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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 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. Fast-paced, deliciously witty, and wholeheartedly authentic in depicting the frustrations and triumphs of motherhood in all its messiness, hilarity, and heartfelt moment, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is the first in a brilliant new series from YA Edgar Award nominee Elle Cosimano.


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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 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. Fast-paced, deliciously witty, and wholeheartedly authentic in depicting the frustrations and triumphs of motherhood in all its messiness, hilarity, and heartfelt moment, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is the first in a brilliant new series from YA Edgar Award nominee Elle Cosimano.

30 review for Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

  1. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano This is one of those books where I would never do the things that the main character does but still I had so much fun laughing at her, her bad judgement, and her predicaments. Before the story even starts Finlay Donovan has gotten arrested for putting Play Dough in the exhaust pipe of her ex husband's lover/fiancee's tailpipe and been thrown out of and banned from Panera, for throwing soup on a customer. So see, I don't think Finlay makes good decisi Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano This is one of those books where I would never do the things that the main character does but still I had so much fun laughing at her, her bad judgement, and her predicaments. Before the story even starts Finlay Donovan has gotten arrested for putting Play Dough in the exhaust pipe of her ex husband's lover/fiancee's tailpipe and been thrown out of and banned from Panera, for throwing soup on a customer. So see, I don't think Finlay makes good decisions and it's immediately obvious that she's not about to turn over a new leaf.  Finlay is a struggling suspense novelist whose life is going down the tubes in about every single way. She hasn't paid her bills in so long that she just lets all her mail pile up on the front porch. Her previous books haven't sold well and now she's late with her next book and has a massive writer's block. Her ex husband has hired an attorney to get full custody of their children and if Finlay doesn't get something to her agent immediately, she's going to have to pay back her advance, which was spent long ago.  Finlay meets her agent at the Panera where she has been banned, but all is well because she's wearing a scarf wig and huge sunglasses. As she discusses the plot of her next book with her agent, a customer overhears Finlay talking and thinks that Finlay is a hired killer. The customer has a job for Finlay and won't take no for an answer. Being the lousy decision maker that she is, Finlay proceeds to dig herself in a deeper hole as she tries to get herself out of this job. But the job pays so well and she already has the huge advance. One bad decision leads to another and Finlay is in way over her head, only to be rescued/enabled in doing more bad deeds, by her nanny, Vero.  That's all I'll say. Finlay and Vero are not finished by the end of the book. There will be more from them and I'm looking forward to their antics. I do have to say, despite Vero's tendency to push Finlay to do things she shouldn't do, I wouldn't mind her coming into my life and organizing everything.  Publication: February 2, 2021 Thank you to St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This is delicious, extremely funny, smart, laugh out loud beginning of brand new dark comedy/ mystery series! Here’s my happy dance mood below: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMDmb-Tgl... We’re introduced a fresh, lovely character: A struggling, broke, drowning in debt, single mom, suspense novelist Finlay Donovan. She is sick of piling bills, her scumbag ex’s threats: how can she concentrate on her job and write a best selling crime novel but what if she accepts an offers which could solve her fina This is delicious, extremely funny, smart, laugh out loud beginning of brand new dark comedy/ mystery series! Here’s my happy dance mood below: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMDmb-Tgl... We’re introduced a fresh, lovely character: A struggling, broke, drowning in debt, single mom, suspense novelist Finlay Donovan. She is sick of piling bills, her scumbag ex’s threats: how can she concentrate on her job and write a best selling crime novel but what if she accepts an offers which could solve her financial crisis but it also turned her life more dangerous than the books she has written? With her resourceful accomplice a.k.a nanny, she finds herself to investigate a real life crimes: a contract killer out there and Finlay is so close to solve it with her unconventional approach. This is amazing, fast paced, witty, humorous, feel-good book! I think that was one of my fastest reads and I can honestly say it already made my week. I need more books of the series ASAP! Bring out more Donovan adventures! ( it’s even better than watching Ray Donovan. At least this new fantastic character does not depress you, on the contrary she puts one of the biggest smiles on your face) I cannot wait to read upcoming books of the series! I’m giving well-earned, enjoyable, soft, easy to read, relaxing four stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Minatour Books for providing me this remarkable ARC in exchange my honest opinions. blog instagram facebook twitter

  3. 4 out of 5

    Yun

    You never want to be the asshole that leaves a message promising to kill someone for being late, only to find out they've already been murdered. Poor Finlay. She's a struggling author writing books no one's reading. Her two young kids are driving her crazy while her ex-husband fired the nanny. And on top of that, she's completely broke. When a meeting with her literary agent turns into a big misunderstanding about her being an assassin for hire, it seems Finlay's problems have only just begun You never want to be the asshole that leaves a message promising to kill someone for being late, only to find out they've already been murdered. Poor Finlay. She's a struggling author writing books no one's reading. Her two young kids are driving her crazy while her ex-husband fired the nanny. And on top of that, she's completely broke. When a meeting with her literary agent turns into a big misunderstanding about her being an assassin for hire, it seems Finlay's problems have only just begun. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It has got to have one of the most intriguing setups I've ever seen. And that setup comes to pass in one of the best scenes I've read in a long time. At one point I was howling with laughter, causing my husband to come over and ask if I was all right. A lot of times, a book's promise of mystery and intrigue and laughs don't really amount to much, and I'm left at the end thinking, "Is that it?" But not this time. In this book, I daresay, we get everything we're promised, and that's such a satisfying feeling. The tone of this book is darkly humorous. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and the reader shouldn't either. It's not meant to be completely believable, but rather fun and just a bit over the top. I totally enjoyed this zany story, which delighted and surprised me from beginning to end. It looks like this will be the start of a series, and I couldn't be more excited. With that little bombshell of an ending, I can only hope our wait for the next book isn't too tortuously long.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill

    OMG I LOVED this book! When the dedication page says...for Ashley and Megan because I would bury a body with either of you...well you know it is going to be good! Finlay is several things...a writer, a mom, a sister, a contract killer...who knew murder could be so much fun?! I sure didn't. Outrageous...sure! Funny...Yes! A unique plot that kept me glued to the pages...absolutely! Do I want more Finlay?....Yes, yes, yes please!! After being banned from Panera for bad behavior.. Finlay decided to meet OMG I LOVED this book! When the dedication page says...for Ashley and Megan because I would bury a body with either of you...well you know it is going to be good! Finlay is several things...a writer, a mom, a sister, a contract killer...who knew murder could be so much fun?! I sure didn't. Outrageous...sure! Funny...Yes! A unique plot that kept me glued to the pages...absolutely! Do I want more Finlay?....Yes, yes, yes please!! After being banned from Panera for bad behavior.. Finlay decided to meet her book agent at...well Panera of course! Certainly she could meet her agent at another restaurant, but in typical Finlay style..Panera it is! This fiasco continues on a downward spiral when she is mistaken for a contract killer while discussing her latest book ideas! This book puts the F in fun! It is such an original plot that is was so refreshing to read. It was a part thriller, mystery with a side of twisted humor- all wins in my book! The ending was perfection! It hints at the fact that there may be a follow up to this book. OMG let it be so! Sign me up for more Finlay Donovan! Thank you so much to Minotaur Books for my gorgeous physical copy! I adore this cover! Huge shoutout to one of my book BFF Susan for reading this with me! We loved it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kat (is moving ... I'll be back soon!)

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!! Finlay Donovan is a woman who can’t catch a break if it fell right into her hands. She’s a recently single mom of two young children and a barely known author struggling to make ends meet since her ex left her for their sexy real estate agent. After a harrowing morning with her kids involving a bad haircut and messy breakfast that ends with syrup, blood, duct tape and a knife … don’t ask … Finlay meets her book agent, Sylvia, at Panera to discuss her newest book. When a wo HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!! Finlay Donovan is a woman who can’t catch a break if it fell right into her hands. She’s a recently single mom of two young children and a barely known author struggling to make ends meet since her ex left her for their sexy real estate agent. After a harrowing morning with her kids involving a bad haircut and messy breakfast that ends with syrup, blood, duct tape and a knife … don’t ask … Finlay meets her book agent, Sylvia, at Panera to discuss her newest book. When a woman sitting at a nearby booth sees some of these remnants of her morning on display in her diaper bag and overhears their book plot discussion about murder, she draws the wrong conclusion and invites the unwitting Finlay to help take care of her pesky husband problem - permanently. Unfortunately, getting out of this unwanted job proves much harder than getting into it, especially when it involves some very shady, powerful people. I won’t dive into the remaining plot details, because it’s better to discover all the twists and turns for yourself, but I will say that I was impressed with how author Elle Cosimano tied up the threads of this seemingly impossible scenario Finlay finds herself in. This book was a blast! With my schedule, there’s no such thing as a one day read, but if I could’ve, I would’ve. The plot is tight and fast-paced, with well-developed, interesting characters and loads of humor. Finlay’s kids’ nanny, Vero, is smart, spunky and delightful, and even when she creates problems of her own, she’d still be my go-to girl if I needed help. Julian, the bartender, and Nick, the cop? I’d take either one in a heartbeat if I was single, though I was leaning in a different direction than the story went. You win some, you lose some. I wasn’t too disappointed. The ending is clearly setting up for a sequel, so who knows where all these characters may end up when the merry-go-round stops spinning. All I know is … I want to be on the next ride! ★★★★★ ❤️ Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest review. It's due for publication February 2, 2021.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    You know that scene at the beginning of The Lion King where Rafiki walks out to the edge of Pride Rock and hoists baby Simba in the air to be presented to all the animals of the Pride Lands? The one where the opening chant of “The Circle of Life” blares in the background? "Nants’ ingonyama, bakithi, baba. Sithi hu ‘ngonyama.” Well I’m Rafiki and this book will be Simba anytime any of my suburban book club member friends (“SBCMFs”) ask me what they should read next in 2021. Not to say only SBCMFs You know that scene at the beginning of The Lion King where Rafiki walks out to the edge of Pride Rock and hoists baby Simba in the air to be presented to all the animals of the Pride Lands? The one where the opening chant of “The Circle of Life” blares in the background? "Nants’ ingonyama, bakithi, baba. Sithi hu ‘ngonyama.” Well I’m Rafiki and this book will be Simba anytime any of my suburban book club member friends (“SBCMFs”) ask me what they should read next in 2021. Not to say only SBCMFs will enjoy this romp about a barely-scraping-by newly-divorced writer and mother of two who’s mistaken for a hit woman, but man those MFs are gonna love it. I did too. 4.5 stars. My appreciation goes to St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books and the author for granting my wish to read an advanced copy via NetGalley. Thanks to you, my 2021 recommendations are already killing it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jayme

    As soon as I heard that I wasn’t the only woman BANNED from Panera Bread, I knew I had to read this book! Ok, I am not REALLY banned, but I got your attention-as should this book! Finlay Donovan is killing it, is the FIRST in a new comedy-mystery series, about a Single Mom and struggling Suspense Novelist, whose Fiction MAY or MAY NOT BE, inspired by events in her own life. This one begins when a conversation is overheard in Panera Bread, by a woman at a nearby table, Patricia Mickler, who mista As soon as I heard that I wasn’t the only woman BANNED from Panera Bread, I knew I had to read this book! Ok, I am not REALLY banned, but I got your attention-as should this book! Finlay Donovan is killing it, is the FIRST in a new comedy-mystery series, about a Single Mom and struggling Suspense Novelist, whose Fiction MAY or MAY NOT BE, inspired by events in her own life. This one begins when a conversation is overheard in Panera Bread, by a woman at a nearby table, Patricia Mickler, who mistakes Finlay for an Assassin. The conversation between a woman in a wig-scarf and her companion, who happens to be the woman’s book agent, Sylvia, is about the book plot for her very LATE, next novel. But, it sounds like it COULD be about something else. This eavesdropping lady just happens to have a husband she would like to get rid of, so she slides a note under Finlay’s plate as she bids goodbye to Sylvia, making her an offer she is tempted to consider because the novel isn’t the only thing that is late-all of her bills are overdue too! $50,000 Harris Mickler It couldn’t hurt to investigate a bit, could it? In the name of RESEARCH for her book... So, begins this comedy of errors for Finlay, and her unlikely accomplice-her former nanny Vero. If you have been searching for something lighthearted to read, which isn’t a Rom-Com, (though a little bit of romance may be in the cards for Finlay too) look no further! The idea for THIS novel was also born in a Panera Bread restaurant! 🥖 I received a gifted copy and it was my pleasure to provide a candid review! 🥐 AVAILABLE NOW!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Blaine

    My relationship with Panera was complicated. I liked their soup. Panera didn’t like that I’d poured it over another customer’s head. In my defense, Theresa had started it when she’d attempted to justify her reasons for sleeping with my husband.Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for sending me an ARC of Finlay Donovan Is Killing It in exchange for an honest review. Finlay Donovan is a writer of lightly-read romantic suspense novels, but she’s late with her latest draft and at risk of havin My relationship with Panera was complicated. I liked their soup. Panera didn’t like that I’d poured it over another customer’s head. In my defense, Theresa had started it when she’d attempted to justify her reasons for sleeping with my husband.Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for sending me an ARC of Finlay Donovan Is Killing It in exchange for an honest review. Finlay Donovan is a writer of lightly-read romantic suspense novels, but she’s late with her latest draft and at risk of having to forfeit her advance. She’s behind on her bills, and now her ex-husband is engaged to their former real estate agent and is gearing up to fight for custody of their two kids. In short, Finlay’s life is a mess. And then one day someone overhears Finlay talking to her agent about her books and gets the mistaken impression that Finlay is a contract killer. By the time Finlay realizes what happening, she’s unwittingly agreed to kill this woman’s husband for $50,000. In part out of curiosity about why this woman wants her husband dead, in part feeling like this situation might give her a new idea for a book, and in part thinking about the money, Finlay begins to investigate the man she’s been hired to kill. Before long, Finlay has a body to bury, a new nanny/roommate/partner-in-crime named Vero, a possible hot bartender boyfriend, a possible hot police office boyfriend, but only if she can avoid being arrested for a murder she didn’t commit and avoid being killed for getting mixed up with the wrong people. Gritty, realistic crime fiction this is not. Finlay makes a few choices early that you just have to accept in order to get into the story. And some of the characters are a bit one-dimensional and cliché. But the story works because Finlay is a well-developed character who you can’t help but root for, and her partnership with Vero is consistently hilarious and full of snarky banter: I opened my mouth to swear at her in at least five languages I hadn’t learned yet when the house phone rang. ... Vero looked confused. “I’m sorry. Do I know you? Because I thought I worked for a vampire in yoga pants.”Finally, the story works because at the heart of the tale is one big mystery and several smaller ones that were unpredictable. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is a fun read, with lots of snarky banter and a fast-moving plot full of twists and turns. Recommended. 2/2/2021 update: reposting my review to celebrate that today is publication day!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    What a delightful and innovative storyline! Nothing like an assassin who doesn't want to be one. Finlay Donovan is going through a rough time. Her ex-husband cheated, got engaged to their realtor and now it’s trying to take custody of their two kids. Finlay's financial situation is dire. She can’t pay her bills! Finlay is a writer but since her divorce, she has not been able to write a word. She already used the advance she was given. If she doesn't deliver a new book, her suspense writing dream i What a delightful and innovative storyline! Nothing like an assassin who doesn't want to be one. Finlay Donovan is going through a rough time. Her ex-husband cheated, got engaged to their realtor and now it’s trying to take custody of their two kids. Finlay's financial situation is dire. She can’t pay her bills! Finlay is a writer but since her divorce, she has not been able to write a word. She already used the advance she was given. If she doesn't deliver a new book, her suspense writing dream is over and she will lose her kids for sure. Then while meeting her literary agent at Panera, the woman next to them (Patricia Mickler) started eavesdropping on their conversation and she misinterprets what Finlay and her agent were discussing. Next thing you know, Mrs. Mickler leaves a message with a phone number. When Finlay calls, Patricia is offering fifty thousand dollars in exchange for Finlay disposing of her husband. This book was unputabledown. It was refreshing. I was entertained throughout! I was also anxious about Finlay getting over her head. The one saving grace was Vero. I want a Vero in my life. She was the perfect babysitter and friend anyone should have. I love Finlay too. She was stuck in a hard place and did what she thought needed to be done. Of course, her decisions were mostly wrong and led to even more trouble for her and Vero. The best part was the ending. I loved it. Grab this gem when you need a distraction, it will make laugh and hopefully root for her as I did. I can't wait for the next one. Cliffhanger: No 5/5 Fangs MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Elle Cosimano displays an assured light touch and deft humour in the first of her Finlay Donovan crime series. 31 year old Finlay is a divorced single mom with 2 young children, 2 year old Zach and 4 year old Delia, and rapidly becoming buried in all the troubles coming at her from every direction. She is a small time crime writer with an advance she can't pay back, she hasn't been able to write a word since her life descended into a fraught chaotic nightmare, the bills have piled up, her poor e Elle Cosimano displays an assured light touch and deft humour in the first of her Finlay Donovan crime series. 31 year old Finlay is a divorced single mom with 2 young children, 2 year old Zach and 4 year old Delia, and rapidly becoming buried in all the troubles coming at her from every direction. She is a small time crime writer with an advance she can't pay back, she hasn't been able to write a word since her life descended into a fraught chaotic nightmare, the bills have piled up, her poor excuse of a ex-husband, Steven and his fiancee, real estate agent, Therese, are suing for complete custody of the children, her home is under threat, and to top it all, Steven has fired her 22 year old account student and nanny, Veronica (Vero) Ruiz. Disguised in her wig scarf, she sets out to meet her literary agent, Sylvia, at Panera to discuss the state of her non-existent novel, when their conversation leads a nearby woman to mistake what she does for a living. The unhappily married woman, Patricia Mickler, is under the misapprehension that Finn is a hitwoman, and leaves behind a note for her, she has a job for her, to kill her husband, Harris, for $50 000. The money certainly mesmerises Finn, but no, this is not what she does. She contacts Patricia to decline the offer, but is intrigued by the woman's claim that her husband is a dreadful man that would be no loss to society. This has her visiting, in disguise, and in a stolen dress, The Lush, a bar and club that Harris will be at. Here. she encounters a young cute law student and bartender, Julian Baker, that she just cannot get out of her mind, it's been a long time since she has felt so attracted to a man. The evening ends in a surprising and shocking way that is to change Finn's life for good. Finn gains Vero as a partner in crime, nanny and housemate, gets far too close to the Russian mafia, finds herself and her children in danger, meets a hot cop, and gets other offers to kill for large sums of money in a business she has inadvertently gained a reputation for excellence, and then there is the possibility Finn just might become a more successful crime writer. Cosimano has kick started with panache what promises to be a stellar comic crime series, with a charismatic central character in Finlay, whose life jumps into the crazy lanes through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings. If you are looking for a healthy dose of realism and grit, then you are going to be doomed to be disappointed, but if instead you are looking for fun, entertainment, bags of humour and laughs, then Finlay Donovan is your woman. Fantastic read, and can't wait for the further adventures of Finlay and Vero. Many thanks to Headline for an ARC.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    This was such a fun read and it definitely kept me engrossed! I found Finlay to be funny, resourceful, and endearing. At times she was eye rolling naive, but I went with it. She did make me laugh, often. Right now I think we could all use more laughing!!! Finlay writes murder mysteries, and she had been quite successful at it. However since her divorce, and juggling two young children and her house she’s had writers block. Her publisher is after her constantly to finish her next book. What will i This was such a fun read and it definitely kept me engrossed! I found Finlay to be funny, resourceful, and endearing. At times she was eye rolling naive, but I went with it. She did make me laugh, often. Right now I think we could all use more laughing!!! Finlay writes murder mysteries, and she had been quite successful at it. However since her divorce, and juggling two young children and her house she’s had writers block. Her publisher is after her constantly to finish her next book. What will it take to make the light go back on and help her write a bestseller? Well the answer to that shows up fairly quickly in the book, and you’ll have fun discovering what that is! Finlay is really at her wit’s end when her ex husband fires her nanny, she can’t handle it all, not the kids, the house, the overdue bills and unfinished book. She is overheard talking with someone at Panera about murder mysteries and all the different ways that you can get rid of a body, etc. When she leaves she finds a very interesting note and a phone number to call on her table. All she sees is the $50,000 amount and decides to call the number. Someone has gotten a very different idea of who Finlay really is and what she does for a living!!!!!!!!!! What Finlay and her nanny/accomplice get themselves into is crazy, uproarious fun. There are bodies, mobsters, hit men and the plot races along. While I had to suspend belief for a lot of the actions, it didn’t matter! I’ll leave you to enjoy the plot without any spoilers. It has been hinted that this will be a series and I will definitely watch for a follow up! This was a great recommendation from my good friend Jayme! I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley. This novel is set to publish on February 2, 2021

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! *Alternate review published on mysteryandsuspense.com on 11/10/20. Finlay Donovan: Single mother. Broke, semi-successful author. Hit woman? Finlay is having a terrible day when her children’s nanny, Vero, doesn’t show up and she’s running late to a fancy brunch meeting with her agent...to discuss a book that is way behind schedule. One thing leads to another, and they end up meeting at Panera instead. Finlay wears her blonde wig scarf, dark red lipstick, and huge sunglasses HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! *Alternate review published on mysteryandsuspense.com on 11/10/20. Finlay Donovan: Single mother. Broke, semi-successful author. Hit woman? Finlay is having a terrible day when her children’s nanny, Vero, doesn’t show up and she’s running late to a fancy brunch meeting with her agent...to discuss a book that is way behind schedule. One thing leads to another, and they end up meeting at Panera instead. Finlay wears her blonde wig scarf, dark red lipstick, and huge sunglasses to disguise herself after being banned from that particular Panera (it’s a long story). Due to the nature of the discussion (discussing book plots), Finlay is mistaken for a hit woman and offered $50,000 to kill someone. Obviously, this is crazy and Finlay isn’t going to do it...Right?! Every decision she makes at this point may put her life in grave danger. This is a fun, comedic mystery! I laughed throughout, and also had major anxiety throughout as Finlay got herself into deeper waters from one ridiculous situation to the next. The story isn’t completely realistic, but it’s always entertaining. If you enjoy likable and well-developed leads, a bit of murder, a little romantic tension, and some laughs...then I recommend this book. The ending has a major OMG moment, and I will be (im)patiently waiting for a sequel. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press, author Elle Cosimano, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kaceey

    On the look-out for something just a bit different? Something to leave you shaking your head and laughing out loud? Here you go… this is the book for you! To say the least, Finlay Donovan is down on her luck - way down. Her husband has left her and threatening to take the children. He’s fired the nanny and left Finlay with barely enough money to live on. Finlay is an author by profession, but with her personal life tanking she’s struggling to write her latest book. And missing deadlines puts her On the look-out for something just a bit different? Something to leave you shaking your head and laughing out loud? Here you go… this is the book for you! To say the least, Finlay Donovan is down on her luck - way down. Her husband has left her and threatening to take the children. He’s fired the nanny and left Finlay with barely enough money to live on. Finlay is an author by profession, but with her personal life tanking she’s struggling to write her latest book. And missing deadlines puts her career in further jeopardy. She’s meeting with her agent at the local Panera (where she’s actually been banned.)How does one actually get banned from Panera of all places!? Finlay enters wearing a disguise to hide from Panera security...well, at least the cashier anyway. Nice try Fin! During their discussion about her latest book, a woman seated at the next table over hears a plot twist of Finlay’s book and is convinced Finlay is a gun for hire! Let the games and mayhem begin! This is a hilarious, fun read with a bounty of laugh-out-loud moments, all the while cheering Finlay on while watching as she digs herself deeper into mischief. The ending leaves you assured there will be a follow-up and I’m anxiously awaiting its release! A delightful change of pace. A fun buddy read with Susanne! Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Thank you to Minotaur books for an ARC to read and review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    Review also posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Brilliant, Fun, and Fresh! If offered $50K to “off” a total stranger, would you do it? Personally, I’d pass - I don’t think an orange jumpsuit would flatter me, but if I was in dire straits, maybe I’d think differently? (JK.) Finlay Donovan’s life is a total mess. The single mother of two, she is currently unable to make ends meet and has been “borrowing” money from her despicable cheater of an ex-husband just to stay afloat. A Review also posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Brilliant, Fun, and Fresh! If offered $50K to “off” a total stranger, would you do it? Personally, I’d pass - I don’t think an orange jumpsuit would flatter me, but if I was in dire straits, maybe I’d think differently? (JK.) Finlay Donovan’s life is a total mess. The single mother of two, she is currently unable to make ends meet and has been “borrowing” money from her despicable cheater of an ex-husband just to stay afloat. A struggling author, Finlay simply hasn’t had time to work on her new novel and has never been able to “make it big.” When a meeting with her agent at Panera goes awry, Finlay is left both a little intrigued and quite vexed. After having been banned from Panera, Finlay shows up in disguise, wearing a wig scarf, and sunglasses. There to discuss a book idea, little do Finlay and her agent know, a stranger overhears their conversation and misunderstands. Before leaving, Finlay is given a note with an offer: $50K to “off” a stranger. These are, of course, desperate times and that money would go a long way. A wild, ridiculous, highly entertaining novel that kept the tension high and the laughter flowing, “Finlay Donovan is Killing It” is a fabulous novel that I highly recommend to all! This novel will also make Panera fans like myself quite hungry. I have desperately craved their Creamy Tomato Soup ever since! A fantastic buddy read with Ms. Kaceey that we both quite enjoyed. Thank you to Allison Ziegler at Minotaur Books for the arc. Published on Goodreads on 12.20.20.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    I was really expecting to love this one but I only ended up liking it. It's a fun but over-the-top, comedy and mystery. Finlay Donovan is a newly divorced struggling mother of two. She's a mystery and suspense writer that is suffering writer's block. She finds herself entangled in her own mystery that in turn helps her to write a hit novel! The story is original and I love the part Panera Bread plays in the novel. That was cute and funny but I didn't warm to Finlay right away nor did I find her al I was really expecting to love this one but I only ended up liking it. It's a fun but over-the-top, comedy and mystery. Finlay Donovan is a newly divorced struggling mother of two. She's a mystery and suspense writer that is suffering writer's block. She finds herself entangled in her own mystery that in turn helps her to write a hit novel! The story is original and I love the part Panera Bread plays in the novel. That was cute and funny but I didn't warm to Finlay right away nor did I find her all that funny. Perhaps it's just that I found some of her story to be too improbable however I liked the writing and the cliffhanger at the end. I'll read the next instalment for sure. I'd like to kindly thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press as well as Minotaur Books for granting me access to this Advanced Reader Copy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This was such a fun read and I really loved the originality of the concept. Finlay is an author who is having a very bad year. In the midst of a messy custody battle with a husband who left her for a “newer model” and a negative balance in her cheque book, add on being behind with delivering her next book and no idea where to begin with writing it, it’s not a good time. She writes under a pseudonym and wears a “wig scarf” disguise to meet up with her agent where someone mistakes her for a hit ma This was such a fun read and I really loved the originality of the concept. Finlay is an author who is having a very bad year. In the midst of a messy custody battle with a husband who left her for a “newer model” and a negative balance in her cheque book, add on being behind with delivering her next book and no idea where to begin with writing it, it’s not a good time. She writes under a pseudonym and wears a “wig scarf” disguise to meet up with her agent where someone mistakes her for a hit man for hire and ridiculousness ensues! Throw in the Russian mob and a babysitter who has her back and a few new suitors and many other layers and you have a wild ride that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I had a bit of bad timing reading this over the Christmas Holidays and found myself distracted from it many times I wish I had been able to read it uninterrupted as I think I would have enjoyed it even more. I had heard so many good things about this and had been really looking forward to it and had to keep reminding myself that it was supposed to by implausible and fun! The writing was really good and I was surprised to see that this was Elle Cosimano’s first adult novel! I didn’t fully connect with the characters but did find their choices true and believable (even if they left me thinking, why would you do that?? 😂) and that’s all that matters to me, I don’t have to like them, I just need to get them. I will for sure tune in to what looks like the set up for a sequel but that being said, I wont probably think too much about the characters in the meantime, I think that’s what stopped it from being a 5 star for me. But please don’t get me wrong, I did really enjoy this and it was a lot of outrageous fun, and I definitely recommend that you see if Finlay is killing it! 🔪 **Thank-you to St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this book which will publish on February 2nd 2021**

  17. 5 out of 5

    Corina

    4.5 stars WOWZER!! This was tons of fun, and totally unexpected! Loved it and I'm stoked that it's the first in a new series.... can't wait to read more. ___________________________________ This book was a LOT of fun!!!! Fresh. Well written. Funny. Smart. Entertaining. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It had it all. And I hope that everyone who loves well written mysteries, with entertaining plots and protagonists that are likable and easily to root for, will pick it up. You do not want to miss out on this 4.5 stars WOWZER!! This was tons of fun, and totally unexpected! Loved it and I'm stoked that it's the first in a new series.... can't wait to read more. ___________________________________ This book was a LOT of fun!!!! Fresh. Well written. Funny. Smart. Entertaining. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It had it all. And I hope that everyone who loves well written mysteries, with entertaining plots and protagonists that are likable and easily to root for, will pick it up. You do not want to miss out on this book. I devoured it in two sittings. Even skipped out on a workout because I didn’t want to put it down. And afterwards I wanted to start the next book asap. Luckily, Amazon calls it “the first in a brilliant new series”. That’s exciting news. What I loved about the book: • smart and engaging characters (especially Finlay and Vero) • many LOL moments, honestly I had so much fun with this story • the beginning of a possible love story • a fantastic mystery • and an orignial plot Truly, this book is going to be a crowd pleaser. The balance of mystery, great characters and witty writing was incredibly well done. I just flew through it. I think what I loved the most about this book was the team work between Finlay and her nanny Vero. Finlay had her hands full, literally, and Vero was the help she needed in more than one way. A mother/nanny duo was just what I needed. And I just loved how well they worked together. From one mishap to the next, they had each other’s back. Also the many laugh out loud moments, thanks to the ridiculous things that happened throughout the book, made this novel a very enjoyable book. It’s not wonder that I had a fantastic time with this book, and I’m definitely signing up for more!! ___________________________________ I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author. Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog Follow me on Bookstagram

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tamar...light at the end of the tunnel?

    Woohoo! Thank you Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and Elle Cosimano for an ARC of one of the greatest afternoon reads I’ve enjoyed in a long time. I had already read a few good reviews of this book, so I was eager to get started, but I was not prepared to fall head over heels in love! Finlay Donovan is HILARIOUS. It is a roadshow not to be missed; it is fun, sexy, and completely unexpected. By the end of Chapter 2, my eyes were glued to the text and I did not move from my chair before I devoured e Woohoo! Thank you Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and Elle Cosimano for an ARC of one of the greatest afternoon reads I’ve enjoyed in a long time. I had already read a few good reviews of this book, so I was eager to get started, but I was not prepared to fall head over heels in love! Finlay Donovan is HILARIOUS. It is a roadshow not to be missed; it is fun, sexy, and completely unexpected. By the end of Chapter 2, my eyes were glued to the text and I did not move from my chair before I devoured every last page. I even did something I rarely ever do. I read the acknowledgements (!) because I just didn’t want this book to end. Finlay Donovan is a modestly(X3) successful writer of mystery novels - meaning she doesn’t make a living at writing even though she has an agent and publisher and several novels under her belt. Her douchebag of an ex-husband (DEX) has left her and is currently engaged to the real estate agent who sold them their house and with whom he was having an affair, as revealed to Finlay one afternoon by old Mrs. Haggerty (Queen of the Neighborhood Watch). The bills are piling up, her flush DEX and STB wife, rub her nose in her failures and miss no opportunity to keep Finlay on a tight leash, yanking at her self-esteem and threatening to sue for custody of their two small children because she cannot provide for them. Vero, the children’s nanny, has quit. With no childcare, no money and no possibility or strength to write, Finlay will soon be forced to pay back the long-gone advance she received for her (unwritten) book and probably lose custody of Delia and Zach. A desperate, impecunious, Finlay is being berated by her agent as they meet in Panera. It is clear she will not meet her deadline. As they discuss the murder plot of her upcoming, unwritten, mystery and the fact that she has already received 50% upfront (meaning she must finish the job or lose both her agent and publisher), other desperate woman (ODW), sitting in a nearby booth, overhears and misinterprets their discussion. Finlay gets up to say goodbye to her agent and as she prepares to leave Panera, she finds that ODW has slipped a scribbled note under Finlay’s plate. The note reads: $50,000 CASH HARRIS MICKLER 49 N LIVINGSTON ST ARLINGTON, with a phone number. Finlay has been mistaken for a hired hit(wo)man. Who cares if the target is connected to the Russian Mob? Desperate times call for desperate measures…. and now the stage is set for a comedy of errors that had me smiling and laughing from start to finish…. This book is begging for a sequel, a prequel, and anything else this author has in her, because I don’t think that any of Cosimano’s readers will be ready to bid a final farewell to Finlay, Vero, Mrs. Haggerty, Julian and/or Nick and/or any of the other mostly likable characters in this novel.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Finlay Donovan is a broke single mom to two young children after her husband left her for their real estate agent. She is a struggling author that has an agent desperate for her latest draft but all she has to offer is a blank word document. They agree to meet at a Panera near by to discuss her next book only to be overheard by another patron. A patron that mistakes Finlay as a hit woman. Patricia, the patron, makes an offer to Finlay - $50,000.00 in cash to dispose of her wicked husband. Finlay Finlay Donovan is a broke single mom to two young children after her husband left her for their real estate agent. She is a struggling author that has an agent desperate for her latest draft but all she has to offer is a blank word document. They agree to meet at a Panera near by to discuss her next book only to be overheard by another patron. A patron that mistakes Finlay as a hit woman. Patricia, the patron, makes an offer to Finlay - $50,000.00 in cash to dispose of her wicked husband. Finlay can't believe it. This is all a terrible mistake. She can't kill anyone. She's a writer for crying out loud not some hitwoman. The longer that she thinks about it she realizes that the bills are piling up, the electricity got shut off at home, her van is barely running, and her husband is trying to get custody of her kids. Maybe she could kill just this once..... This was such a fun and refreshing read. Finlay and her nanny Vero are a delight and they had me smiling and laughing on nearly every page. Even her kids cracked me up. A little bit mystery, a little bit romance, and a whole lot of laughs which was exactly what I was in the mood for. 4 stars! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    3.5 stars Finlay is struggling to write her latest suspense/romance novel and is in a deep mess financially. Her ex-husband Steve and his fiancé Theresa are pushing for full custody of four year old Delia and two year old Zach and he takes every opportunity he can to use against her. A meeting in Panera with her agent leads to a chance encounter that could be her way out of her money problems. With the assistance of her babysitter Vero is this the start of a new lucrative ‘business’ for Finlay? A 3.5 stars Finlay is struggling to write her latest suspense/romance novel and is in a deep mess financially. Her ex-husband Steve and his fiancé Theresa are pushing for full custody of four year old Delia and two year old Zach and he takes every opportunity he can to use against her. A meeting in Panera with her agent leads to a chance encounter that could be her way out of her money problems. With the assistance of her babysitter Vero is this the start of a new lucrative ‘business’ for Finlay? Although I can’t say I find this book funny, I can say that it’s entertaining. There’s a good mix of characters in this lively novel from the ever resourceful Vero to the likeable Finlay though the less we say about Steve and Theresa the better, there’s a hunky cop and a good looking bartender to provide some romance potential and let’s chuck in some dangerous mobsters with the inevitable hitman. Finlay unwittingly unleashes a chain of events with very unexpected results. The pace is fast, there’s an entertaining if far fetched series of misadventures and so many twists and turns it makes your head spin until you’re dizzy. There’s a dash of everything from murder to romance, some eyebrow raising occurrences and a few smiles. It’s light, fizzy and easy to read with a good ending. Overall, if you’re looking for something that’s not too taxing but with plenty going on then this may fit the bill. With thanks to NetGalley and Headline Books for the arc for an honest review

  21. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Woodward

    *Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Elle Cosimano for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 2.2!* Madcap murder mystery mayhem with just a twist of sass! It hasn't been novelist Finlay Donovan's day, month...or even her year. Fresh off of her divorce with two kids in tow and finances running dry, Finlay has yet another dilemma: progress on her newest book has come to a screeching halt. However, her agent has come calling and wants to meet Finlay at the most perfect of places for *Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Elle Cosimano for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 2.2!* Madcap murder mystery mayhem with just a twist of sass! It hasn't been novelist Finlay Donovan's day, month...or even her year. Fresh off of her divorce with two kids in tow and finances running dry, Finlay has yet another dilemma: progress on her newest book has come to a screeching halt. However, her agent has come calling and wants to meet Finlay at the most perfect of places for self-reflection, business dealings, and fabulous bread alike: the local Panera. Finlay nervously heads to the meeting, not sure how she can fend off her agent much longer. An unlikely eavesdropper, Patricia, mistakes the mention of the large cash advance during the discussion as a bounty...and pegs Finlay as the expert killer in question. Post meeting, Patricia sidles up to Finlay with a proposition and a 'simple' task: dispense of the evil man in question and receive $50,000.00 cash. Finlay is stunned, but as the woman whisks away, she begins to consider her options. I mean, would it really be so crazy? She wouldn't have to actually HURT anyone, right? When Finlay tracks down her target, however, the situation quickly escalates, and Vero, the former nanny for Finlay's children, might be the only one who can keep her out of trouble...or will she let the cat out of the bag and put both women in the crosshairs? And will truth be stranger than fiction as Finlay suddenly finds all the inspiration for her novel she could ever need...and more importantly, will she live long enough to write the Epilogue? Finlay Donovan is such a unique and fantastic departure from the norm in this genre from former YA writer Elle Cosimano, and it is sorely needed! I knew from the first chapter this book would have the perfect blend of silliness, mystery, romance, action, and excitement, honestly unlike any mystery/thriller I have ever read before and I was enchanted by every minute spent with Finlay. The Abbott and Costello-esque relationship between Finlay and Vero is so expertly executed and fun and was the perfect blend of slapstick and solid female friendship; I always looked forward to their scenes together! Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this book is that it both seems over the top and implausible and completely believable at the same time, which is quite a feat. All of the secondary characters were a joy to read, and Finlay's kids definitely helped provide extra comic relief at different points as well. As funny as this book was, it also managed to be a clever mystery without ever feeling overwrought and also kept me guessing throughout, although the beauty of this book is the thrill of the ride. The ending is absolutely fitting and certainly opens the door for a full series, and I would love to see more from our scrappy heroine! This is dark humor done right, and the title says it best: Finlay Donovan IS Killing It! 4 ⭐

  22. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    Finlay Donovan is fabulous! What a fun book, a real breath of fresh air! Things are not going great for suspense writer Finlay Donovan. Her husband has left her, her new book seems to be going nowhere, and the bills keep piling up. So when she is mistaken for a higher killer while lunching at Panera with her agent she is tempted by the $$$. But the more Finlay tries to get out of this predicament the deeper she gets in. Finlay reminded me of Stephanie Plum if Stephanie were a struggling suspense Finlay Donovan is fabulous! What a fun book, a real breath of fresh air! Things are not going great for suspense writer Finlay Donovan. Her husband has left her, her new book seems to be going nowhere, and the bills keep piling up. So when she is mistaken for a higher killer while lunching at Panera with her agent she is tempted by the $$$. But the more Finlay tries to get out of this predicament the deeper she gets in. Finlay reminded me of Stephanie Plum if Stephanie were a struggling suspense Author turned hired killer. Although Finlay didn’t seem to be able to eat everything in sight and never gain an ounce. This was definitely a character driven mystery with a big splash of humor. Finlay was such a likable character even though she made bad choice after bad choice. I also really liked her psychic Vero and of course her kids. Angela Dawe does a remarkable job of narrating this audiobook. She brought the perfect voice to these colorful characters. The story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger so I’m hoping this means there’s more to come! This book in emojis 💸 🔪 🩸 ✉️ 🥂 🪢 🕶 *** Big thank you to Minotaur & Macmillan Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

  23. 5 out of 5

    DeAnn

    *Now available* 4.5 great character stars Finlay Donovan has become a favorite character! She’s definitely a mess, figuring out how to be a single mother, behind on writing her book, struggling to pay her bills in a big way, and tormenting the woman who stole her now ex-husband’s heart. It’s (almost) comedic how her life gets so out of control! A conversation overheard at Panera might just provide the answer to all of her problems – or is it? Finlay is quickly over her head and I love how she just *Now available* 4.5 great character stars Finlay Donovan has become a favorite character! She’s definitely a mess, figuring out how to be a single mother, behind on writing her book, struggling to pay her bills in a big way, and tormenting the woman who stole her now ex-husband’s heart. It’s (almost) comedic how her life gets so out of control! A conversation overheard at Panera might just provide the answer to all of her problems – or is it? Finlay is quickly over her head and I love how she just stumbles through life and what is thrown her way. Is she the modern-day Lucy? I liked her nanny/business manager Vero and the two of them made a great combo. Her kids are awfully cute too. Finlay has a sister who is a cop and I liked her character too. Finlay gets past her writer’s block and has tons of material for her thriller! I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out for her and it ends in a delicious cliff hanger. Dare we hope for a sequel? I would love more Finlay!! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the copy of this one to read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Happy Publication Day, Finlay Donovan! This is a totally original book that defies categorization within the mystery genre. If pressed, I would call it an edgy cozy with a heaping side of dark humor. The setup is pure genius and totally original - Finlay, an exhausted and very witty mom, is overheard in a public place and, in a conversation taken out of context, is VERY greatly misunderstood to be a hitwoman (hit-mom?). Naturally, this is something that could be easily cleared up with a laugh and Happy Publication Day, Finlay Donovan! This is a totally original book that defies categorization within the mystery genre. If pressed, I would call it an edgy cozy with a heaping side of dark humor. The setup is pure genius and totally original - Finlay, an exhausted and very witty mom, is overheard in a public place and, in a conversation taken out of context, is VERY greatly misunderstood to be a hitwoman (hit-mom?). Naturally, this is something that could be easily cleared up with a laugh and an explanation, right? Well, of course not, because then we wouldn't have this very funny book. Finlay is the best kind of heroine - plucky and witty without trying too hard. She is also very adept (in part due to her mom background) at dealing with any, and I do mean ANY, kind of inopportune disaster. Finlay (aka "Finn") is incredibly charming, and it is impossible not to like her. It must be said here that the setup and hijinks that ensue are totally outlandish, so if you are looking for a realistic, gritty crime novel, this is not that book. But if you are looking for a totally unique and funny mystery with a great heroine, Finn fits the bill. The twists satisfy, as do the characters. I could definitely enjoy this book as part of a series, or as a movie, and I bet both are coming soon (or at least, they SHOULD be). Finn is a very refreshing diversion in a year of unreliable wife-narrators and thrice kidnapped children. Check out Finlay Donovan, who indeed is killing it as both a mystery protagonist and a physical comedienne. Many thanks to St. Martin's Press, NetGalley, and the author (who I am positive we will be hearing from much more in the future!) for this very fun ARC.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I knew from the opening sentence that this was going to be my kind of book. “It is a widely known fact that most moms are ready to kill someone by eight thirty A.M. on any given morning.” Finlay is recently divorced, way behind with her bills. She writes romantic suspense novels, but is currently suffering from writer’s block. When someone misunderstands a conversation she’s having with her agent, she finds herself with a way to make enough money to solve all her problems. Murder for hire. Then s I knew from the opening sentence that this was going to be my kind of book. “It is a widely known fact that most moms are ready to kill someone by eight thirty A.M. on any given morning.” Finlay is recently divorced, way behind with her bills. She writes romantic suspense novels, but is currently suffering from writer’s block. When someone misunderstands a conversation she’s having with her agent, she finds herself with a way to make enough money to solve all her problems. Murder for hire. Then she teams up with Vero, her babysitter. Vero is my favorite character in the book. Ballsy, fun, resourceful and organized she gives Finlay the strength to become her own person. The book is crazy, every decision leading to another problem. It’s the perfect, easy read, escapist book for this crazy time we’re living through. It’s fast paced and I couldn’t see how things would play out. The climax of the story didn’t quite work for me but that’s a quibble given the fun provided. Make sure to read the author’s note for the inspiration for the story. My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Javier

    Review published in: https://diagnosisbookaholic.blogspot.... Finlay Donovan is killing it. Literally and metaphorically speaking! This book was exactly what I needed after my last reading slump. Meet Finlay Donovan. Mom of two. Struggling novelist. Proud holder of a criminal record involving some play-doh and her ex-husband's new fiancee's car. Persona non grata at Panera. While meeting her agent at said Panera (isn't she a badass?) she's mistaken with a hired killer and offered $50.000 just to ge Review published in: https://diagnosisbookaholic.blogspot.... Finlay Donovan is killing it. Literally and metaphorically speaking! This book was exactly what I needed after my last reading slump. Meet Finlay Donovan. Mom of two. Struggling novelist. Proud holder of a criminal record involving some play-doh and her ex-husband's new fiancee's car. Persona non grata at Panera. While meeting her agent at said Panera (isn't she a badass?) she's mistaken with a hired killer and offered $50.000 just to get rid of some lady's husband. But she's not a killer, isn't she? I just fell in love with Finlay (and her wig-scarf). She's a bit of a disaster, nothing ever goes according to plan, but you can't help to root for her. She's funny, endearing and has a bag full of tricks, not for nothing she does meticulous research for her own novels! The predicaments she and her sidekick/nanny Vero found themselves in were uproariously fun. They made such a perfect investigative duo. I couldn't help but chuckle at their constant bantering. I just love when my mysteries have some comedy. And, as in one of her novels, the heroine has to deal with some romance and I could not be happier with her final decision. The final lines left me with my mouth hanging open. I can't wait to see what's next in store for Finlay. I know that if this turns into a whole series I'm gonna be expecting each book anxiously! Is it the most realistic story? No, but who cares when it's so much fun to read! A little bit of murder, a little bit of laughter, a little bit of romance and lots of hilarious moments make of "Finlay Donovan is killing it" an absolute winner.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan Z

    Going into this book, I didn't know much about it, which I think made it even better. Finlay is a divorced mom of two who is trying to get her act together as an author. She winds up on an improbable adventure that is laugh out loud funny, jaw dropping and mind blowing. Some antics are over the top but as long as you suspend belief and go with it, it's a remarkable ride. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more from Elle Cosimano. This was a buddy read with my book BFF Kim. I'm n Going into this book, I didn't know much about it, which I think made it even better. Finlay is a divorced mom of two who is trying to get her act together as an author. She winds up on an improbable adventure that is laugh out loud funny, jaw dropping and mind blowing. Some antics are over the top but as long as you suspend belief and go with it, it's a remarkable ride. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more from Elle Cosimano. This was a buddy read with my book BFF Kim. I'm not sure who loved it more. Thank you St Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shaylan

    5 stars for this amazing murder mystery! I loved every minute of this over the top and hilarious crime novel. I hope there's a sequel, give me all the Finlay Donovan books! Finlay Donovan is a divorced mom of two who writes crime novels for a living. She's struggling financially and in a custody battle with her ex. But when she's mistaken for a hit woman for hire at a Panera she gets pulled into the world of crime and is in over her head before she knows it. Together with her babysitter Finlay ne 5 stars for this amazing murder mystery! I loved every minute of this over the top and hilarious crime novel. I hope there's a sequel, give me all the Finlay Donovan books! Finlay Donovan is a divorced mom of two who writes crime novels for a living. She's struggling financially and in a custody battle with her ex. But when she's mistaken for a hit woman for hire at a Panera she gets pulled into the world of crime and is in over her head before she knows it. Together with her babysitter Finlay needs to solve this crime before the wrong person is accused. I loved that the plot got interesting right from the first chapter, immediately I was drawn in and couldn't put the book down. The twists and turns were surprising and I kept guessing who the murderer was. This book was just the right amount murder mystery and romance, while being funny. The two love interests were a nice side plot and Finlay kept me on my toes throughout the whole book. She was an engaging character and I loved all the antics she got up to, she was always in a ridiculous situation and had to get herself out of it. I was always left guessing and there was just enough suspense. I loved how things kept escalating and Finlay was drawn into the murder investigation. The ending was perfect but left more to the imagination and I hope there will be a second book. This is the best book I've read in awhile and hope to get more. Overall I adored Finlay Donovan is Killing It and you should get a copy of it! Anyone who enjoys mysteries will love this and even if you don't like mysteries you'll probably enjoy this. Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me an eARC in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars. Elle Cosimano's newest book, Finlay Donovan is Killing It is funny, twisty, and a really good read! (Plus, it takes place in Northern Virginia, so I always love books that take place in my area!) “It’s a widely known fact that most moms are ready to kill someone by eight thirty A.M. on any given morning. On the particular morning of Tuesday, October eighth, I was ready by seven forty-five.” Finlay Donovan’s life is in chaos. She’s barely able to raise two kids on her own, her ex-husb 4.5 stars. Elle Cosimano's newest book, Finlay Donovan is Killing It is funny, twisty, and a really good read! (Plus, it takes place in Northern Virginia, so I always love books that take place in my area!) “It’s a widely known fact that most moms are ready to kill someone by eight thirty A.M. on any given morning. On the particular morning of Tuesday, October eighth, I was ready by seven forty-five.” Finlay Donovan’s life is in chaos. She’s barely able to raise two kids on her own, her ex-husband keeps threatening to sue her for custody, she can’t pay all of her bills on time, and she can’t seem to get it together to write her newest book, which her literary agent and her publisher are getting desperate for. (Lord knows she already spent the advance she received for it!) When meeting her agent at a Panera (a Panera I actually go to from time to time) one day, she’s describing the plot of her new book, and a woman at a nearby table overhears. She thinks Finlay is a contract killer and offers her $50,000 to get rid of her horrible husband. Of course, the idea is shocking, but that $50K could go a long way... It’s not long before Finlay realizes that writing about crime is a lot easier than committing one. But then things go totally awry, and before she knows it, she’s in the middle of a murder investigation, she’s being sought after by another woman to handle a similar job, and she’s caught the eye of a handsome detective. Truth is certainly wackier than fiction. I’ve seen this book all over Bookstagram so I was anxiously looking forward to reading it, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s quirky, funny, sexy, twisty, and just so enjoyable, and Finlay is a terrific character. I also love her relationship with Vero, her children's nanny and her partner-in-crime. (The one negative is that my book jumped from page 251 to 262...ugh. Hope I didn't miss anything crucial!) I hope Finlay Donovan is Killing It is the start of a series, because Cosimano has a great protagonist on her hands! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. Check out my list of the best books of the last decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Confession: I decided to read this book because the cover reminded me of this one . . . . If you look up “cheap date” in the dictionary, my picture is probably there. Imagine my surprise after going in blind to me finding one of the funnest (speaking of dictionaries, Webster’s if you add text speak to your volume, you can make “funnest” a real word) things I’ve read this year. The premise here is recent divorcée Finlay Donovan is a Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Confession: I decided to read this book because the cover reminded me of this one . . . . If you look up “cheap date” in the dictionary, my picture is probably there. Imagine my surprise after going in blind to me finding one of the funnest (speaking of dictionaries, Webster’s if you add text speak to your volume, you can make “funnest” a real word) things I’ve read this year. The premise here is recent divorcée Finlay Donovan is a floundering romantic suspense writer and single mom just trying to figure out how to make ends meet. A meeting at the Panera with her agent to discuss the status (or lack thereof) of her latest book leads to a stranger overhearing their conversation who then totally gets the wrong idea about what Finlay does for a living . . . . ”I want you to do it.” “Do what?” I asked, struggling to keep up. “Whatever it is you do. Like you said, neat. I just want him gone. I have fifty thousand cash. I was going to use it to leave him. But it will be better this way.” And so begins Finlay’s accidental foray into murder for hire. Okay, so obviously this story was completely over-the-top and farfetched, but I thought it was an absolute hoot. And once Finlay’s former babysitter turned accomplice joined the ranks . . . . “I’m just saying, we should be working smart. Not hard.” “Killing people for money is not smart!” Vero clapped the dirt from her gloves and hauled herself out of the waist-deep hole. She traded me the shovel for the little pink trowel and pointed it at me. “We’ll see how you feel when you’ve got your fifty thousand dollars.” I haven’t had this much fun with a ride-or-die set of gal pals since Stephanie and Lula . . . . If you are looking to escape and have some fun, grab this when it comes out. Then come back here so I can tell you . . . . I cannot WAIT for book #2. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

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