Overall Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩/5
Spice Level: 🌶/5 (there is some romance but no spice)
A Quick Summary…
Finlay Donovan is a divorced mom of two kids struggling to make ends meet as an author. When she is overheard discussing her new suspense book with her agent, she’s mistaken for a contract killer and unintentionally agrees to get rid of a problem husband. Finlay quickly gets pulled into the world of crime, ultimately putting herself in the middle of a murder investigation. This is an adult mystery that is dark, witty, and chaotic 🕶.
*possible spoilers ahead*
This was such a fun and fast paced read with the perfect balance of dark themes and humor! While we would not have made any of the choices Finlay did 🤣, it was super entertaining to watch what she was going to do next. Her inner monologue was hilarious, she was the perfect combo of bitter but vulnerable (we don’t blame her at all, she was a woman scorned). Finlay is definitely one of those characters that is a constant mess but you cannot help but hope everything will work out for her 😬. We both loved the witty style of humor, and thought that the whole Panera concept was ingenious.
Another trope we’re always excited to see is the “struggling author is writing a book about what’s happening within the book.” It’s the same reason why Katherine loved Verity so much, even though that is a way heavier book, it gave similar vibes in that regard. We felt that this gave us some insight into the life of an author; it’s not always glamorous but they are doing what they love despite what others in their lives may think. It showed her family and friends viewing her writing as not a “real job”, and also reminded us as readers that authors are people too who have complex lives and people depending on them ✍️.
It was also hilarious that somehow Finlay managed to kill but not actually kill the two men she was hired to get rid of. The mystery of it was great and kept us on the edge of our seats; we were nervous for Finlay and Vero and rooted for them. As for the romantic interests, Nick was an eh for us. We didn’t love him but also didn’t hate him 🤷♀️. Both of us were definitely team Julian, he was super cute and seemed to really see Finlay for all she was and accepted the good and bad ☺️. Finlay’s ex husband was definitely not likeable and we would not be upset at what may happen to him in the future (iykyk 👀). Looking at the friendships, we absolutely LOVED Vero. She was such a great character and we could all use a friend like her (judgement free, hilarious, would help you bury a body, who wouldn’t want that? 👯♀️).
While some things in the plot we anticipated, it overall kept us on our toes and we were super interested in seeing how everything would play out. It seemed that the author sometimes made a connection between two instances that we didn’t see coming 🙊. The coincidences were also so well thought out. How Finlay dressed up as Theresa and used her name and then it happened that Theresa was actually involved (we were not mad Finlay used her though). And how there casually happened to be MULTIPLE dead bodies where they happened to bury the problem husband. The imagery was also great, and we could clearly picture a lot of the scenes playing out like a movie. Overall we both loved this one, and it’s a great book if you love a fast read with dark humor and mystery. We NEED the second one because THAT ENDING THOUGH 🤯.
“My Google search history alone was probably enough to put me on a government watch list. I wrote suspense novels about murders like this. I’d searched every possible way to kill someone. With every conceivable kind of weapon.”
“She chuckled darkly. “And to think you were worried about a damn shower curtain. Nothing says ‘serial killer’ like a chest freezer in a garage.”
“If we get caught, we’re not hiring some Abercrombie underwear model to keep us out of prison.”
“Nick and Vero glanced up as my heels clicked into the kitchen. Vero looked confused. “I’m sorry. Do I know you? Because I thought I worked for a vampire in yoga pants.”
“The devious curl of his lip suggested we had different definitions of professional, and I recoiled as he brushed a stray lock of hair from my face with the tip of his finger. “But tell me,” he said, slipping his hands back in his pockets, “what was the detective after?”
“Let us not attribute to malice and cruelty what may be referred to less criminal motives.’ I make it a point never to assume the worst about people.”
“Or be recognized when I’m abducting scary rapists from bars, breaking into real estate offices, or taking contracts to kill problem husbands while eating cheesecake in Panera.”