A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield
In Sophie Littlefield's A Bad Day for Sorry, the end of Stella Hardesty's marriage is the start of her new life. Stella married young and unwisely. By the time she realized what a bad man she had married, she had a young child and few prospects for getting out and taking care of herself and her daughter. So she became one of a vast army of downtrodden, beaten women and trudged through twenty five years of abuse.
But one day, she fought back. And killed her husband with a wrench. The death was deemed self-defense, and Stella is suddenly a free woman. She makes a living with a sewing machine shop, but her passion becomes helping other women out of abusive situations. Stella learns that she has something of a gift for convincing abusive men to just, uhm, go away. Her brand of "down-home" justice is not always strictly legal, but her prowess at getting the job done becomes almost legendary in her part of rural Missouri. Her name is passed along from one battered woman to another.
A Bad Day for Sorry is the first in a mystery series that deals with serious topics, but with a wild streak of humor. Stella Hardesty is a woman you'd like to get to know. Unless, of course, you are a bad, bad man.