Book Reviews

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano: ARC Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Expected publication February 2nd, 2021 by Minotaur Books.

My rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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.

Thank you to the publisher, Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.

Finlay Donovan is a trashy novelist and financially struggling mother of two. Recently divorced from her cheater-of-an-ex-husband, Finlay is left to raise her children on her own, and the bills are beginning to pile up… What’s worse, her sleazy ex-husband and his new fling (Finlay’s real estate agent, no less) would like nothing more than to capitalize on her financial troubles as a means to win full-custody of her kids.

So when she’s accidentally mistaken as a killer for hire when her conversation with her publicist about the plot of her latest novel is overhear and misunderstood, Finlay finds herself at a crossroads. Do the hit, take the money, pay her bills and live happily ever after – or don’t, and watcher her slimy ex-husband and his new lover use their fancy lawyer to steal her children.

Too bad things are never as simple as they seem, and her intended target is definitely no simple man, but someone very well connected in the criminal underworld…

Filled with mystery, intrigue, and down-to-earth humour, I had so much genuine fun with this book! Finlay Donovan is absolutely fabulous, and her story is too!

Cosimano does an absolutely flawless job blending the seriousness of the murder mystery/Russian mafia plot line of this novel with the more lighthearted, everyday stressors of Finlay Donovan’s life as a single mom of two and struggling novelist hoping for her big break. The perfect balance of the two polar-opposite aspects melded together into one created a story that was equal parts hilarious as it was thrilling! The book felt both super relatable and absolutely impossible all at the same time, which I think really captures why I found Finlay Donovan’s story to be such a success.

Final Donovan herself is quite the character – the type of woman to get arrested for putting Play Doh in the exhaust pipe of her ex-husband’s mistress’s car and banned from Panera for pouring soup on a customer. It was such fun to read about all of her ill-thought-out exploits and how she handled the inevitable repercussions. I loved when she teamed up with her nanny, Vero. They made such a great – hilarious – team, one I couldn’t help routing for.

While some of the reveals weren’t the most surprising, it was hard to care too much because I was just having so much fun reading this book. Overall, Finlay Donovan is Killing It was a fast-paced, enjoyable romp, and I can’t wait for the sequel!

What great mystery novels have you read recently?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.

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