Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fast Women” as Want to Read:
Fast Women
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fast Women

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  13,331 ratings  ·  664 reviews
When a down-on-her-luck divorcee meets a determined-to-dominate detective, they find out that falling in love can be murder...
Nell Dysart's in trouble. Weighed down by an inexplicable divorce and a loss of appetite for everything, Nell is sleepwalking through life until her best friend finagles a job for her with a shabby little detective agency that has lots of potential
Paperback, 448 pages
Published July 11th 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published May 1st 2001)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,331 ratings  ·  664 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Fast Women
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
yeah, i'm surprised, myself. but it's a different kind of four-star rating. because while there were elements i thought were unsuccessful and dippy characters whose actions confused me, you don't sit down and eat a tub of frosting with a wooden spoon and then complain about the aftertaste.

i just don't usually have this much fun with the titles for the bodice rippers society. they are fine, but usually they are trying too hard to be sexxy, which is a total turn-off.

this one was goofier, and i th
mark monday
Mar 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to mark by: RBRS (Assignment #6)
Shelves: romantica
my first contemporary (and heterosexual) romance. or in this case, a "romantic mystery". cute, fun, and even ocasionally interesting. the situations and attitudes depicted in this novel are so outside of my experience that at times i felt like i was reading a scifi novel. which was not a bad feeling.

do you live in a bubble?
interesting question. my first instinct is to say No, of course i don't. that's probably everyone's first instinct; who wants to live in a bubble, who wants to admit tha
“This does not sound like lust.”
“Thank God.”
“This sounds like luv.”

Fast Women is an entertaining contemporary mystery romance. It is about a group of people, who in some sense are all connected to each other. These connections are so complicated that I had to write a list of the characters for myself. :)

The main characters are Nell and Gabe. Gabe is devilish and tempting, Nell is “gracefully efficient” and go-ahead. Nell enters Gabe’s life, and she rearranges not only his office, b
ALERT, ALERT, ALERT! I think I found one! A real romance novel that feels like a romance novel! It negated most of the problems I have with romance novels: that the people I'm supposed to like are assholes, that it all happens too fast and unrealistically, that the main characters spend all their time thinking about each others crazy crazy amazing bodies. And and and! Women's sexuality isn't fetishized as pure as the driven snow. Possessiveness happens, sure, but you know, when it's realistic. N ...more
Jun 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery

OK, they're not really fast exactly, but c'mon, they only have fragile little stumpy china legs.

The Walking Ware may be only a metaphor (a pretty obvious one), but these women are Special Olympics fast, not Florence Griffith Joyner fast. They are like people who come out of comas and must slowly learn to walk again. Only, most of them seem to have never known how in the first place.

Suze seemed in some ways to have the most excuse for her retardation: she married an older man whom she met while

3 Stars! Too much going on and it was hard to keep track of, at least for me.

Usually this author's writing works for me, but unfortunately this won't go on my favorite read shelf. That's not to say it wasn't amusing and somewhat entertaining, but in the end, there were too many side stories that got in the way of the original plot, and I didn't enjoy it the way I wanted too.

On the plus side, the narrator Sandra Burr was a pleasure to listen to.

With some snappy dialogue, an overload of secondary characters and a kidnapped dog, Fast Women was downtown quirky.

As is typical in Crusie’s romances, the heroine, Nell, drove the hero, Gabe, crazy. Their sexual tension was a plus. I found myself caught up with their families, friends and work which were often intertwined. It was an extremely busy plot with some light suspense.

Fast Women was a feel-good CR perfect for summer. Even better, if read between heavier stories. Gabe and Nell’s relati
Evelyn Bryant
Nov 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not my first Cruisie book , but I believe it will be my last. I have heard good things about this author and have tried to read her. First off, I liked the fact the characters were not 20 somethings, formula, etc. I liked that Nell was attempting to move on past the bumps in the road that life had dealt her. I have no clue what purpose her best friends served. They were all three annoying ,tiresome women. Who would get a job they apparently need and set out to antagonize the boss? I can see clea ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
*****MINOR SPOILERS!!!********

1. Was anyone else REALLY disturbed about a 40 year old men having sex with an 18 year old high school student in a motel? And people looking at that photo and talking about how "in prime" Jack looked and NOT how it was a few months away from being statutory rape?

2. OMG that whole convo about Gale understanding why men HIT THEIR WOMEN? Are you F-ing kidding me? Um, men don't hit women because "they love them so much they can't have them leave, but they can't stay wi
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had reservations when my mom told me this book was funny because she likes a lot of books that I end up finding corny. Or worse, funny because they're trying too hard. But in this case, my mom was right. This book is hilarious. I don't often laugh-out-loud while reading, but I did more than a few times while reading this. The female protagonist, Nell, can be a little hard to connect with at times, and this is written for a generation of women ahead of my own, but even with that, I found I was ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: steamy, romance
Gabe and Nell are awesome and the story was a lot of fun as well. I was a bit put off by the sex outside the main couple (both sleep with someone other than the main romance storyline during the course of the book, though both instances pull back pretty quick and happen early). I didn't realize that that would be a thing until I read it, but it turns out I'm not a fan—and yeah, I'm still trying to parse out why that bothers me and what aspects of it make a difference.

A note about Steamy: despite
Jun 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the central characters a lot, and it made me happy. There is humor in this book and an approach to love, romance, and marriage that is grown-up and realistic while still maintaining a sense of fun and optimism. This isn't the kind of romance novel where the leads spend the whole book trying to avoid having sex and then when they do it's just happily-ever-after. They have to work at their relationship. They have to negotiate with each other to get what they nee ...more
Oct 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
Horrible. I stopped reading half way through.

I don't know, I'm guessing I"m not the target demographic for this type of book because I found it extremely hard to relate to any of the characters. Being in my twenties, my humanist side roared with indignation at how appalling all these women acted and behaved, not to mention, the stereotypical ways all the men were portrayed. They were all manipulative, dysfunctional, and stupid people trying to do the "right" thing but actually doing the WRONG th
I adore Jennifer Crusie's romances. They are hilarious and mature. Besides, there is an action (I got lost for a moment a few times after some plot twists), interesting characters, some mystery and quite a bit about love and life (not in the fairy-tale version but like in the real world where nothing lasts forever). Not all of her books gave me as much fun as this one. Nonetheless, Jennifer Crusie is one of my favourite writers.

PS And I admire that she can create such enjoyable romances where mo
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
3.5 Stars

This novel is quirky and hilarious! The writing style is good overall, but I did
get confused at times by some of the dialogue - loss of 1/2 star. Gotta love those Dysart women!

Nell Dysart is sleepwalking through her life as a divorced woman. She didn't see it coming. And now she needs a job. She sits in Gabe McKenna's office at his detective agency and thinks of ways to fix it, all the while she is breaking a window, his chair arm, and poking a hole in his Oriental rug. McKenna hires
Jul 02, 2008 rated it liked it
I quite liked this one, as it was frothy and fun but still somehow realistic—Crusie is good at setting up relationships between both the main and the secondary romantic couples which don't rely on external forces to create angst and drama, but rather at showing how repeated patterns of behaviour can ruin relationships without any outside help. I also liked the fact that Crusie is always happy to show her female characters taking genuine pleasure in their food, but not in a neurotic way, and that ...more
Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim)
I'm not sure if I liked this or not.

What I did like: Some people have sex for stupid reasons. Some people have sex with people you don't think they should. Strong women. Columbus Ohio (where I live). Some amusing banter.

What I didn't like: All men are not bastards. More than I ever wanted to hear about china patterns. What's with freezers? Weak women. Somewhat incoherent plot. A couple of totally unreal characters (Chloe anyone?).

So some good, some bad. Overall a light and fun read by an author
*The Angry Reader*
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I wanted something to take Susan Elizabeth Phillips' spot as my go-to read. When everything and everyone is too much and too stupid and too aggravating an SEP book renews my faith in humanity. But. BUT. I only have two SEPs left unread. I'm going sloooooooowly with these last two. I don't want to have read everything she's written. That will be an end to an era - and something for which I'm not ready.

While Jennifer Crusie's stories and characters aren't like SEP's stories and characters there i
This was delightful.
Olga Godim
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jennifer-crusie
I love this writer. I’ve read everything she published and I subscribe to her blog. This re-read (it was originally published in 2001) gave me enormous pleasure and induced several laughing fits.
The story starts with the protagonist, Nell, coming to a job interview. She is a divorcee, still reeling from her husband’s betrayal after their 22 years of marriage. Her interviewer and potential employer, Gabe, owns a PI agency and he needs an office manager.
He picked up her resume. “Why did you le
Oct 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many years ago this was my first Jennifer Crusie book. Loved it then. Still love it now. Gave it a solid 5 stars at the time. I still enjoy re-reading it. Of course, now after my 4th re-read, and listening yet again to the Audio version - so many years later I've become a little more critical. Now I think it's a little bit too much "out there" and there's too many crazy people in the story, but that also makes the book's charm.
I just adore the sizzle between Gabe McKenna and Nell Dysart: they ar
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always good to return to "Fast Women" as it is like comfort food to me. This book is a bit like a slapstick movie, and the characters of Nell Dysart and Gabe McKenna are golden, so are the secondary characters, all very important. I love the office of McKenna Investigations, where Nell quickly uncovers her predecessor's embezzlement of the cleaning money and sets out to get it back, then she steals back a dog for a former owner who doesn't want it returned. Gabe, who keeps the business runn ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love j. Cruise books. Just LOVE them.
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
After Nell Dysart divorced her husband of 22 years, she lost her appetite for everything. Because her friends, Suze and Margie, are worried about her, she gets a job as a secretary at Gabe McKenna's detective agency. Of course, Gabe's biggest clients are also all the men who are or once were in Nell and her friends lives, so it's not like she's getting too fresh a start. Gabe's agency starts looking into a blackmail case involving those men, and things start getting very complicated.

This makes i
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: women seeking bodice ripper wish fulfillment thinly disguised as chick lit mystery
Meh. I was really hoping for more.

I was hoping this would be like a good Susan Isaacs book, something along the lines of Long Time No See or After all these years. Meaning yes, a light read with some romance and a happy ending, but also a mystery and unconventional main characters I'd actually meet, or would want to meet, in real life. I think Jennifer Crusie was trying for that effect and while I acknowledge some limited success, overall this book didn't make it for me.

We meet Nell, a beaten-do

I swear, Jennifer Crusie is going to wind up on my favorites shelf beside Elmore Leonard. And for the same reasons. Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. And characters. She skips the boring parts. Good is way better than perfect, and bad is often better than both. People are screwy and screwed up and grumpy and complicated and funny and noble in the weirdest ways. There are some real nuggets of wisdom here, and not the trite kind. The kind that come from the mixed-up, messy realities of life. If you ca

Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this book four stars, not so much because I loved it, but because it had a strong emotional impact on me. Fast Women was not an easy book to read. It contained some heartrendingly-accurate descriptions of the pain, the anger, the self-doubt, and the exhausting circular thinking that attends the end of a marriage. Even though I was exasperated with almost every character in this novel at one point or another, I could identify with almost all of them because they were struggling with th ...more
The first half of this shapes up really well - The Maltese Falcon on speed.  Crusie does unresolved sexual tension very well, with a good line in resolving it too.  There's a complicated murder investigation going on in the background, which I think I followed.  Points deducted for the fact that too much time is spent on secondary characters at the expense of the MCs' story, and for some strange conflicts introduced into the MC story at the end.  Less is more, sometimes.  But - it's Crusie and s
Fast Women

The Characters


And a bunch of other folks.

The Story

This story was really interesting and really complicated. A who-done-it story laced with friendship, comedy and love.

The Random Thoughts

This story once again proves that I can not go wrong with a Jennifer Crusie book. But, now I’ve read all of the back catalogue and she needs to write me some new stuff.

4 Stars
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: #61 - Fast Women 1 4 Oct 21, 2014 12:45PM  
Chloe’s Star-Struck Almond Cookies 1 13 Mar 19, 2014 08:29PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Baby, I'm Yours
  • Breathing Room
  • Just Imagine
  • Scorched (Tracers #6)
  • Natural Born Charmer (Chicago Stars, #7)
  • Forever His Texas Bride (Bachelors of Battle Creek, #3)
  • See Jane Score (Chinooks Hockey Team, #2)
  • Glitter Baby (Wynette, Texas, #0.5)
  • Lead Me On (Tumble Creek, #3)
  • He Loves Lucy
  • Bad Boys Do (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #2)
  • Mystique
  • Sweet Trouble (Bakery Sisters, #3)
  • Thread of Fear (The Glass Sisters, #1)
  • Dream a Little Dream (Chicago Stars, #4)
  • Looking for Trouble (Jackson: Girl's Night Out, #1)
  • Bewitched (Betwixt & Between #2)
  • Heroes Are My Weakness
See similar books…
Jenny Crusie is the NYT bestselling author of twenty some novels and lots of other stuff. Her latest novel, Maybe This Time, hit shelves in August, 2010.

Jenny lives on the Ohio River where she often stares at the ceiling and counts her blessings.

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
1 likes · 0 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Drink to me! I just realized that I've slept with everyone at this table! ~Nell” 20 likes
“I like my afterglow with you in motion. I measure time by how your body sways.” 17 likes
More quotes…