Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A BAD DAY FOR MERCY - Sophie Littlefield

My review of A BAD DAY FOR MERCY appeared in Shelf Awareness and I am reprinting it here with their permission.

First line: "Jogging home from the Freshway at sunset on a sultry evening in late May had been a fine idea."

“So you got two hormonal teenage boys, a bloody murder, illegal doctorin’, a business feud, a illegal immigrant situation, all of it circlin’ around a relative you don’t hardly even know, and tomorrow’s your birthday. Well ain’t you managed to step into a fine mess.”

Chrissy Shaw succinctly sums up the fourth book in Sophie Littlefield’s Stella Hardesty series. Stella is back handling problems with her less-than-legal tactics, but this time she’s dealing with family, namely her step-nephew.

Littlefield’s trademark protagonist delivers all the attitude and wit readers have come to expect. Pulling Stella out of Missouri enables Littlefield to introduce some new characters that add an additional layer of complexity to an already divinely original member of the crime fiction world. 

A Bad Day for Mercy’s plot is packed with non-stop events. Littlefield brings the concept of the Russian Matryoshka doll along with her new Russian characters: open up one event and find another mystery inside. The manner in which Littlefield nests the mysteries inside each other makes figuring out the culprit a true challenge.

Littlefield has managed to keep this series fresh and original. New readers to the series will be able to enjoy A Bad Day for Mercy as much as the devoted series fan; just enough of Stella’s backstory is explained for newcomers to understand her character without weighing down those who have been with the series from A Bad Day for Sorry.

A Bad Day for Mercy means a great day for reading.

A Bad Day for Mercy is available in hardcover from Minotaur Books (ISBN: 978-0312648381) and is also available on audio from Audible, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.

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