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Finlay Donovan #2

Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead

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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...

From Edgar-Award nominee Elle Cosimano, comes Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead―the hilarious and heart-pounding follow-up to Finlay Donovan is Killing It.

357 pages, Hardcover

First published February 1, 2022

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About the author

Elle Cosimano

11 books4,210 followers
USA TODAY and New York Times bestselling author, Edgar® Nominee, Bram Stoker® Nominee, & ITW Thriller Award winner.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,738 reviews
Profile Image for Kat.
263 reviews79.5k followers
March 11, 2022
that final act basically had me going into cardiac arrest (pro tip: do not listen while driving) and the fact that i have to wait a whole year for book three is CRIMINAL
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
401 reviews3,484 followers
February 25, 2023
Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is the second book in the Finlay Donovan series. In the first book, we have Finlay Donovan, an author, who was describing her plot to her agent in a crowded Panera. She details the life of a hired contract killer, only to find a message that one of the customers believes that Finlay is a real contract killer. At the very end of Book #1, Finlay receives a message requesting that she off her ex-husband. Book #2 involves Finlay Donovan doing some amateur detective work in a very non-subtle manner. She also has two dashing gentlemen actively pursuing her and constantly trying to get her in her birthday suit.

I’m going to be honest that I wasn’t that big of a fan of the first book. Finlay Donovan is extremely ditzy, and the book is so unrealistic. Everything is very easy with exactly perfect timing. Evidence is always laid out in plain sight. She has two children, but she never does much with them other than drop them off with other people and describing the children as messy, sticky, and dirty. This is definitely a cozy mystery, and I didn’t feel the suspense building. By the end of Book #2, I still have questions about Vero and the identity of one of the characters, and I’m one that likes a pretty clean ending.

All that being said, this book was really easy to read. The sentences and paragraphs are short. The prose is non-pretentious, and it was a nice, light-hearted read. The author also better be paid for product placement because she mentioned Fiat Chrysler Automobile vehicles so many times: a Dodge minivan, a Dodge Charger, a Jeep, and even an Alfa Romeo Spider. By the way, an Alfa Romeo Spider does not cost $100,000. It has an MSRP in the high $60,000’s (Troy is after all in the heart of Metro-Detroit, the Motor City). This book also might be labeled as aspirational fantasy. I mean hot cops are always stopping by my house just to check me out, right?

*Thanks, NetGalley, for a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Yun.
513 reviews19.8k followers
April 1, 2022
"What did you tell him?"
"I explained that you are a highly skilled assassin."
I've been so excited for this follow up to the Finlay Donovan series ever since I read book 1 last year. The dark humor and zaniness really left an impression on me. But unfortunately, I just didn't find Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead to be nearly as good as its predecessor.

If you'll remember from book 1, Finlay accidentally got mistaken for an assassin for hire when her conversation with her agent was overheard and misconstrued. The book ended on a twist that perfectly sets up for this one. And so we pick up right where we left off, with Finlay yet again trying to untangle herself from the world of murder and mayhem, with her loyal friend and nanny Vero by her side.

This series has always been a bit over-the-top, and that is part of its charm. Bad things happen, so Finlay has to find a way to fix them, and in the process, more bad things happen. But this book took that formula and just went to town with it, such that it no longer felt like dark humor so much as slapsticks comedy. We follow hijinks after hijinks, and it never ends. After a while, I didn't really see the point anymore.

It doesn't help that there were so many characters in here, each of whom had their own reasons and their own antics. Soon, so much was happening that it all became a bit muddled. It felt like we were just going in circles, and I had trouble keeping straight who was related to who in what way and why they were all doing what they were doing. It felt like a hot mess, honestly.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy it at all (because hot messes can be fun in their own way). But looking back on the first book with its charm, wit, and dark humor, this one just doesn't quite compare.

See also, my thoughts on:
1. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,195 reviews40.6k followers
September 6, 2022
Whoa! My favorite Donovan is back! ( sorry Ray, I’m not talking about you! But as for sure I’ll watch your showtime movie on 2022)

After burying a man, getting rid of Russian mob, publishing her bestseller, sending her scumbag cheat husband’s fiancée to jail, she’s ready to move on her life!

But as it seems like she cannot get out of trouble so easily! Her partner of crime/ babysitter/ best friend, sarcastic queen Vero obsessed with money, making calculations at each second, nervously hiding secrets! Someone also posted an add on an online forum, offering a hundred thousand dollars to anyone willing to dispose of her cheating ex Steven Donovan : actually 100 good reasons the world would be better off without him! ( that’s what ad says)

Even though that man turned her life into hell, she can let her kids grow without important parental figure! But if she tries to inform the authorities about the forum they can connect her with Harris’ murder which will open a can of worms about the incidents she’s already acquitted!

Now somebody threats her ex and she has to work on her new manuscript but Sylvia insists to bring back the hot cop back as she still struggles to maintain a casual relationship with her young and super hot lawyer lover Julian and she’s still resented to charming cop Nick Anthony for not believing in her innocence even though she still barely resists the attraction she feels.

Well, buckle up, this book is freaking unputdownable, addictive, sarcastic, hilarious!

I can get enough of Finlay and Vero’s ultra smart banters, whirlwind action packed plot, engaging, genuine character development and always surprising, WTH cliffhangers full your addiction to crave more series!

I loved this second book so much more and I truly need at least 5 books for this series ( I can also need a brilliant adaptation!

I’m telling you my friends Finlay Donovan series are everything you need! Your heart rate get skyrocketed at action scenes and you laugh so hard till your stomach hurts and you cannot feel your face! It guarantees an amazing, ultra entertaining time!

Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press / Minotaur Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,109 reviews2,792 followers
November 19, 2022
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead
by Elle Cosimano (Finlay Donovan #2)

This second book in the Finlay Donovan series, where Finlay makes bigger messes trying to clean up a mess, is was even more fun than the first one, for me. Hot on the heels of her last fiasco, Finlay discovers that someone on a women's forum is badmouthing her ex husband Steven. Someone else is offering condolences, of a sort. Actually, if you squint really hard, you could see that the messages are coded to be a request for someone to kill Steven and someone else accepting the hit. Finlay hates her cheating, lying, husband as much as the next woman but he's been a good father to their kids and she doesn't want them to lose their father.

Once again, Finlay, and her friend/business partner, Vero, have their work cut out for them. Finlay never wanted to be entangled with the Russian mob again but a mother will do anything for her kids and she wants them to have a living father. There is also the matter of Vero not acting normally, the hot, young, soon to be a lawyer friend with benefits dilemma, and the hot detective who wants to spend more off duty time with Finlay, all part of her complex and getting very stinky life. Yes, something/someone stinks to high heaven, it's getting ranker, and that something/someone needs a new resting place that is not Finlay's house or vehicle.

Pub February 1, 2022

Thank you to St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books and NetGalley for this ARC.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,536 reviews9,776 followers
April 27, 2023
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead is the second book in Elle Cosimano's ultra-modern and uber-witty Finlay Donovan Cozy Mystery series.

I fell in love with Finlay and her best friend/nanny, Vero, when I read Finlay Donovan Is Killing It last year.

The humor was spot on for me and the storyline entertaining from beginning-to-end. Going into this installment, I didn't even read the synopsis.

Frankly, I didn't care what they were up to, I just wanted to be back with these characters.

Unsurprisingly, I found this second book to be just as fun as the first. I also feel even more attached to Finlay and Vero now. We've been through so much together.

After the contract killer fiasco of book one, you would think that horrendous and dangerous chapter in Finlay's life would be ancient history. Alas, it is not.

Now she fears someone may have put a hit out on her ex-husband, Steven. Granted, he's pretty terrible, but her children are with him a lot and they love him. She needs to keep him safe.

As if that weren't stressful enough, she also has her literary agent breathing down her neck wanting her next book, as well as two handsome, eligible-men circling her like sharks.

Finlay's life is non-stop chaos and I'm telling you, it is so much fun to go along for the ride!

Reading through Finlay's perspective is hilarious. She has such a dry, matter of fact way of relaying what's on her mind. You can tell she is a Mom who is juggling a lot. She doesn't have time to beat around the bush.

I love her relationship with Vero. Even though they were sort of thrust together, they're committed to one another and I love that type of unconditional friendship.

I have no idea how many books are currently slated to be in this series, but you better believe I will be picking up every single one.

I am personally hoping for maybe ten or twenty...

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I love this series with my whole heart. If you haven't picked started this series yet, stop procrastinating. This one is too good to miss!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.3k followers
January 10, 2023
didnt enjoy this quite as much as the first book, but i do think its a great continuation of the story.

which is exactly what this is, surprisingly. i thought this would be a series where each book would have its own self-contained plot, but this sequel is essentially continuing the story right where it left off at the end of book one. and i liked that. it was fun just diving right into the story rather than having to be introduced to a new situation/case.

and this still very heavily leans into the whole over-the-top dramatics. again, it suits the tone of the story and makes for an entertaining read. i did find the pacing of this follow up installment to be a bit on the slower side, but the amusing characters definitely make up for it.

also, the main issue i had with the previous book is sadly still there. i wish this love triangle would just die. i hated it the first time around where guys were just throwing themselves at finaly left and right and it still hasnt gotten any better with this book. ugh.

but overall, a solid sequel. i personally didnt quite love this as much as the first book, but its for sure a strong addition to the series.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
625 reviews1,536 followers
February 1, 2022

Book #2 in the Finlay Donovan series gave me everything I expected and was looking for...except for her beloved wig scarf. 😢

It’s been a month since Finlay Donovan was mistaken as a hit woman, resulting in a big mess and a few dead bodies. Now, she is once again way behind schedule with the writing of her new novel, even though she has nanny/accountant/friend Vero there to help out with the kids.

Finlay finds out that someone wants her ex-husband, Steven, dead. The mysterious person is using an online forum to mask her request for the hit. Even though Steven was a terrible husband, he’s still the father of her children.

With Vero as her sidekick once again, Finlay decides she must find out who wants Steven eliminated...and try to stop it from happening. As one would expect with Finlay and Vero, things don’t go very smoothly. Before they know it, they’re thrust into a complex story involving the Russian Mafia, a chopped up body, molotov cocktails, and a whole lot MORE!

Still in the picture is bartender/law school student Julian, and Detective Nick, who makes it clear he still desires her. Can Finlay do the impossible and figure out her love life, keep her ex safe, and get back on track with her book?

Read it and find out!

I had an absolute blast reading this one, and I’m happy to say as one of my most anticipated reads, it did not disappoint. Finlay and Vero are a fantabulous duo, and there were so many moments I laughed out loud, while also being flabbergasted by the plot twists. Even though the much-loved wig scarf doesn’t make it to this sequel, we do get some fun scenes with a standard wig. I’ll take it. 🙌

Some of the shenanigans that Finlay and co. get into aren’t completely realistic, just like in the first book. Also, some plot points were hard to follow as the book tackles quite a variety of topics, scenarios, and bad guys (and gals). However, I told my brain to stop working so hard and just let myself have fun with it!

If you’re a fan of Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, then I think you will gobble up this juicy addition to the series. Of course, it ends with a cliffhanger...so once again, I am (im)patiently waiting for the next installment.

Thank you to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date: 2/1/22.

Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Regina.
1,136 reviews2,997 followers
February 1, 2022
Now available!

There are high jinks*. Then there are higher jinks. But our old pal Finlay Donovan? She gets up to the highest jinks of all.

Finlay is back after romping her way through Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, where she was mistaken as a hit woman after a misconstrued conversation overheard at a Panera Bread. In this second book in the series, cleverly titled Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead, she and her sidekick Vero pick up a month after the first mystery left off. This time they’re trying to figure out who is attempting to whack Finlay’s ex-husband/baby daddy, while Finn is also facing down a fast-approaching deadline for her next “novel of romantic suspense” manuscript.

Do you need to read the first book before this one? Yeah, you really do.

If you loved the first one will you love this one too? Probably. It’s very much more of the same.

Who will adore this series? Readers of Janet Evanovich or Darynda Jones. Mystery + humor = over-the-top shenanigans.

Is there any romance? Yep, Finny’s got herself a little love triangle going on with two potential suitors. Not much steam here though… yet.

Will there be a third book? No doubt, given this one’s cliffhanger ending.

*Where does the term “high jinks” come from anyway? According to my trusty friend The Internet, “High jinks was a popular 18th-century drinking game in Scotland. The game involved throwing a die, and if the caster got a bad score, they had to choose between drinking more alcohol or performing an undignified task” Finlay must be pretty bad at throwing dice.

But I must have better luck than she does, because I fortunately received a copy of this book courtesy of the author and Minotaur Books for review via NetGalley.

Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :).
991 reviews2,760 followers
February 1, 2022

Just when I needed a light read, Finlay Donovan came to my rescue again!!!!!

Finlay is struggling with writer’s block, again. Pages for her new book are due soon and she has written next to nothing. Not to despair, life will help her out again!!!!

Finn and Vero, her children’s nanny, have gotten their life down to a great routine, the kids love Vero and Finn desperately needs her help so she can have some down time to write. She considers her part of the family now, but how much does she really know about her?

Finn’s husband Steven has divorced Theresa after she was implicated in an investigation involving the discovery of 5 dead bodies on her property!! She’s currently out of jail but being monitored constantly!

Steven is living a solitary life now, having moved out of Theresa’s townhouse. He’is living in a trailer on his farm. He wants to see his kids more but Finlay and Vero have discovered some really disturbing news!!

They stumbled upon an online forum, disguised as a mom’s support group and “SOMEONE HAD POSTED AN AD ON THIS FORUM, OFFERING $100,000 TO ANYONE WILLING TO DISPOSE OF STEVEN DONOVAN!!!!!!”

Finn has no idea who posted this!! While Steven was a lousy husband, he is a good father and the children adore him. So naturally Finn and Vero have to find out who posted this ad, why and what they can do about it AND WE’RE OFF!!!!!!!!

There are more characters in this novel and more secrets to unveil. There is lots of crazy bumbling about as they try to enlist help with “the dark web”, bodies that won’t stay buried and MORE!!

Nick, a detective and sometime love interest who comes across as a little too perfect?

Nick is desperate to win Finn’s love but he will have to out-charm a new love interest in this book. Finn has been seeing Julian, a law student who, during the course of the novel, is MIA on a trip with friends.

The twists really keep coming in this one! This book is a fun read with several mysteries and some wild and crazy characters. You will have to suspend belief and just hang on for this rollercoaster ride.

I listened to the first book on audio and I think that was more enjoyable for me than reading the physical book. I missed the narration which made the story more laugh out loud funny.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher, Minotaur, through Edelweiss
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
812 reviews1,860 followers
September 24, 2021

Finlay Donovan is back in book two and one of my highly anticipated sequels.

I enjoyed the first book so much with Finlay and Vero's capers. Finlay's misfortune of being mistaken as a contract killer was a riotous set-up that was both funny and quirky. Book two has her cheating ex-husband, Steven in a pickle as someone wants him dead and they are willing to pay someone to do it.

While I still enjoyed this one, it seemed to be missing the laugh out loud moments and page-turning magic that I found in the first. We have a lot of characters in this one and some of the scenes/descriptions were a bit too macabre for this lighter mystery in my opinion. I wish the author hadn't gone that direction.

That being said, I still look forward to the next in the series and hope we get the signature hot mess, but loveable Finlay involved in a more appealing crime adventure. Finlay and Vero are still a pair I'm invested in and look forward to seeing what direction they take next!

Thanks to NG and the publisher for my early review copy/ OUT Feb 1, 2022
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
396 reviews591 followers
April 26, 2023
"Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead" by Elle Cosimano is Book 2 in this series I have anxiously been anticipating!

Someone wants Finlay's ex-hubby, Steven, dead and is willing to pay a bundle of money to ensure it happens. Even though he's a cheating, failure as a husband, Steven's a great dad to their two kids, who are crazy about him!

Now Finlay's on the hunt, with her trusty sidekick-nanny and self-appointed-accountant, Vero, to find out who is out to get Steven and why.

Is Finlay prepared to take this one on? Will she still be able to finish her next novel on time? Even though she's struggling with another case of 'writer's block'?

I was super excited for the second book in this series and it gets off to a hilarious start with the familiar bantering back and forth between Finlay and Vero. They really do seem to complete each other. If one doesn't come up with a crazy, 'brain-gas' idea you can be sure the other one will.

I loved meeting Finlay's mom, Susan, and Vero's cousin, Ramon. Besides Finlay and Vero, Susan is my next favorite character. She just lets her thoughts rip from her brain to her mouth, without skipping a beat, all while she's cooking a fabulous meal. I love moms who care this much!

This story ends in a fun way with the last sentence laugh-out-loud hilarious and so unexpected. I just love reading about Finlay's and Vero's outlandish escapades and the epilogue suggests there's more of them to come! Yay!

If you're looking for a fun, humorous, light read think about squeezing this series into your 2022 reading year. Be sure to read Books 1 & 2 first, so you're ready when Book 3 arrives! I highly recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, and Elle Cosimano for a free ARC of this book. It has been an honor to give my honest and voluntary review.
Profile Image for Kat (on hiatus).
226 reviews536 followers
February 10, 2022
Charming, adorable, smart, and funny author turned magnet-for-trouble, Finlay Donovan, and Vero, her kids’ sassy nanny/partner-in-crime are back, and it was just what I needed! I love these two.

This time around, someone on a questionable women’s chat forum appears to have put a hit out on Finlay’s ex-husband, Steven. Her efforts to protect him from this mystery person lead her and Vero into increasingly sticky and macabre situations, à la the first book. In fact, things pick up right where the last one left off, so some familiar faces return mixed with a few new ones.

Are the events and explanations completely preposterous? Yes!! That’s kinda what makes these stories such a delight for me. No one would get away with what Finlay and Vero do time and time again, but half the fun is the creative ways in which Cosimano can get these two out of the messes they make, and they are some doozies!

On the romantic front, Finlay’s love triangle with Nick, the cop, and Julian, the law student, continues, and I already know which one I wish she’d choose. Did she pick him? That would be telling ….

Some have said this doesn’t quite capture the magic of the first book. I get that. Elle Cosimano writes in her acknowledgments how difficult it was to write a comedic story during pandemic lockdowns, a stressful election and other difficult world events, but I thought she did an admirable job, and I can’t wait for her to write the next book in the series!


This publishes in two days, on February 1st. Thanks to St. Martins Press, Minotaur Books, NetGalley and author Elle Cosimano for this ARC. My opinions are given honestly and freely.
February 1, 2022
**Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press/Minotaur, and Elle Cosimano for an ARC of this book!! Now available as of 2.1!**

Lightning rarely strikes twice...and in this case, our ragtag heroine may have been a bit more 'shocking' in the series' first installment.

Finlay has accepted her new role as hitwoman for hire/mom/author extraordinaire with effortless grace (well, for her). She's trying to balance conflicting romantic feelings for law school hottie Julian, and her slight entanglement with Nick the cop, all with her pal Vero, part time nanny and accountant and full-time bestie, by her side. Just when Finlay believed her days entangled with the Russian mob and their ilk are over....another hit is out.

And this one is aimed directly at Finlay's ex, Steven.

Is Finlay destined to once again end up at the center of some very messy business? Will Nick the cop get a little too close to the truth? And does the head of the mob still have an agenda of his own...and a trail leading right back to Finlay?

I have been waiting for this sequel since finishing the last page of the first book, where it was very clear there was more in store for Vero and Finlay. I'm not sure what it was, but this book just didn't 'hit' (haha) me the same way. I was glad to have such a strong foundation for these characters because if this had been my first introduction, I'm not sure they would have held my heart and attention from this story.

Where the action of the first was wild and a little far-fetched, it was always fun, and I just didn't have a lot of fun with the duo in this book. They were in some binds, but nothing felt laugh-a-minute and silly like it did in the first book. My guess is that Cosimano even knew this, and to her credit, she mentioned how hard it was to write a comedic novel during a pandemic. I applaud her for plugging through (much like Finlay) and getting her book ready to print, but I was hoping for some laugh-out-loud moments in this one and I'm sad to say I don't think I laughed once while reading this one.

On a brighter note, I did like the ending and didn't feel it was predictable. I still enjoy these characters and will most definitely stick around for their next chapter--hopefully it will recapture some of the goofiness, snark, and witty fun of the first installment!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Riley.
427 reviews21.1k followers
August 8, 2022
love this series so much!!
however this one was missing some of the humor that the first book had so it's not a full 5 stars. but i love these characters so much I would read about them doing anything
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,066 reviews3,607 followers
September 12, 2021
She’s at it again!

Finlay Donovan is a mystery novelist currently (well, almost always) in the throes of yet another writer’s block. The primary inspiration for her next book will come from her everyday life. Because Finlay’s life is in fact, just crazy enough to work as a piece of fiction! I believe the saying is, “you can’t make this stuff up!”

Finlay discovers that someone wants her ex, dead (other than her). So now it’s a race against time to find who’s putting this bounty on his head and bring it to a grinding halt, if for no other reason than to protect her children.

Finlay is such a fun and quirky character. You can’t help but love her. She’ll keep you amused and chuckling throughout!

If you’re looking for a light read that will have you rolling your eyes, (strictly from all the shenanigans) look no further. This book can definitely be read as a stand-alone. But as always, I highly recommend starting with book one Finlay Donovan Is Killing It. You’ll be glad you did!

A buddy read with Susanne

Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an Arc to read and review.
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,138 reviews1,874 followers
July 18, 2022
This is the follow up to “Finlay Donovan is Killing It” and Finlay is back, now struggling to finish a follow-up to her own novel, which again “may or may not be based on her personal life”!

The story opens with another dead body-but this time it is the corpse of “Christopher”-her daughter Delia’s beloved pet goldfish! Gulp! 🐡

Fortunately, Finlay’s “live-in Nanny” Vero, is still around as a business partner/confidant and best friend-ready to assist in AGAIN disposing of the “body” or whatever else may come their way.

In book one, Finlay was mistaken for an assassin in a Panera bread shop..see review:

and this time, Finlay and Vero stumble upon a cryptic post on a women’s forum, where it appeared that the user calling herself “FedUp” was speaking in code, looking to solicit someone to take out Finlay’s ex-husband Steven, a real “piece of work” which the World would be better off without for at least 100 good reasons! (100k?)

Although Finlay had every reason to agree-he was a BAD husband-she couldn’t allow this to happen because he WAS trying to be a GOOD father to their two children, Delia and Zach.

So, when it looks like EasyClean has signed up for the job-Finlay and Vero have their next “case”!

Of course, there will also be the other distractions of Finlay’s possible two “love interests” younger man/bartender and law student Julian, and hot cop Nick, with his dimpled smile.

Two women haven’t had this much fun, since Lucy and Ethel from the 1950’s comedy “I love Lucy”! ❤️

With the same dynamic of landlord/tenant and best friends/partners in crime, these two manage to find trouble wherever they go, and their shenanigans could not be more FUN!

I needed to get ready for the third book in the series-“Finlay Donovan Jumps The Gun” publishing in January 2023, so I listened to the fantastic, entertaining AUDIBLE narrated by the talented Angela Dawe, whose “VOICES” were perfection!!

I highly recommend the AUDIBLE for each, but if you would rather read it-both books are AVAILABLE now-so whatever your preference, it’s easy to get caught up now!
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,600 reviews24.8k followers
January 24, 2022
Elle Cosimano follows Finlay Donovan is Killing It with this sequel with the further crime capers and mayhem of the accidental hit woman and divorced single mother with two young children, Delia and Zach. Once again Fin is suffering from writer's block and struggling to meet her deadlines, although her good for nothing ex-husband, Steven, is no longer engaged to Theresa after dead bodies were discovered on his farm. He is no longer seeking full custody of the children, but he does still want to see them, and this is proving to be a problem for Fin as she has discovered someone wants him dead, and is willing to pay to have him killed by an assassin. Whilst she is not averse to seeing him killed, there is the rather small matter that he is the father of her children, and they love him.

She tries to work out who could possibly want him dead, but that list is rather extensive, as she and her live in nanny and now close friend, Veronica 'Vero' Ruiz, a woman with her own secrets, attempt to follow and keep Steven safe. Understandably, Fin wants to protect the children and is rather reluctant to let him have them as she comes up with excuse after excuse. Her love life is rather fraught, she has been seeing the younger Julian, bartender at The Lush and law student, but he has gone off to Florida with his mates, and Detective Nick Anthony is back in her life, still smitten with her. A whole host of familiar characters return, including, unfortunately, Feliks and the Russian Mafia, Theresa, and her best friend Aimee. Will Fin be able to finish her novel on time and save Steven?

Cosimano keeps the absurdities and comic humour coming in this fun and entertaining addition to the series, although it has to be said that with all the action in the novel that our central protagonist, Fin, has very litte time to spend with her children. I do love her family, particularly Georgia, the cop, who is responsible for Nick turning up in Fin's life again when he comes to Delia's school for a careers talk dressed in his SWAT uniform, which has all the women swooning. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,813 reviews474 followers
February 22, 2022
I loved the first book in the series, I thought it was a breath of fresh air. It was fun and had me laughing out loud multiple times. So it made perfect sense for me to want to read Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead.

If you read book one, you know it ended with Finlay finding out about a hit set up on her ex-husband, Steve. Steve might not be a good husband, fiancee, or boyfriend material but Finlay doesn't want him dead. Well, maybe a little and if was up to Vero, she would have given ideas to the killer on how to cause the most pain before killing him.

Naturally, Finlay and Vero embarked on an investigation to try to find out who is trying to off him. Ramon, Vero's cousin is there to help a few times. A young IT millennial is there to help them with the clues (but not for free). A wig is needed for a certain dangerous visit. We get to see more of Susan, Finlay's mom. A nice car makes an unexpected appearance and of course the crazy situations Finlay and Vero get themselves in are abundant.

I can honestly say that I liked it and I laughed with poor Finlay's absurd and fantastical adventures she got herself tangled up with but I didn't love it like I did the first one. Yet, I was glad to see certain characters popping back in from the last book. I hope the trend continues.

What I did love was Finlay and Vero's friendship getting stronger despite certain secrets not being revealed. I want to know more about what happened to Vero before she met Finlay.

As for the love triangle, I like detective Nick Anthony but I still like the lawyer-to-be, Julian too. Decisions...decisions.

The next installment's path is set at the ending of this book. Can't wait for more Finlay and Vero shenanigans.

As for the narrator, Angela Dawe, Kudos!! She had me entertained all the way!

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Minotaur Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,074 reviews491 followers
January 30, 2022
So, this is the second in a series of three books about a very reluctant and totally amateur assassin for hire: all because of a misunderstanding during a business lunch date with her agent.

Along the theme of "Something old, something new, something borrowed," the old"novel within a novel" hack is repeated in this installment: art imitating life in this instance. Finlay borrows heavily from the events threatening to derail her already messy life in her new book pitch in order to appease her editor and land another book deal.

The pressure is on! We know from the first installment that her ex-husband is the one with the bounty on his head. Things with her friends with benefits bartender, Julian, are on a bit of a roller coaster ride, and Nick - that handsome but very "by the book" cop still has the hots for her, but can't get over her lies.... or can he?

There was a fair amount of repetition in this installment, but the writing and dialogue are, once again, very good. I will admit that I was getting fairly tired of Vero's constant evasiveness - over the missing money, what was really worrying her, and why she never let Finlay meet any of her family members....

Sylvia - Finlay's agent - is back, too. Sylvia was always looking for something that would"sell" by appealing to current trends and flickering fads. Let's hope that Cosimano's real life agent isn't as willing to peddle her client the way Sylvia has in each of these two installments! An enjoyable read, with a few loose ends leaving you waiting impatiently for the final installment!
I'm rating this one a 3.8 out of 5.
My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Whitney Erwin.
190 reviews
March 9, 2022
Finlay and Vero, the dynamic duo, are back at it again! This sequel is a fun mystery with a lot of twists and turns and some added in romance. I love that in this book we got to get deeper into knowing the characters we met in the first book, particularly the mysterious Vero. I still have a lot of questions about her history though. I’m already looking forward to the 3rd book. This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites! If you like enjoyable, witty, easy reads, the Finlay Donovan series is for you!

Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martins Press/Minotaur books for an ARC of this book in return for my honest review.
Profile Image for Jen.
133 reviews206 followers
August 24, 2021
This was bonkers.

Just when she thought she was out, they pulled her back in… Finlay Donovan thought she was safe, what with her accidental hitwoman caper tied up in a pretty little bow and a promising book deal in the works. But writer’s block is back, and now that she’s been made aware someone has put a hit out on her ex Steven, she can’t just walk away from her newfound life of crime, blundering as though it may be. Finlay and Vero find themselves back in the mix, going down a rabbit hole of sketchy online postings that leads them right back to the mob. With her lawyer love interest MIA, gorgeous cop Nick seems ready to make his move, but him getting closer to her also means he’s closer to her illicit activities. How is Finlay going to get herself out of this one?

My review for the first book in this series opened with “This was so fun” and I am so pleased to say it still applies. But this one also upped the ante when it comes to crazy twists and turns.

I will say there was a lot going on here, and a ton of characters weaving their way through the story. I was never confused and could keep track, but the second half was wall to wall action, drama, and red herrings. It was unputdownable, but also quite a lot to take in. Don’t pick this one up before bedtime or if you only have a few minutes. Sure, the chapters are quick and you *could* just fit one in, but you will not be able to stop at just one and will curse yourself for trying.

Just like in the first in the series, you shouldn’t expect realism here. It’s very over-the-top, but with a wink and a nod. This is a book that is clearly aware it’s a fun and crazy romp. It’s not pretending to be anything else, and I’m fine with that when the material itself is clear that it’s not taking itself too seriously. Buckle up for a crazy ride with Finlay and Vero, and maybe you’ll even get to take a spin in something a bit more exciting than the mom van.

This is scheduled for publication on February 1, 2022 and not only can I not wait, I am already dying to get my hands on the third instalment!

Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy of this book for review.
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
649 reviews5,796 followers
August 25, 2022
reading vlog: https://youtu.be/Z_BYyGwGC6Y

F*CK STEVEN! I hate his cheating ass. I despise his lying, good for nothing but always expecting something ass. How could Finlay ever have dated him? Much less marry him and have 2 kids with him? Why does she still have compassion for him? Still drawn in by him and feel bad for him? He cheated on her, got married to the other woman and is now cheating on her with 2 different much younger women. And he has the audacity to come and cry to Finlay saying his life is in shambles. Ya think? That's your fault and your problem buddy. But she listens to him and FEELS BAD FOR HIM. Are you for real? Finlay is BIG dumb. That makes her an unreliable narrator in my opinion.

Also, I didn't like the addition of the Vero storyline. It felt like it was just thrown in to make her problematic cause she was such gold in the first book. She could have stayed that way to make a juxtaposition of Finlay's stupid ass. But whatever.

The twist of who the mysterious online stalker was, was so stupid. That could NEVER happen. How were they supposed to get away with that? With what skill set? I'm confusion.

I am going to give this a 3 cause I think it's still a decent book and I will be continuing with the series. But a lot of things seriously let me down unfortunately.
Profile Image for Kerrin .
293 reviews230 followers
January 10, 2022
Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is the continuation of Elle Cosimano’s comedy crime series about an author who accidentally becomes a for-hire hitwoman. I think it is a must to read the first book, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It before reading this second book. If you loved the zaniness of the first one, then you will also love this one, which is just as action-packed.

Finlay and her nanny/accountant, Vero, are up to their usual antics while trying to discover who posted a request for a hit on Finlay’s unfaithful ex-husband, Steven. The request was made in a Mom’s chat forum, which is really a front for the same Russian mob that Finlay had to trick in the first book. To make matters worse, someone accepts the hit job so Finlay needs to figure out who requested the hit and who accepted the job in order to keep Steven alive. And while this craziness is going on, Finlay tries to navigate dating both a cop and a law student, along with a looming deadline for her new novel.

Finlay realizes that she really doesn’t know her new partner, Vero, as well as she thought she did. The book ends with a cliff-hanger involving the hit-person who accepted the job against Steven, as well as curious things about Vero’s past.

4-Stars for this fun series. This novel will be released on February 1, 2022. Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for my advanced reader copy.
Profile Image for Blaine.
747 reviews604 followers
February 1, 2022
Update 2/1/22: Reposting my review to celebrate that today is publication day!

“What’s your new book about anyway,” he asked between bites.

“It’s just the next book in the series. The same character. You know . . . a hit woman . . . getting framed . . . solving crimes.”
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for sending me an ARC of Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead in exchange for an honest review.

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead picks up about a month after the ending of Finlay Donovan Is Killing It. Finlay is once again struggling with a book deadline, though now she at least has her new best friend and literal partner-in-crime Vero to help her out. One of her distractions is a casual relationship with a certain hot bartender/law student named Julian. But her main distraction is that she believes she has stumbled across an online offer of $100,000 to someone who will kill Finlay’s ex-husband, Steven. Pretty soon, Finlay and Vero are once again neck deep in trouble, risking their own lives to try to save Steven’s.

The thing I did not realize going in, and kinda wish I did for expectation setting, is that Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is in many ways simply a continuation of the first book. Pretty much every character of any significance who survived the end of the first book is back: those named above, Teresa, Georgia, Russian mobster Feliks Zhirov, and most certainly hot Detective/potential love interest Nicolas Anthony. And given the way this book ends, I would not be surprised if that continuity will be true for the next book too.

As with the first book, Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is not gritty, realistic crime fiction. Several characters make a decision or two that you just have to accept to get into the story. Some of the characters are still a bit one-dimensional and cliché. And I didn’t love the decision to give Vero a secret to be upset about throughout the story; it removed some of the humor and banter. But the story works because Finlay is a well-developed character who you can’t help but root for, and because the mystery stayed unpredictable through the finish.

Like its predecessor, Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is a fun read, with lots of snarky banter and a fast-moving plot full of twists and turns. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Recommended.
Profile Image for JaymeO.
368 reviews226 followers
February 1, 2022

Woohoo! Finlay Donovan is back for another over the top adventure!

Same sense of humor
Same adorable kids
Same clever sidekick
Same love triangle
Same writer’s block
and oops…

Another accidental murder.

This time it’s the goldfish that bites the dust!

When Finlay learns that someone put a hit on her ex-husband, Steven, she and Vero team up once again to uncover the mastermind of this sinister plot before her whole family ends up floating like the goldfish.

This was one of my most anticipated reads this year, and it did not disappoint! Did you see my happy dance when I found out I was approved to review this ARC?! It moved straight to the top of my TBR! Thankfully, the second book is just as funny and over the top as the first. I highly recommend reading these books in order, as it will make the most sense. Finlay and Vero are the dynamic duo of amateur sleuths and continue to entertain with their shenanigans. Somehow they manage to solve the mystery while always escaping the law (it helps to be dating your neighborhood policeman). This adventure is just as fun as the first, and might not be last! Stay tuned for more adventures! I can’t wait!

4/5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur books for the ARC of Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,826 reviews2,185 followers
June 4, 2022
Finlay is back and has more of a mess to get out of this time. Someone has put out a hit on her ex-husbands life, and even though he’s a jerk, he’s still the father of Finlay’s children. With her hot law student gone on a trip to Florida, Finlay finds herself spending more time with “hot cop” Nick. But with all the investigating Finlay and Vero do, they find themselves deeper and deeper in a twisted mess.

I love this series so much! I was apprehensive about picking up this second book because there are so many critical reviews, but I enjoyed it just as much as the first book. Finlay is yet again trapped in a mess she’s trying to get out of, keeping secrets from almost everyone in her life except her trusty partner Vero. I definitely am still not a fan of “hot cop” Nick, it’s the only part of this series I don’t like. I’m still team law school student Julian but I don’t know, it seems like the author is going in a different direction. I hope not.

Loved the hints of Vero’s backstory that we hopefully will get more of in the next book. I will say, I hope Finlay gets a bit of a break from the financial stress next time around but again, not sure how that’s all going to go. Love this series and these characters. Who knew I’d end up being a cozy mystery fan?
Profile Image for Tonya.
415 reviews64 followers
January 2, 2022
Finlay and Vero are at it again, and I hope they never stop! This dynamic duo delivers the perfect combination of friendship, suspense, action and humor. They prove once again that they are the type of friends that would help you hide a dead body. This fast paced thriller had me on the edge of my seat, keeping me laughing along the way. I am already looking forward to the next installment of their madcap adventures. These are without a doubt two of my all time favorite characters. I definitely recommend joining them on their latest reckless undertaking full of danger, surprises and mostly fun. Thank you NetGalley and Minotaur Books for my advanced copy.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Michelle .
878 reviews1,274 followers
September 1, 2022
It's been a hot minute since I spent time with the zany duo of Finlay and Vero and I'm happy to report that their antics and adventures are still funny as ever.

This time around we have Finlay and Vero searching for the hitman that wants Finlay's ex-husband, Steven, killed. The two band together and the hijinks never cease.

And we still have hot cop Nick and gorgeous bartender and lawyer-to-be Julian. Just call me weak in the knees. 🔥

I was just approved for an arc copy of Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun yesterday and as luck would have it I had this one downloaded from Overdrive so I gobbled this baby up ASAP. Is this at all plausible? No. Is this entertaining, fun, humorous, and a great way to kill some time? You betcha!

I look forward to spending time with these ladies again and thanks to St. Martin's Press I will be doing that very soon!

Thanks to Overdrive for the loan!
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