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A Bad Day's Work

(Lilly Hawkins #1)

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3.59  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  39 reviews
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 d ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Touchstone (first published July 17th 2010)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  148 ratings  ·  39 reviews


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Yolo
Aug 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
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 gues ...more
Robin Spano
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
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 variet
...more
Suspense Magazine
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 he
...more
Chris Horne
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Carrie
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Amanda
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book! Lots of humor and several plot twists to keep you guessing. I won the second book, The Hot, Shot, and Bothered (Lilly Hawkins, #2) by Nora McFarland on GR, so I don't have to wait to read it! Cool. ...more
Todd Sheets
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Cindy
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very engaging from the start. Hope the pace keeps up!... and YES it did. Very lively. Maintained my interest to the end.
Halfrunner
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. McFarland's first published novel. Entertaining mystery with strong, fun female lead! ...more
Linda
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very fast paced, Lilly is a TV news photographer who is having a series of bad luck. When she is called out to cover a story in the middle of the night she never thought that her luck could get any worse. She becomes a rouge photographer trying to figure out what the heck happened. Good story.
Christine
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Caren
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun read. My bad days are never this rough!
Dorothy
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
As usual you just want to scream "why are you doing that?". ...more
Paula Dembeck
Oct 06, 2013 rated it liked it
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 sin ...more
Scott
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
K
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Lori Twichell
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Fiction Addict
Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: lori-twichell
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 ...more
Andrea Mullarkey
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Mark Baker
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2011
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 re
...more
Kristin
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Donna Hill
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jenny
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it
On the Cusp of Corny and Clever
McFarland'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.
...more
Marilyn
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jessica
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, 2012
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
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Alice
May 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
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

...more
Sandy
Sep 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A fun, light read. Can't wait for more adventures of Lilly. ...more
Ann
Nov 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
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.
Wennifred
Aug 14, 2011 marked it as to-read
I just won a copy from Goodreads. Looking forward to reading it. I will write a review after I've read it. Thank you. ...more
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Nora McFarland has worked for CNN and has an MFA from the University of Southern California's school of cinematic arts. She lives in Macon, Georgia. ...more

Other books in the series

Lilly Hawkins (3 books)
  • Hot, Shot, and Bothered (Lilly Hawkins, #2)
  • Going to the Bad (Lilly Hawkins, #3)

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