When Prosper homegirl turned big-city businesswoman Priss Porter returns to town with a body in her trunk, she calls Stella Hardesty to dispose of it. Her uppity ways dont convince Stella to take the job, and Priss attempts to blackmail her with a snapshot of Stella doing what she does best: curing woman-beaters by the use of force. Stella refuses to cooperate and goes home, only to hear later that Priss and her brother, Liman, have gone missing after calling in a disturbance. Stella is implicated when Sheriff Goat Jones discovers the scarf she left behind at the house. He warns her to stay local but Stella and her partner, Chrissy Shaw, go looking for Priss in Kansas City, where they discover that she runs an unusual business. When Priss herself, along with two other bodies, turns up in a pond belonging to one of Stella's ex-clients, Stella must investigate a host of suspects, including a crooked but libidinous female judge, a coterie of jealous male escorts, and a Marxist ex-professor.
A Bad Day for Scandal is the third in Sophie Littlefield's award-winning, critically acclaimed series. Written with passion, humor, and guts, this is a mystery to be savored.
In A Bad Day for Scandal, the third of Sophie Littlefield's books about a small-town sewing shop owner who solves crimes in her free time, main character Stella Hardesty has to clear herself of murder, catch the real culprit, navigate her daughter's tumultuous new relationship, and face her attraction to the local sheriff – all of which she does with a sharp wit, a healthy dose of chutzpah, and a slow, Southern drawl courtesy of narrator Barbara Rosenblat.
The story begins with the return of Stella's acquaintance Priss Porter, a businesswoman with a tricky deal on the table: If Stella helps Priss dispose of the body in her trunk, Priss won't turn over a flash drive filled with incriminating photos of Stella to the police. But before Stella can get started, Priss disappears – along with the flash drive– and Stella's handprint left at the scene of their clandestine meeting lands her on the list of top suspects. As readers of Littlefield's two previous Stella Hardesty novels (A Bad Day for Sorry and A Bad Day for Pretty) will remember, Stella's not the kind of woman who waits for someone to bail her out. Instead, she and her investigative partner set out to solve the case before the flash drive ends up in the wrong hands.
Littlefield weaves the story together with a wide-ranging cast of characters: the handsome sheriff; a lusty female judge; a crew of male escorts; Stella's adult daughter; the daughter's girlfriend; and a collection of other town residents that add layers of personality to the story. Narrator Barbara Rosenblat gives each one his or her own distinct tone, Southern accent, and speech patterns, but she especially shines as Stella's narrator. A seductive, husky lilt softens Stella's tough exterior, making her more relatable – and making the story something to savor. Blythe Copeland
"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 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)
"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)
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Even Barbara Rosenblat couldn't save this one
I love Barbara Rosenblat, but the southern american accent she used for this book was really tiring to listen to. I would not try another book from Sophie Littlefield, I thought the story was slow and cumbersome and not very inventive. Also, I didn't like any of the characters, and that's important to me.
What a fun read!
Absolutely! I love the theme and love the characters.
I rooted for the heroin and fell in love with the sheriff!
Laugh out loud funny about a very serious issue.