Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
Pub Date: February 2, 2021
Source: e-ARC via netgalley (Thank you, Minotaur!)
Summary: Finlay Donovan is killing it . . . except, she’s really not. She’s a stressed-out single-mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: the new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written, her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her, and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors.
When Finlay is overheard discussing the plot of her new suspense novel with her agent over lunch, she’s mistaken for a contract killer, and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet . . . Soon, Finlay discovers that crime in real life is a lot more difficult than its fictional counterpart, as she becomes tangled in a real-life murder investigation.
Finlay Donovan once had it all: the perfect husband, two adorable kids, a gorgeous house, and a budding career as a novelist. Now she’s newly single, her ex ran off with the real estate agent, the kids are chaos on legs, and Stephen suddenly fired the nanny. Sending your 4-year-old to school with her freshly-shorn hair duct-taped back onto her head is not the sign of a woman who has her life together. As for her career, the more left unsaid, the better.
With a deadline already come and gone (and her advance right along with it), Finn heads to Panera to meet her agent in a last-ditch attempt for one more delay. As she’s discussing her haphazard, cobbled together plot, a woman at a nearby table hears bits an pieces…and mistakenly assumes Finn is a hitwoman for hire. As she leaves she slips Finn a note – a target and a sum with more zeros than she’s seen in a long time. But she wouldn’t be crazy enough to actually go through with it, right? Especially not once she learns about the ties to the mob. Then again, all those zeros..
I’ll be honest, going into this book I wasn’t that impressed. I was most definitely not a fan of Finlay’s ex-husband and the new fiancée was more a caricature of Mean Girl stereotypes than anything. Review after review – from several VERY trusted friends – praised Finlay Donovan is Killing It so I knew to tough it out and keep reading. And I’m so glad I did. Once the story really got going and the plot took off, I was hooked and couldn’t look away.
When the man she (honestly) never really intended to kill (scout’s honor!) winds up dead in the back of her minivan, Finn realizes she in way over her head. With her newly-rehired nanny back in the ring (for a 40% cut, of course), Finn has to somehow solve a murder, write a bestseller, AND dodge referrals from more prospective…clients who also have problems they would like Finn to dispose of. As if the hitwoman hustle isn’t bad enough, Finn uses the details as inspiration for her novel – and her agent loves it.
With wacky hijink after wacky hijink, Finlay Donovan is Killing It felt like an old-timey classic rom-com/mystery. I could easily see stars like Audrey or Cary filming a movie similar to this – and honestly, I would absolutely watch a movie version of this book. It’s funny, it’s engaging, the story is totally bonkers in an I NEED TO KNOW MORE way. I’m so glad this isn’t just a standalone, there were several plotlines I wanted to explore further (I mean, the potential for a love triangle was right. there.) and that ending…!! I honestly gasped and knew right then and there that I needed book two in my life, stat. Unfortunately I’ll be waiting a while, but I’ll be here, grabby hands at the ready.