by Elle Cosimano
Series: Finlay Donovan Mystery #1
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Publisher: Headline Review
When struggling crime writer and single mum Finlay Donovan accidentally finds herself employed as a local hit-woman, she suddenly finds herself living the life of crime previously reserved for her characters.
'It is a widely known fact that most mums are ready to kill someone by eight-thirty AM on any given Monday. . . ' Finlay Donovan, single mum and floundering crime writer, is having a hard time. Her ex-husband went behind her back to fire the nanny, and this morning she sent her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an unfortunate incident with scissors.
Making it to lunch with her literary agent is a minor victory but, as she's discussing the plot of her latest crime novel, the conversation is misinterpreted by a woman sitting nearby as that of a hit-woman offering her services to dispose of a 'problem' husband.
And when the woman slips Finlay a name and a promise of a large sum of cash, Finlay finds herself plotting something much bigger than her novel.
And, after all, they do always say: write what you know. . .
Finlay Donovan really is killing it . . .
I’ve seen this title thrown around a few sites, but honestly, the cover turned me off because it was such an obvious knock off of Where’d You Go, Bernadette? that it felt like the publisher was trying to ride some coat-tails. But Irresponsible Reader sang its praises in one of his posts, and I decided to give it a try.
At first, I thought maybe I’d run up against my first IR recommendation dud, because I don’t enjoy reading about people who are hanging onto life by a thread, and Finlay is definitely a big, hot mess at the beginning of this book. But I kept reading, because I couldn’t figure out how the author was going to pull off a protagonist mother-of-two who kills for money and still call the book a comedy.
When the answer to that started becoming clearer, the book started to click for me, because the deeper Finlay found herself in it, the more interested and invested I became. Coincidentally, the less of a hot mess she became. The introduction of the nanny-partner also helped, because her pragmatic personality was one I could identify with (although she takes her pragmatism further than I ever could).
What I was left with was a very well written, well plotted mystery that entertained me. Cosimano gets the bonus points for pulling off a very-plausible-for-fiction explanation for all the events that take place, and for dovetailing it all nicely together at the end.
This is the first of at least 3 books (so far) and I’m definitely interested in reading the next one. Thanks again to Irresponsible Reader!