Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Review: A BAD DAY FOR SORRY, by Sophie Littlefield
So I started off International Crime Month by reading a very American crime novel, the first in a series starring middle-aged quilter-turned-vigilante Stella Hardesty, a southern woman who killed her abusive husband in self-defense then launched a service helping other abused women keep their men in line- or just away from them. When she's not busy running her sewing shop, she's trussing up good ole boys who mistreat their women and convincing them to change their ways. A Bad Day for Sorry introduces Stella with the case of Chrissy Shaw, whose young son Tucker has gone missing along with Chrissy's nasty boyfriend.
By turns violent, funny, suspenseful and touching, A Bad Day for Sorry is great fun overall. Stella is a tremendously likable character and Chrissy, the young woman she's helping, is a believable victim-turned-heroine. I loved the attraction between Stella and the sheriff, "Goat," and her troubled relationship with her daughter Noelle, who's inherited Stella's (former) penchant for abusive men. The book reminds me a little of Joshilyn Jackson's book Backseat Saints in the way that Littlefield blends black humor with a very real and serious problem. There are some believability issues with what exactly Stella does and how she gets away with it but you can kind of gloss over that and just enjoy the ride.
Which is what I recommend if you think you might be interested in this book. I think it's a great choice for crime readers, especially those who like female-driven crime novels and those on the light side. I love that Stella gets herself out of a pretty serious jam using a rotary cutter and her cloth-cutting scissors. European crime novels are great but they do tend to be rather testosterone driven and I liked reading about women from a woman's point of view. I enjoyed my visit to Stella's world and plan to come back soon.
FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.