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Josie Brown
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The Housewife Assassin's Handbook

(The Housewife Assassin #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  9,250 ratings  ·  909 reviews
Murder. Suspense. Sex. And some handy household tips.

Every desperate housewife would love an alias. Donna Stone has one, and it's government sanctioned. Oh sure, you need to be ruthless to take on Russian mafia bosses, rogue dictators, and terrorists set on destroying the world. But it takes real killer instincts to survive suburbia. Try juggling the fifth grade phone tree
Nook, 0 pages
Published May 12th 2011 by Signal Press (first published May 11th 2011)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  9,250 ratings  ·  909 reviews

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Stilletos, bitchdom, sex and espionage - yes. Me me me me me en my perfect self is the heroine. Perfect mommy, perfect kiddies and the right sex drive. Now bite me.

Got the t-shirt, it was done.

Three hours of my life lost. It was enough.

Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Action/spy/romance fans who aren't very concerned about quality
My preferred format for reading is paper; and that's the only format I support financially, since the only language Big Publishing understands is dollars and cents. Even for a reader like myself, though, e-books have their uses. Writers can offer particular books for free in that format, and that makes it possible to read them first in order to check the quality before you buy the paper edition. And sometimes that opportunity saves you money that would have been wasted if you'd taken a chance on ...more
Sarah Walker
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is probably Satire. Or at least tongue in cheek. One part of me says hooray for taking all those cliches and making fun of them, giving a fresh twist with predictability. For playing with all that melodrama in the bedroom. The other part of me just groans. When I was finished, I did some research and found that Ms. Brown is widely accepted as a brilliant writer who, does from time to time, write Satire. If this is Satire, it's beautiful. I just wish I'd known it before I invested in ...more
Josie Brown
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Dear Readers,

Every desperate housewife would love an alias.The heroine of my latest novel, Donna Stone has one, and it's government sanctioned. Oh sure, you need to be ruthless to take on Russian mafia bosses, rogue dictators, and terrorists set on destroying the world. But it takes real killer instincts to survive suburbia. Try juggling the fifth grade phone tree during a shootout with skinhead arms dealers, or driving carpool while being chased by Chinese double agents.

Donna's life wasn't alwa
May 31, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I frequently visit a blog the author is part of and enjoy her posts, so I really wanted to enjoy this book that sounded like it would be light hearted fun read...yeah, with death. I did not like the heroine, I can understand her quest for revenge, but her children should have come first and the hell she puts them through letting them think their dad is alive is unconscionable. That she allows them to think another agent is their father and allow them to get attached to him was over the top. UNAC ...more
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

The best part of this book was the "housewifely" tips at the start of each chapter.
I've given 4 stars for this, the humour, originality & the breakneck pace that made this book very hard to put down.
My new favourite Bookbub author!

Edit: Read this book when I was quite new to GR & still working out whether half stars should go up or down. This doesn't compare to my other 4★ so I'm rounding down.
Alex ♈
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jammin Jenny
I really enjoyed this comic take on a typical housewife, who is also a bad-ass assassin from the CIA. I love how she juggles her life as a housewife with her duties as an assassin. Not your typical soccer mom for sure!
Kate’s Book Spot
I was lucky enough to win this eBook from a giveaway on Dizzy C’s Little Book Blog, the blurb sounded interesting and I was looking forward to reading it.

I have to say that this book was even better than I thought it would be – I ended up reading it in just one evening and couldn’t go to sleep until I knew what the outcome would be! It was action-packed and humorous from the start and that continued throughout, Donna appeared to be struggling with her double life as an assassin and a mum but I w
Other Reviewers have mentioned this is book is a satire. Okay.Because it IS tongue n cheek, the plot is ridiculous.

This was a sort of clever book about a woman who is both government sanctioned assassin and a distracted housewife and mother of children. I am not sure I like Claire. I realize she obviously needs to keep her killings a secret, but she has lied to them about their Dad. I did not like that. How fucked up is that? I realize her job can interfere with carpooling and the required Momis
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I haven't read any chick lit book since high school and I thought I never will..., but obviously :D
After first quarter of the book I thought to put it down, but I couldn't since I have to finish what I've started. At times I got really annoyed by author's constant denials on some facts... Why would you say something over and over? In fact finally one doesn't believe it anymore and it ruins all the fun... :(
On the other hand it might have been her way to let reader feel like Donna feels..
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently read The Secrets Lives of Husbands and Wives by Josie Brown. I was pleasantly surprised by what a good read it was by an author that I had never heard about before. I was thrilled to discover that she had written other books and I was certainly intrigued by this title.

In this story, we find that Donna has lost her husband. Needing to support her three children, she becomes an assassin for a government organization. The book is funny, entertaining, fast moving, and a thriller. You do
I was suprised by how much I liked this one. I picked it up randomly for a challenge because - you guessed it - it has a red cover. Of all the things!

THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK features Donna Stone, widow, mother of 3, assassin. With a lot of wit and a lot of sass. She's me, in another life, basically. Her husband was killed undercover years ago, and she took a job at the same agency to work on avenging him.

This book... caught me off guard. The action and characters were believable. The
Madison Warner Fairbanks
A humorous little mystery where espionage and neighborhood suspects keep this housewife assassin close to home. While an assassination is typically not funny, in this book there are more accidental deaths by Donna than you would expect by a professional.

The chapter intros on assassination tips were entertaining and for amusement purposes only. Go figure.
I enjoyed this fast read and look forward to more of the series.
I purchased a paperback copy from the author at a book signing.
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK I am on a Josie Brown roll now! She has me laughing and sometimes crying, boo hoo, all in all I am intrigued by Carl and then Jack. The suburbs according to Josie are just filled with secret agents and little gadgets. Very good story and plot. Cant say more because I don't want to give away the plot. Trust me it is good! ...more
Donna Peterson
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. By the second chapter, I was hooked! I couldn't put the book down. The characters become your friends and you don't want to let them go. If you like romantic mysteries, I highly recommend these books. ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a free download, and honestly, I feel like I need to go send some money to the author ... it was excellent and funny and intriguing and different and completely enjoyable. So guess, maybe she will get my money, because I'm going to buy some more of her books! Recommend! ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-cozy
The first book in the Housewife Assassin series by Josie Brown. Donna was living the perfect housewife life when her world was changed. Now, she is an assassin. A humorous and fun chick-lit read.
Deraurah B. Wilson
Great Read

It was funny and intense all at the same time. The main character is so relatable. I really enjoyed this book. Looking forward to the rest of the series!

Morgan Silver
I have mixed feelings about this. After the first chapter, I just didn't really like it. I couldn't connect to the main character. She seemed to unaffected by the things that happened in that short time, and I just didn't care for her.
Since I got this novel when it was free, I contemplated not continuing, but I did anyway. I read it in two days because it's an easy read, and I was curious enough to want to read how it all went down.
What I didn't care for were the sex scenes, but I never care f
paula dear
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Has you gripped

This book has just the right amount of everything for a great read. Suspense humour heartbreak and a little bit of lust.. Can't wait to read book two!
I got this as a free ebook download several years ago. I loved the cover and the email blurb made it sound fun. The tagline “Murder, Suspense, Sex, and some handy household tips” made me giggle. Donna Stone’s husband worked for the CIA. When he is killed, she becomes an assassin for the CIA so that she can help find her husband’s killers.

This is a bit of a mix of romance, suspense, satire, humor, mystery, and Desperate Housewives. I went into it expecting it to be rather light and it was. It’s

Donna thinks her husband has a normal job that includes a LOT of travel but it affords her the life she has always dreamed of and then Carl is declared dead while she is at the hospital delivering her third child, she finds out exactly what his job entailed as an assassin. When the money runs out from his job, she finds out the strange truth about what Carl actually did and is drawn in a world of espionage and terrorists. I guess being a mother prepares you for coo
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was free first for all and I loved it. I have already brought the second book. It was full speed ahead from page 1. Housewife turns assassin when husband dies and she finds out the truth (he's a secret agent). Now she's out for revenge. A mother of three by day and an assassin in between. She has been at it since the birth of her last child which her husband never got back to the hospital to see. It's been five years and when she is finally about to tell her kids the truth. She gets a partner ...more
K.S. Marsden
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now this is a heroine that I can admire. Donna Stone is a mum, running around trying to keep a tidy house and feed her family; she tries not to be late picking up the kids, and watches them proudly. They all happen to live in a perfect community, in which the Stone family seem to be comparatively normal next to the Desperate Housewives, and equally desperate husbands.
But no one knows that she is also an assassin for Acme Industries, and knows a hundred different ways to kill.

The two halves of Do
Aaarghhhh. Meh. Sigh. :-& I am too old for this. Just when you think the humor (or mystery) is going somewhere, the "romance" and (gratuitous) sex steps in to dismantle the whole sequence. By that I mean the plot suffers terribly from lack of development of characters or dimension beyond the level of reality tv. This is no more than a vehicle for nicely packaged, not-fully salacious titillation, which I suppose is (obviously) "to sell books". It does not have the heart of Veronica Mars, or the c ...more
Susan Swiderski
It looks like I'm a little late discovering this author, but better late than never. I actually bought this book and the second in the series as a two-volume Kindle deal. (Should be finished the second book in no time, and then I guess this devious author has forced my hand. I'm gonna have to buy the rest of her books, dammit. Tricky... verrrry tricky!)

When I first started reading this book, I thought, "This is soooo unbelievable." I mean, I can maybe buy a housewife doubling as a ruthless assas
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as I can remember, this is my fist forage into chick lit, although I didn't now that's what I was getting myself in for. If chick let were as good as this book, I might continue to investigate it, but I doubt if I will, since most of the genre isn't about housewives who just happen to be professional assassins for the CIA.

The book has a real Desperate Housewives feel to it which is good. I like like the idea of knocking off a WMS runner at the Cheateau Marmont, and then running to pick y
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So excited about this series!
This book frequently popped up in both my amazon, and goodreads recommendations so I finally decided to download it and im so happy I did! I have read tons of funny mystery romantic stories and they all seem to blend together but this series will be in a league of it's own. Yes the premise seems a bit silly, a mom of three who also doubles as an assassin, but somehow it works and dare I say it becomes somewhat believable? It was refreshing having the female lead not
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosy-mystery
I love this series. Josie Brown has managed to embroil her character into the life of a government assassin taking on all that is bad in the world, but has been able to keep her humanity intact. She has allowed Donna to focus on being a good Mom and instilling morals and values to her kids. At one point Donna is put into the position of caring for two men. Her decision appears to some reviewers as being morally wrong, but taken into context with her emotional turmoil of not being allowed to grie ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Housewife Assassin's Handbook, by Josie Brown 1 15 Oct 08, 2015 02:07PM  

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Josie Brown's thirty-six novels are now in the hands of over two million readers.

She has been published by St. Martin's Press, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Books.

Read Josie’s books. You’ll get a good idea of her sense of humor.

You'll also find Josie on

Other books in the series

The Housewife Assassin (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Deadly Dossier (The Housewife Assassin #0.5)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing (Housewife Assassin #2)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Killer Christmas Tips (The Housewife Assassin, #3)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Relationship Survival Guide (Housewife Assassin, #4)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Vacation to Die For (Housewife Assassin, #5)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Recipes for Disaster (Housewife Assassin, #6)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Hollywood Scream Play (Housewife Assassin, #7)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Killer App (The Housewife Assassin, #8)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Hostage Hosting Tips (Housewife Assassin, #9)
  • The Housewife Assassin's Garden of Deadly Delights (Housewife Assassin, #10)

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