Books,  Reviews

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead

by Elle Cosimano
Published by: Minotaur Books
Publish Date: February 2022
Genre(s): Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Cozy Mystery
HB&W Rating: 3.75
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Finlay Donovan is once again struggling to finish her next novel and keep her head above water as a single mother of two. On the bright side, she has her live-in nanny and confidant Vero to rely on, and the only dead body she’s dealt with lately is that of her daughter’s pet goldfish.

On the not-so-bright side, someone out there wants her ex-husband, Steven, out of the picture. Permanently. Whatever else Steven may be, he’s a good father, but saving him will send her down a rabbit hole of hit-women disguised as soccer moms, and a little bit more involvement with the Russian mob than she’d like.

Meanwhile, Vero’s keeping secrets, and Detective Nick Anthony seems determined to get back into her life. He may be a hot cop, but Finlay’s first priority is preventing her family from sleeping with the fishes… and if that means bending a few laws then so be it.

With her next book’s deadline looming and an ex-husband to keep alive, Finlay is quickly coming to the end of her rope. She can only hope there isn’t a noose at the end of it…

Synopsis source: Goodreads


Finn and Vero are back at it again with high-jinx, schemes, and laughs as they try to figure out who wants Finn’s ex-husband dead.

Finn is a hot mess. Her next book is due, which she of course hasn’t started yet, Julian, her not-boyfriend, has taken a trip and gone radio-silent, even switching his Instagram from public to private, shutting her out, her mom keeps trying to set her up with hot cop, Nick, and someone is trying to kill her ex, Steven, who believes that this is a desperate attempt of Finn’s to keep him away from the kids. She’s got a few things going on. Add in the Russian mob and the hits keep coming. Ha! See what I did there?

As Finn creates more problems in the attempt to solve the mystery of who wants her ex dead, she begins to realize how little she really knows about her ride-or-die BFF, Vero. Vero is keeping secrets. She’s cagey about where she has been at times, evasive when confronted, avoiding her mom, and getting into arguments with her favorite cousin, and then Finn finds a letter addressed to Vero for a full scholarship under a different last name.

While I enjoyed this book, it didn’t quite have the same spark as the previous book in the series, Finlay Donovan is Killing It. There were parts of this book that I laughed out loud to, but there weren’t nearly as many as in the first installment. I read the author’s note at the end of the book where she touched on this saying that she was writing it during the early days of Covid and that the stress of the state of things made witty writing very difficult.

There were also fewer scenes with a meaningful dialogue between Finn and Vero, which I think was due to the story-building and the secrets that Vero has been keeping. Since a lot of the funniest bits of the first book came from their interactions, I think the lessening of their repartee is a big reason that there wasn’t as much humor in this book. Still, I liked that even with all of the secrets Vero is keeping, Finlay never got suspicious or pushy and in the end, their bond was just as strong as ever.

While the first book was light and fun, this one was definitely a bit more serious. Still, I really enjoyed hanging out with Finn and Vero again and seeing what they are getting themselves into. I think there are to be two more books to this series, and even as serious as this one was, I’m still very eager to read the next installment. I hope that we’ll get back to more of the light-hearted fun feel of the first book as we continue what’s shaping up to be a very interesting series arc.

Happy reading!

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