A call from Stella’s little sister brings the news that Stella’s step-nephew, Chip, has been threatened with serious bodily harm if he doesn’t settle his unpaid gambling debts. Stella makes the drive to Chip’s home in Wisconsin, only to walk in on a wee-hours dismemberment. Chip and his Russian girlfriend, Natalya, insist the man was left, already dead, on their porch. Suspicious but compelled to help family, Stella tracks down other suspects, including the deceased’s business partner, a purveyor of black-market Botox, and a jilted violist. Matters are complicated by the unexpected arrival of BJ Broderson, who has picked the worst possible time to pursue his amorous intentions toward Stella. Meanwhile, thoughts of Sheriff “Goat” Jones make Stella blush and wonder where, and with whom, she will spend her fifty-first birthday.
A Bad Day for Mercy is a terrific addition to this incredibly original and entertaining series. For those who haven’t yet discovered the wonder of Sophie Littlefield, it’s high time to join the fun!
"In Anthony Award–winner Littlefield’s solid fourth crime novel featuring Stella Hardesty.... Littlefield makes sure her feisty heroine has plenty to do." (Publishers Weekly)
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Series has become tiresome.
I liked the first two books in this series. But they changed narrators--I suppose it is something of a coup to get Barbara Rosenblat to narrate instead of the earlier, quite good, but less well-known reader. Rosenblat may have more range, but she completely changed the character of Chrissy, from a naif to a more hard-bitten women (who is sometimes difficult to distinguish from the title character). In addition, the torture of wife abusers in the story line, which was initially amusing, just isn't anymore, nor is the creaky romance device of the elusive lover (the sheriff) and "the other man."
- Rebecca A. Saunders