newsroom by immersion. Not since Lauren Weisberger's The Devil Wears Prada has a protagonist so honestly revealed such an insular, competitive, world.
The first person point of view is perfect for a mystery, since the protagonist and the reader get the clues at the same time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A news videographer shoots a crime scene only to become embroiled in a dangerous cover up. Okay, good start. Read morePublished 17 months ago by B. Crosby
How would you like a day where nothing goes right - you are having your worst day ever, and then, it gets even worse! Read morePublished on December 12, 2010 by Edie
McFarland's first book breaks into the Lutz and Evanovich domain with a quirky heroine, distinctive secondary characters, and a neatly wrapped mystery. Read morePublished on December 6, 2010 by J. Simonson
Lilly Hawkins, a crime scene videographer, works with a bunch of bumble headed guys. She works twice as hard as everyone else and gets no credit for her efforts. Read morePublished on November 27, 2010 by Dave Allen
I love crime thrillers and was a bit doubtful about trying to inject humour into the genre.. but what a wonderful surprise. This is a really good book, great characters.. Read morePublished on November 23, 2010 by Clare de la Lune
Lilly Hawkins has been having her problems lately, gaining a reputation for screwing up [or, as she prefers to call it, having a run of bad luck]. Read morePublished on October 20, 2010 by Gloria Feit
A series of unlucky events has put Lilly Hawkins, a TV news photographer, in jeopardy of losing her job. Read morePublished on October 18, 2010 by Fiction Dame