Read A Bad Day's Work by Nora McFarland Online


Nothing seems to be going Lilly’s way. A TV news photographer at her hometown television station, she’s one of the hardest working "shooters" there, but her pit-bull personality and a series of unlucky blunders have put her job in jeopardy. — So when an urgent story breaks in the middle of the night, Lilly is determined to turn her bad luck around and get the respect she dNothing seems to be going Lilly’s way. A TV news photographer at her hometown television station, she’s one of the hardest working "shooters" there, but her pit-bull personality and a series of unlucky blunders have put her job in jeopardy. — So when an urgent story breaks in the middle of the night, Lilly is determined to turn her bad luck around and get the respect she deserves. But the pressure is on; either she delivers amazing video or she’s fired. After busting her butt and dodging the cops, Lilly has what could be the biggest scoop of her career—exclusive video of a murder scene. Or does she have it? Lilly is stunned when the tape played in front of the entire newsroom is nothing but dead air.Soon she’s on the run from criminals and police, both of whom claim Lilly’s video is the key to solving the murder and think she pocketed the real tape. Can she escape her pursuers long enough to catch the killer, or will she end the day as the next victim?...

Title : A Bad Day's Work
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781439155486
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 268 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Bad Day's Work Reviews

  • Yolo
    2019-03-28 15:12

    This novel started off well for me. I enjoyed Lilly's humor and wit. Then the story went south. As a part of this mystery, a young African-American male by the name of Val Boyle is killed. At this point I'm wondering where this story is going. Initially Val is introduced as this good guy that was saving for college by working for a local vineyard. Well apparently, Val hooked up with the son-in-law of the owner of the vineyard to steal almonds. Then they hooked up with the Eastside Crew. You guessed it, her version of the Crips. Do you see where I'm going? Ya'll I try to read with an open mind but sometimes I'm pushed to the limit. My problem with this story is that it adds to this fairy tale land that authors and readers of other races try to push African-American characters in. Yes, this box that is made for us in their minds influenced by COPS and the nightly news. For instance, when authors of color write about AA characters that are educated and well-off who are not pimping and tricking then our stories are unreal to some white bloggers. As if, all AA's live in ghettos and get welfare. The last I checked the ghetto was filled with people of various races and white people get welfare, too. The part that pisses me off is that when I go to sites like Goodreads and Library Thing to check out what people are saying about new books by authors of color, specifically African-American authors, they are given one and two stars. These low ratings are usually not due to the lack of skill by the author. The comments usually consist of rants about the stories being unreal, etc. These comments usually come from white book bloggers that don't have any knowledge of the AA community or culture but they are scouted by publishing houses to read our books as if they are spending our money or know what we want to read. Oh and the only successful AA person they recognize is the POTUS. Seriously. Check out this post by a fellow blogger Reads 4 Pleasure about this ignorance. This is the prime example that let me know that Nora McFarland does not know anything about AA or our dialect for that manner:p. 227 Jason- AA gang leader is talking to Lily, the Caucasian heroine"No, you don't girl." Jason was looking right at me. "You and your shorty come out here." He turned the gun on us."Now in this scene, Lily was with Rod. You get my drift? Just in case you don't let me elaborate. Nora McFarland, in the hood we don't refer to men as a shorty. That term is designated for females that choose to answer to it, whatever their race may be.I'll end on this note, Nora the next time you want to incorporate an African-American black-on-black crime scene in your mystery, do your research. However, I prefer you leave us out of your story. I'm sure you can find some Caucasian serial killer or cult leader or something.

  • Robin Spano
    2019-04-09 11:22

    I enjoyed this book from start to finish. Lilly is a great protagonist - flawed, funny, and dedicated.I met Nora McFarland at a mystery conference in San Francisco. In a field full of people trying to promote their own work, she was a refreshing face to see each time she entered a room. We're at the same stage of our careers, so we exchanged first timer fears and woes, and each time we talked I liked her more.But yeah, the book - a groovy adventure spanning all social classes (I find that variety fun) - and a surprisingly deep read for something so light and fast. A camerawoman is thrust into a series of events that seem to be conspiring to end her career - and her life - within the span of 24 hours. The moral of the story: People are not just one thing. Read and find out why.I'm excited for the sequel!

  • Suspense Magazine
    2019-04-04 09:54

    A breath of fresh air to the world of lighthearted mysteries, Nora McFarland offers readers a charming new series with the introduction of “A Bad Day’s Work”. McFarland’s wacky, behind-the-scenes slant on the day-to-day operations of a small town TV News station and the madness that can accompany it is simply delightful.Lilly Hawkins is having a bad day—in fact, it has honestly been bad for a while—and she is determined to turn her luck around. When she receives a frenzied overnight call from her boss telling her to report directly to the scene of a murder and get tape for the newscast—without screwing up—she hightails it out the door. Lilly is going to get the scoop, save her job and repair her tarnished reputation no matter the cost and her string of professional blunders is going to end that night. Or it should have. She can’t imagine why the final tape is black. Her private interview with the detective on-scene and the carefully taped images of the body being removed with the backdrop of fog and flashing lights are gone and it is inconceivable that she screwed up again. Not everyone believes her when she claims innocence and incompetence, though and the visit she receives from two very crooked cops demanding the footage takes Lilly on an unexpected pursuit to solve the murder and exonerate herself. Off the wall in the best way, McFarland never lets you see what is coming as one crazy antic swiftly follows another. The sequel to this excellent debut will be worth the wait. Reviewed by Shannon Raab with Suspense Magazine

  • Chris Horne
    2019-04-01 15:08

    Normally, it'd take a fistful of crisp one-hundred dollar bills to get me to pick up a mystery novel, and even then I'd probably be upset that you're wrinkling those once crisp Benjamins. It isn't because I don't like mysteries because I do, but I just assumed that they're all about the same. Which works on TV and in movies because you can throw a different star in or change the setting, and wham-o: it's all fresh and clean, clean.But I'd met Nora McFarland, who is both funny and intelligent in real life, and was intrigued by the fact her main character, Lilly Hawkins, works as a videojournalist. Having worked in print journalism, I could see the potential and expected a sort of "All the King's Men," Deepthroat, investigative thing. I was pleasantly surprised.Lilly isn't looking for adventure. She just wants to do her job and because she's more attractive than the average "shooter," she carries a chip on her shoulder, a need to prove she can do the physically-demanding work and hush all the insinuations that she'd be better suited in front of the camera.But, at the beginning of "A Bad Day's Work," the first in a trilogy, Lilly's work has been, uh, suffering. Not only is she not meeting her own high standards; she's hit a rut of bad luck and failure that is threatening her job security. So we open with an ultimatum: she is called in the middle of the night to get footage of a murder scene and is tasked with bringing back a story... "or else."This is where she steps in it deep. I won't get too far into the plot, though it's a fun one. What impressed me is how subtly some of these characters seep into you. Lilly has lost her father and the rest of her immediate family is gone. The news crew at the station is the substitute, except she won't embrace them as such, keeping everyone at arm's length. They're all a little unconventional--and sometimes are unlikable (for a while)--and McFarland makes some choices with them that surprised me. She gave some of them an unexpected amount of humanity--good and bad--when a stock character would have sufficed. (And I'm not complaining.)My favorite, by far, is Uncle Bud, who is a rowdy, aging outlaw type with a playfully spiteful streak. He's funny, kind and capable of handling weird situations but they haven't spent a lot of time together since her father's death. However, when Lilly needs him, he steps up when she needs him. Frankly, it reminded me a lot of my Uncle Danny, my dad's twin brother. He's no outlaw, per se, but he'd be a good Uncle Bud. Like he and Lilly, I haven't seen Danny much since my dad passed away. So obviously, some of my connection with these characters is personal.That said, when I put it down, I was ready for the next installment and I realized that in the process, I'd come around on mysteries. I was never militant about staying away from the genre but it made me realize that it, like most things, is all in who is handling the material. Nora McFarland, you have my attention.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-11 13:14

    What a fun book! Lots of humor and several plot twists to keep you guessing. I won the second book, on GR, so I don't have to wait to read it! Cool.

  • Carrie
    2019-04-04 10:09

    Sort of a combination of Stephanie Plum and one of my favorite mysteries (Night of the Jabberwock); a fun story with a lot of nice detail about the television reporting industry and a bunch of great characters.

  • Todd Sheets
    2019-04-04 18:03

    I recently won a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Author was even kind enough to sign my copy.Absolutely enjoyable, entertaining read. Certainly not a tense, hold on to your seat kind of mystery, but certainly entertaining. Plenty of twists and turns, likable characters.I sincerely look forward to the next Lilly Hawkins story.

  • Halfrunner
    2019-03-28 11:16

    Ms. McFarland's first published novel. Entertaining mystery with strong, fun female lead!

  • Cindy
    2019-03-31 14:11

    Very engaging from the start. Hope the pace keeps up!... and YES it did. Very lively. Maintained my interest to the end.

  • Christine
    2019-03-30 11:22

    It was a good story. It seemed to take a long time to finish but that might have been me. The person who read it before me used a marker to correct the few typos found...oops.

  • Paula Dembeck
    2019-04-12 17:07

    This is the first book in a planned trilogy about Lilly Hawkins, a TV news photographer known as a “shooter’. She shoots video for her hometown news station KJAY in the small town of Bakersfield California. Lilly is not the most friendly or social person in the newsroom but she is very competent and is hoping to get the chief photographer position which has become available now that her boyfriend Jake has headed for the big time in Las Vegas. She and Jake had a good working relationship, but since his departure she has been struggling at the station. She seems to be clumsy and inept and her boss Callum, the assignment manager and Trent the station manager are losing patience with her. They have told her to get her act together or she will be out the door. So Lilly knows she has to do something great to secure her job and the confidence of the others in the news room. Her opportunity comes when she is called to a murder scene. If she can capture some great video on this event her job will be secure. So Lilly goes all out to get the footage and after dodging police and security she gets some great exclusive footage. After boasting of her achievement, she shows the tape to her boss and the others in the newsroom only to find the tape is blank. What has happened? Did she forget to prepare the camera properly? Impossible! She is an old hand at this. Then a calamity of events occurs when both the bad guys and the police all believe that the tape will help solve the murder. Each is trying to retrieve the tape and each is convinced that Lilly still has it. But she doesn’t! And things are getting pretty violent. She gets beaten up, almost strangled and her apartment is trashed. She has to find out what is happening and get herself out of this self- created mess which appears to be threatening her life. It all involves a young black man now dead with a bullet wound to the head, a winery, a hijacked truck, a violent gang called the Eastside Crew”, and Leland Warner a rich, tough business man who owns a lot of real estate in and around town and has a lot of political pull.We are introduced to a variety of characters in the newsroom and Lilly’s personal life, but it is not clear at this point which ones will reappear to be the core characters in the storyline. Apart from Trent and Callum, the characters in the newsroom include Rod the very handsome but shy star reporter who seems to be among the few who really like Lilly. He has a PhD in communications and this is his first reporter job. Although he has only been at the station for six months, he already has all the girls agog and seems headed for the big time. Marcia is the anchor/producer of the morning show, is ambitious but seems to be a friend. Teddy and Freddy, or the Wonder Twins as they are called, are also shooters who are young, blond and dress like surfer dudes. David is another photographer who seems to be headed for the chief photographer’s job.The police department also has a few interesting characters including “Handsome”, a wickedly good looking cop whose throws every girls heart into arrhythmia and Detective Lucero who works with the rural crimes division. But the most loveable and interesting character is Lilly’s Uncle Bud, a crusty old guy who lives in an interesting house and seems to have a rather checkered past.This series is similar to the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. Lilly is a quirky likeable character with many flaws and traces of vulnerability. You can’t help but like her. However she can also be annoying, rude and abrupt. She has a tendency to nickname people according to their appearance and personality: “Belly and Skinny” are two cops who rough her up and “Handsome” is the good looking suave cop. The novel introduces us to a world most of us do not know well, the insular competitive world of the newsroom and we quickly become immersed in the jargon and technology of the place.This is a funny, fast paced, quick read. It doesn’t have the “laugh out loud” moments, or the high pitched sex of Evanovich’s Plum series, but it does have a good "puzzle mystery" and builds suspense well. It also leaves you with a lot of questions to lead you to the second book: Did Lilly’s father really commit suicide? Is Uncle Bud her uncle or her grandfather? And what is his back story? What is the weird status of Lilly's relationship with her mother?I am not much impressed by Rod, Lilly’s boyfriend. He seems rather bland, especially when you compare him to “smokin’ Joe” from the Plum series, but perhaps he will grow on us. And this series is different and needs to strike new chords with its readers. The closing chapters with all Lilly’s self-analysis went a bit far for me. Even though she is being brave and honest about her weaknesses it went on a little too long.A fun read.

  • Scott
    2019-03-22 12:02

    In her third book in the series Nora McFarland shows once again how good a writer she is. She tackles some darker topics and, as a rssult, the book is overall less fun and funny than the first two. But that's not neccesarily a bad thing as it results in providing more depth to the characters especially the hero/narrator/protagonist Lilly Hawkins. The book has some exciting developments regarding relationships between the characters but I can't say much more about that without revealing spoilers which I don't and won't do.Compared to the other two books this book is less about work as a tv news photographer, something McFarland herself has done professionally as we talk about in the interviews for her first two books, and more about Lilly learning dark secrets about her own family. As the book begins she learns her Uncle Bud has been shot at her house. She's not sure what he was doing thereor who shot him but she's not the kind of person who is going to wait around for the police to figure it out... she tries to figure it out herself and this leads to some surprising results.McFarland's definitely growing as a writer and as author Peter Abahams wrote in endorsing the series the books are "Fun, funny, tautly suspenseful, and very smart." Abraham writes under the pen name Spencer Quinn, and as such I've interviewed him several times about his own fun series from the perspective of Chet The Dog. you liked the first two books I guarantee you will also like the third. If you haven't read any of the three then go check them out - you can thank me later.'m starting this week her new one but no interview this time- i'll write a mini review after i finish it.

  • K
    2019-04-01 12:08

    OMG I picked up a book. I'm reading a book and not a magazine or the internets. I feel so weird. I picked up this murder mystery at the library on Saturday while waiting for a friend, and I was sucked in! A fun murder mystery, 1st person female lead, a camera person/shooter, who's thrown into a whole "what what what happened?" where she's framed, pranked and learning to Be a Better Person. Set in Bakersfield, which is also fun. I like murder mysteries not set in obscure teeny towns or set in the same five big cities. I also really liked one of the early scenes where an African-American reverend confronted our heroine about how skewed and racist the news can be covering his community and she felt embarrassed and defensive that he was right. Character notes like that keep me coming back. Hopefully the ending doesn't suck, after all this reading the book thing again. UPDATE: ending did not suck!

  • Lori Twichell
    2019-03-29 12:14

    An engaging mystery with interesting characters, A Bad Day’s Work is a fun read with twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Lilly Hawkins is funny, interesting, and someone that would totally fit into my circle of friends. The characters that populate the story are quirky and weird and exactly the sort of off the wall people that you meet every day. At one point I did wonder if she knew anyone who was really ‘normal’ but then again, normal is a relative concept. And in the television news industry, there might just be more weird than normal.The story was fast paced (sometimes mind bogglingly so) and fun enough to keep me delightfully entertained the entire time I was reading. No downtime in Lilly Hawkins life and no slow times in this story. This was a fun read for a weekend. I enjoyed the adventure and the mystery and would recommend it for anyone who loves a fun, light mystery.Review copy provided by publisher.

  • Fiction Addict
    2019-03-27 15:17

    An engaging mystery with interesting characters, A Bad Day’s Work is a fun read with twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Lilly Hawkins is funny, interesting, and someone that would totally fit into my circle of friends. The characters that populate the story are quirky and weird and exactly the sort of off the wall people that you meet every day. At one point I did wonder if she knew anyone who was really ‘normal’ but then again, normal is a relative concept. And in the television news industry, there might just be more weird than normal.The story was fast paced (sometimes mind bogglingly so) and fun enough to keep me delightfully entertained the entire time I was reading. No downtime in Lilly Hawkins life and no slow times in this story. This was a fun read for a weekend. I enjoyed the adventure and the mystery and would recommend it for anyone who loves a fun, light mystery.

  • Andrea Mullarkey
    2019-04-01 17:59

    In her debut, Lilly Hawkins puts in a very bad day’s work indeed. Veteran shooter for a local news station in Bakersfield, things have not been going well for Lilly lately. She’s been making mistakes. And when the tape from her most recent assignment, a murder, comes back black it is a very bad omen. The roller coaster of a day that follows is a really good time for a reader. There are reporters, gang members, dirty cops, sick kids, and smarmy businessmen. It is impossible to decide who to count on as trusted friends turn on Lilly and old rivals jump in to assist. With her ne’er-do-well uncle Bud as a side-kick we watch Lilly grow in her understanding that nobody is just one thing, and that people have the power to change. Between the plot twists and McFarland’s wit, this was a very entertaining first novel. I look forward to the next two books in the series.

  • Mark Baker
    2019-04-10 18:21

    TV shooter Lilly Hawkins gets the scoop of the year, footage of a murder scene. But when she returns to the station her tape is blank. She thinks it is just bad luck until someone starts threatening her to get that tape. What has she stumbled into? The plot of this book is a little thin, but the action more than makes up for it. I also really liked how the characters developed over the course of the novel. I am very anxious to read the next book in what looks to be a great series.Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  • Kristin
    2019-04-17 11:58

    This book is authored by Nora McFarland, with whom I went to U.C. Santa Cruz and spent some crazy time putting on a production of Guys and Dolls. It's fun to read books written by people I personally know. I really like the main character, Lilly Hawkins. She has integrity! This is a quick, fun, enjoyable read with suspense and twists and turns. I'm looking forwarda to reading the next one in the series. Way to go, Nora!

  • Donna Hill
    2019-04-14 14:16

    Loved it! It's clearly in the Kinsey Milhone/Stephanie Plum mold, but McFarland has a voice of her own. It is very, very unusual for me to be surprised by "whodunit" and not feel like the surprise was contrived, but she pulled it off. It's also unusual for us to see such growth in the key character right out of the gate. I eagerly await the next Lilly Hawkins installment.

  • Jenny
    2019-03-28 16:23

    On the Cusp of Corny and CleverMcFarland's first book breaks into the Lutz and Evanovich domain with a quirky heroine, distinctive secondary characters, and a neatly wrapped mystery. While I'd prefer more intensity and complexity, A Bad Day's Work is a quick, fun diversion that bares promise for a stronger second book in 2011.

  • Marilyn
    2019-03-25 12:24

    This story caught my attention and kept it from beginning to end. It was well-written with a good strong quirky character that seemed like someone I'd like to get to know. The crazy uncle reminded me of my own crazy uncle. I was impressed with the quality of Ms. McFarland's writing and immediately ordered her second book. Started it last night - it looks to be a winner too.

  • Alice
    2019-03-31 13:59

    1st novel includes a reader's guide.Female shooter (camera person) is main character. She is transparent in her dealings with people and a straight shooter. Continues to come back at problems

  • Jessica
    2019-04-08 15:12

    Super fast paced & interesting throughout. My only complaint is that there were SO many characters introduced that I lost track of who was who several times. I loved the main character & all her flaws. Off to start the next one!

  • Nancy Bradford
    2019-04-09 10:21

    This is the first in the adventures of Lilly Hawkins. I had a bit of a hard time at first but it did not take long for me to get into the story line. It turned into a very fun read. I look forward to reading more adventures of Lilly.

  • Sharon Helfrich
    2019-03-25 17:09

    A fun mystery with lots of laughs, in the style of Evanovich and Strohmeyer.

  • Becky
    2019-04-18 10:05

    Maybe too many characters?

  • Wennifred
    2019-03-30 15:55

    I just won a copy from Goodreads. Looking forward to reading it. I will write a review after I've read it. Thank you.

  • Sandy
    2019-04-14 11:57

    A fun, light read. Can't wait for more adventures of Lilly.

  • Kim
    2019-04-15 17:04

    A great, fast adventure with a exasperatingly lovable heroine. Humor and pacing is fantastic and there's a mystery too!

  • Ann
    2019-04-12 18:03

    Nora Roberts knows how to take her main character and throw rocks at her. Each chapter is a cliff hanger. She has a good sense of humor and several unexpected turns. A page turner.