Cover Image: Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead

Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead

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Member Reviews

Finlay Donovan is Killing It, the delightful series debut by Elle Cosimano was recently nominated for the Best Humorous Mystery Novel of 2021 as part of Left Coast Crime’s Lefty Awards. Next week, the sequel – Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead – will be released and fans will discover that it is even better than the debut. Finlay Donovan is going to be part of the crime fiction community for a long time to come.

Picking up shortly after the previous novel ended, Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead once again finds Finlay and her best friend/nanny/accountant/roommate/ride-or-die/co-conspirator, Vero, once again on a madcap escapade through the criminal underworld – fighting arson, kidnapping, embezzlement, contract killers, and potty training.

Like Lucy and Ethel, anything this pair touches is bound to go wrong in countless ways and spectacular fashion. Case-in-point, when the online women’s forum that is a front for illegal activity posts an “ad” soliciting a hit on Finlay’s ex-husband, rather than call the police our dynamic duo accepts the assignment (after another hitman has expressed interest) and sets out to uncover the mastermind behind the plot.

Juggling the demands of a life-threatening private investigation with the sanity-threatening duties of motherhood is enough to turn anyone’s hair gray. After all, Finlay cannot allow her young daughter and infant son to spend time with their father while someone is trying to kill him, so she must rely on the help of family – her sister, a cop who fears a dirty diaper more than she fears an armed gunman, and her mother, who can’t seem to resist commenting on Finlay’s love life. Speaking of dating, Finlay is still faced with the exigent decision of choosing between the sexy young lawyer or the hot-as-hell cop – a quandary anyone would sign up for.

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead could easily have become a ridiculous and over-the-top novel, but Elle Cosimano has the skill and talent to blend social satire with the mystery plot in completely believable – albeit hilarious – ways. In a short span of time, readers have become invested in these characters and watching them navigate the challenges of every-day life (along with their not-so-average criminal endeavors) is a welcome escape from 2022’s trials and tribulations. Cosimano packs laugh-out-loud moments in just about every chapter, even while the threats and danger increase to high blood pressure-inducing levels.

Red herrings and distractions abound in Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead, so the final resolution does come as a genuine surprise. The various twists and revelations along the journey keep the pacing high and the pages flying by. As has become Elle Cosimano’s trademark, there is another cliff-hanger ending that sets up the action for book three in the Finlay Donovan series, which might be viewed as frustrating by some, but most importantly guarantees that Finlay and Vero will be returning soon. For that, everyone can be thankful.
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I have to admit that I wasn't a huge fan of the first book in the Finlay Donovan series. Characters that are that much of a disaster really stress me out. If I hadn't received an ARC <i>Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead </i> I probably wouldn't have picked the second book up. However, having received an ARC of the sequel from NetGalley, I'm really happy that I got the sequel. The pacing and plot are smoother and Finlay feels less chaotic in the book. The supporting characters like Vero, Steven, Theresa get a bit more depth and development in the second book as well.  I'm really looking forward to the third book.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of this book.
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FINLAY DONOVAN KNOCKS EM’ DEAD is the hilarious, quirky sequel to Finlay Donovan Is Killing It. Thank you so much to the publisher and netgalley for my e-arc in exchange for an honest review. This one publishes Feb 1! Less than a week!

If you’ve read the first book, you will love this one! If you haven’t read the first book, I highly recommend doing so! Not because you need to read it to understand what happens in book 2, but because Finlay is such a delightful character. You don’t want to miss out on what she gets up to!

I loved this second book more than the first! It’s definitely a sequel that doesn’t fall victim to the second in a series slump. It felt so nice to be back with Finlay, and reading about what she gets up to. Now, she has her nanny/accountant turned friend/sidekick with her! Vero is an absolute delight and the perfect friend Finlay needs. 

I also really enjoyed how the book Finlay was writing, mirrored what was happening in her own life…. It was also so impressive how she came up with the plot on the spot!  And that her editor loved it! 

This book does have a bit of a love triangle… or even love square? It seemed everyone loves Finlay! Who is she going to end up with? It seems she may let her books decide for her… 

I cannot wait for the next book! I mean, there has to be a third book… the way this one ended… there HAS to be another one!
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I am obsessed with Finlay and Vero. This one was just as action punched and funny. Their adventures are so entertaining, and the book is fast paced just like the first one. Elle Cosimano does not miss a beat with the second book at all. I love her writing style so much. The ending had me on my feet and I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens for the third book. I am here for all the Finlay adventures! A true fan!
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Up front- this would be best enjoyed by those who read and liked the first book because, frankly, there isn't a lot of back story- a back story which is crucial to this installment.  Finlay and her nanny/accountant Vero find themselves looking for the person who is soliciting a hit man to take out Finlay's ex Steven, mostly because they are concerned that it will happen when he has the kids for the day.  Finlay's a novelist who hasn't been writing because she's too busy trying to track down the people om the web forum.  There's a terrific scene where she constructs a pitch for her agent to present to the publisher on the fly and the scenes with the tech gurus she hires to help her are very relatable. That said, this is meant to be funny but Cosimano lost me about half way through because I wasn't up on who's who (what exactly did Theresa do?) and some of it was deeply implausible (what they do with the storage facility find),  There is a good twist at the end.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  For fans of the first book.
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Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead was a true delight! This book has something for everyone - romance, mystery, and comedy. Finlay and Vero make the perfect dynamic duo as they screw up and struggle to clean up their messes. 

The book picks up right where the first leaves off. This time Finlay is trying to save her ex husband as someone puts out a hit on his life. (This is important in case you haven’t read the first one yet) I really enjoyed the romance between Nick and Julian, while trying to figure out which one would win Finlay’s heart. I was on the edge of my seat with all the things Finlay and Vero were doing and kept waiting for it to catch up to them.

I flew threw this book and found it so enjoyable. It was laugh out loud funny at times. I really enjoyed the little twist at the end of the book. It looks like there will be a third book and I’m so excited to see what shenanigans Finlay and Vero will get into next!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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To be honest and upfront, I was scared that it wouldn’t live up to book one. I found the first book to be perfect but I’m here to say, Elle Cosimano did it again! The second book was just as perfect as book one. Another fantastic read with the same awesome duo of Finlay and Vero. It was so hard to put down.
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Picking up shortly after the events of book 1, this took a much different turn than I expected and it completely lived up to the first one. Someone wants Finlay's ex-husband dead, so she and her nanny, Vero, are on the hunt to track down both the person who placed the hit and the hitman. This series is so hard to classify as it's a mystery with murder but it's so fun and light-hearted! I haven't seen if there will be a 3rd book in this series, but I sure hope so!
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Finlay and crew are back in this sequel to Finlay Donovan is Killing It, still getting into trouble they never knew was coming their way, and still finding ways out of it. Finlay's still burning her candle at both ends, working on deadline and relying on her live-in nanny, Vero. 

A month after disentangling herself from her status as an accidental hitman, Finlay finds that she's still got problems: someone's after her cheating ex-husband, Steven. She and Vero dig into the case, and Finlay can only hope to get some resolution without being dragged under herself.  There was a lot going on in this book, and it could seem a little frantic at times. The pacing in the first book worked a little better for me because of this. 

This series is fast-paced and funny, perfect for those who love a light mystery with a little romance and humor thrown in.
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4.5 stars
Such a good sequel!
I can never guess the twists which is always fun. And even though Finlay can be a lot, I can’t help but always root for her!
But it left me with so many questions. I didn’t know there would be a third book, but there has to be! So much sh** needs to go down!
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Thank you to netgalley and St. Martin's Press!!!

Elle Cosimano is magical at this point with this series. Truly this sequel was just as good as the first! It grabs your attention from the first page and keeps you flipping through to discover what happens next! I love this cast of characters and look forward to reading even more of the chaos that seems to follow Finlay.
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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.

<img src="https://media4.giphy.com/media/fxT41pzkGIGDoOAALC/giphy.gif?cid=82a1493ba760rgmgvehk7c8nss8xfvi71fbrd7f0xq9sw4oj&rid=giphy.gif&ct=v"/>

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.

<img src="https://www.tckpublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Story-within-a-story-Header.jpeg"/>

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.... <i>or can he?</i>

<img src="https://c.tenor.com/8bfCrF0HG9gAAAAd/drink-alcohol.gif"/>

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....

<img src="https://facialcosmeticsurgery.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/plastic-surgery-woman.jpg"/>

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.
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Finlay is BACK! I loved Finlay Donovan Is Killing It and this one picks right up where book 1 ends. I recommend reading this soon after the first, as a lot of the characters we see are back!

This book has the same fresh take on a mystery, it lacked some of the humor of book 1, but it still brought me laughs and surprised me as I read it. Finlay is still a hot mess in this book, but maybe a little less so. I don't want to spoil book 1 or this one so I'm going to do my best to write a review that doesn't. Finlay is doing her best to protect her kids, much to her ex-husband's chagrin. Finlay is doing her best when faced with decisions that aren't easy. The ending had me *almost* throwing my kindle because it raised so many more questions. I'm just sad that I have to wait for book 3. 

This book was a wild ride and I finished in one go. I did a mix of audio and reading and loved having both to help me not have to take breaks while I was working. 

Thank you to Minotaur Books, Macmillan Audio, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC and ALC in exchange for an honest review.
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Rating: 3.5 stars

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead was one of my most anticipated books of 2022. I thoroughly enjoyed Finlay Donovan Is Killing It last year and was looking forward to more humor and soccer mom turned hit woman. I am sad to say Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead fell short of my expectations.

Part of what I loved about the first Finlay Donovan book was the absurd plot of Finlay becoming a hit woman. It was unexpected and fun. There was also a lot of humor that I enjoyed despite not being suburban or a mom. For me, both of these were missing in the sequel. Elle Cosimano noted in her acknowledgements that she struggled writing humor amidst the pandemic and everything else going on in the world. I think that it definitely showed and I feel for her. I am sure writing during these unprecedented times with pressing deadlines and the expectations of an equal or superior sequel was not easy.

The plot of Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead did not live up to the first novel. First, Finlay does not take any hired hits. Instead, the book really focuses on her trying to figure out who placed a hit out on her ex-husband and trying to save him (along with not getting caught for her illegal behavior). Julian, the law student, and Nick, the hot cop, are back in the picture. For me, I thought this story focused too much on them and their efforts to rescue Finlay. My feminist self cringes when a book preaches that the female protagonist does not need saving by men and then the plot totally ignores that. In addition, the story was a bit overly convoluted. While I did not have a difficult time following the storyline, I think keeping it a bit less contrived would have made it a stronger plot.

The “B plot” of Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is focused on Vero being secretive and hiding something from Finlay. However, this is really in the background and not given much time in the book. By the end of the book, it still felt unresolved. This was a bit disappointing and also left the dynamic between Finlay and Vero without the same spark.

The last thing I will say is I wish I had reread Finlay Donovan Is Killing It before picking up the sequel. Unfortunately, I just did not have time amid my other book obligations. One thing that I often find in series is that authors pick up at a set time after the first book ends (in this case a month) and do not review or rehash anything from the first installment. This was true for Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead. For someone like me that read the first book a year ago and does not have the best memory, I struggled to pick up and take off with the continued story without any discussion of what occurred in the past and who some of the characters were.

Overall, I enjoyed Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead and am still looking forward to the third installment in this series. But I am hoping that sticks a bit more closely to the first book in humor, tone, and plot. If you enjoyed the Finlay Donovan Is Killing It I still recommend reading the sequel but with tempered expectations.

Thank you Minotaur Books & St. Martin's Press for the e-galley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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4 stars!

If you loved Book 1 of the Finlay Donovan series, I think you’ll adore Book 2 just as much! This was a perfect continuation of the story as it felt like a direct extension of Finlay Donovan is Killing it. 

Someone wants Finlay’s ex-husband, Steven, dead. Though he can be an asshole and has hurt Finlay in the past, Finlay and Vero, her live in Nanny, decide to take matters in their own hands to save Steven. All the while, Vero is acting secretive, and Detective Nick Anthony is hanging around trying to land on Finlay’s romantic radar. 

Just like the first book, there were twists and turns so fast paced I couldn’t put this down. Yet, over-the-top activities Finlay and Vero get into will also require you to suspend disbelief to enjoy the story for what it is. 

I don’t know what Elle Cosimano does to make this so entertaining, but the relationships, the banter, and the shenanigans bring me so much joy to read. 

I wish we would’ve gotten more answers from Vero and what she’s hiding, but I assume that’s setting us up to grow Finlay and Vero’s relationship further in Book 3… which I will 100% be picking up!
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It was so fun to get to hang out with Finlay & Vero again on their next misadventure. This sequel picks up right where book #1 left off. Finlay's finally getting some sense of normalcy...until she finds out someone is trying to kill her ex-husband, Steven. This sends her into a tailwind trying to figure out the culprit and track them down before they track down Steven. Trusty Vero is in tow and we learn that Vero's past is a little more mysterious that we (and Finlay) may have assumed. I enjoyed getting to visit with these characters again and look forward to a book #3!
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Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐/5
Edition: kindle
Originality: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Character Development: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Favorite Character: Vero
Recommend: 👍

I jumped on the Finlay Donovan band wagon thanks to social media. I was surprised at how much I loved the first book since it's not my favorite genre. I’m a mom of a three year old, so I did appreciate the few parenting quirks and situations. I laughed out loud so much I ended up having to explain the whole story to my husband who kept asking, “What’s so funny?”. He wasn’t as impressed. Definitely chick lit. 

At the end of the first book, Finlay discovers someone is offering a big payout to anyone who can take care of  her ex husband, Stephen. Though Finlay can’t stand her lying cheating ex, rightfully so, she couldn’t imagine actually burying him 6 feet under. Concerned for her kids and their father, Finlay and her babysitter/roommate, Vero, end up teaming up to solve the mystery of the anonymous forum post. To summarize without giving much away - most of this second book is based on Finlay trying to find out who ordered the hit, keeping her ex and kids safe, juggling her romantic relationship between the cop and law student, as well as stopping any other hitman (or hitwoman) from finishing the job. 

Opinion time. The entire first half of the book I was convinced this would be a 2 star read. The writing was messy and there were too many “trying to be funny” moments that just didn’t blend as well as they did in the first book. It seemed this was going to be the case of the second book flop. That being said, the last quarter of the book had me hooked! I thought I had figured out who the real hitman was, but was so incredibly wrong. In fact, I found the ending made the rest of the plot make so much more sense. I was almost rolling on the floor with laughter.  It all just clicked in and I loved it! This is a prime example of why you should watch what you post online. You never know who may be reading!
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Thank you, netgalley for my advanced copy of this book! 

I was so excited to read this one because Finlay Donovan is Killing It was one of my top reads of 2021. 

I found myself laughing out loud and literally on the edge of my seat as I devoured this book. The situations Finlay finds herself in are hilarious and had me seriously concerned for her. 

I love all the characters in the book and I am 100% Team Nick! 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I can’t wait for the next book to come out!
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Finlay Donovan and her hot mess of a life are back for another tense and amusing installment: at the end of the previous book, Finlay and Vero discovered someone had hired a hit woman on a mommies’ forum to take out Steven, Finlay’s useless, cheating ex-husband. Because their kids love their dad, Finla,y and Vero, go to great lengths to protect Steven, while trying to uncover the identity of the assassin. At the same time, Feliks Zhirov is in jail, awaiting trial, and also quite aware of Finlay’s activities. And something is up with Vero, something not good that has her stressed (the dead bodies in book one and book two clearly weren’t as much of a big deal as whatever it is that has her secretive and scared). Finlay is still barely managing to keep her head above water with all that happening, and she has two hot guys in her life, and a jealous ex-husband baring his teeth, so to speak, at the idea of the other men near her.

The pacing is fast, and the tone light and elicits chuckles. Finlay still has writer’s block, and is evading her agent’s calls and emailsr—thank goodness for Vero (even this troubled version of that ultra-competent, smart and fantastic woman that she is.)

I found it amusing how the harder Finlay tries to evade Feliks’ notice, bumbling around town trying to unearth the assassin’s identity, the more intriguing he finds her, as she inadvertently discovers criminal and other connections in their lives.

I still wish Vero had more prominence in the story, though I was really heartened by Finlay’s realization:

“...I wasn’t falling backward anymore. From now on, there was only falling forward. And if I had to pick a safe name of my own—someone I could count on to stick beside me, no matter how messy my life got—it’d be Vero’s.”

The one sour note in this (and the previous book) for me is Nick. I know this will seem unfathomable to most people as he’s employed, dedicated, good with Finlay's kids, and good-looking. But, every time he enters a scene I found his presence and behaviour grated on my nerves, like nails on a chalkboard. I know he’ll probably end up with Finlay some books down the line, but I just can’t stand him.

That aside, I liked this book of a messy mum and her fantastic nanny and their evolving friendship and partnership.

Thank you to Netgalley and to St Martin's Press for this ARC in exchange for my review.
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✨FINLAY DONOVAN KNOCKS EM’ DEAD by Elle Cosimano✨

★★★★★

Drink: White Russian

In your rocks glass, add 2 oz vodka, 1 oz Kahlua, and a splash of heavy cream.

Give it a little stir and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon!

I had to come up with a good one for this amazing sequel! If you’ve read Finlay Donovan is Killing It then you know the Russian ties… which only get stronger in book 2! I also love the contrast of the light and dark, you never know what lies under the surface  (Plus a White Russian is one of my favorite cold weather/wintery cocktails so it works for the timeline!)

Huge thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur @ MacMillan for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review!

🌟Review: Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan series is one of my all-time favorites. I mean truly it’s just *chefs kiss* 

I read the ARC of this one as soon as I got it because I could NOT wait!!! Finlay’s story just keeps getting better and better and I don’t want to spoil anything but if you haven’t read book #1, do it ASAP because dare I say… book #2 I somehow liked even more!!! 

The characters are amazing, funny, and lovable. The mystery keeps you on your toes, and you’re hooked all the way through. 10/10 for anyone who loves cozy mystery with some romance trickled in! 

(P.S you can scroll back and find my fun drink I made for book one!)
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