Cover Image: Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead

Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

3.5 STARS

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!
Was this review helpful?
I’d built up a lot of hype in my mind about the return of Finlay Donovan. Cosimano absolutely won me over with the first in the series, and I can’t stop recommending it to everyone I know.
Now for the but.
Knocks em Dead was really missing that *something* that made Killing It such a delight to read. There weren’t any of those Laugh Out Loud moments, though it was funny. Nothing really happened in the romantic department, and nothing really happened with Vero’s development, either. I felt like I was reading a teaser to the real sequel. Where’s the meat?
Was this review helpful?
✨ Review ✨ Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead
Finlay and Vero return in book 2 of this series with more hijinx. Book 1 ended with someone putting out a hit on Stephen, Finlay's ex-husband, and this book follows that plot as Finlay and Vero try to beat the cops at uncovering who's out to get him. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Genre: cozy comedic mystery
Location: the suburbs

I enjoyed this book - it was silly and it furthered the plot from book 1. Vero and Finlay made more dumb mistakes, got in over their heads, found dead bodies, and more. 

Book 1 of this series DELIGHTED me. I giggled throughout it and so it would be nearly impossible to match. I thought this made a solid follow up, furthering the "everything goes comically wrong for Finlay" plot line but with just less comedy this time. This one still made me smile at the unexpected things but didn't really make me giggle like the first one did. 

In the first book, the kids' shenanigans turned Finlay into a hot mess, and in this book the kids were just kind of there. Vero was also just kind of there, along for the ride as well. And the juggling of the cop vs lawyer love interests was just kind of flat for me as well.

For me, it was still worth the read, but it lacked the silly joyful magic the first one had.

Thanks to #Netgalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur books for the eARC!
Was this review helpful?
What is there not to love about this sequel? It picks up right where the last one left off and the whole cast is back. Finlay and Vero are back to their regular shenanigans in no time and it had all the humor, crazy twists, and awkward encounters I was hoping for. Thoroughly enjoyable all around. Thanks to Netgalley and Minotaur Books for sending me a copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Finlay Donovan is back, with more mysteries, more murders and a brand new wig.

Picking up right where book one ends, Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead starts a month after Finlay accomplished the impossible. Not only did she manage to finally write her book, but she also somehow managed to stay out of jail. But now with her pretend hit woman days behind her Finlay is once again struggling with writer's block. It isn’t easy following up on success, but it also doesn’t help that someone has put a serious hit out on her ex-husband. Steven has no shortage of enemies, and Finlay and Vero are racing to find who has $100,000 worth of reasons to want him dead.

I think what I love most about the Finlay Donovan series is how perfectly Elle Cosimano walks the line between comedy and murder mystery. Her characters are funny and bright, often jumping off the page with their quirky dialogue and scheming antics, but the stakes are real and so are the murders. Finlay and Vero’s high-jinks are just as fun & wild, but they seem much less far-fetched than some of the things the duo got up to in the first installment.

I still absolutely adore Vero as a character. I think she is a perfect foil to Finlay and I’m so glad that Cosimano delved more into her character’s past, family and motivations. If I had to pretend to be a hitwoman with anyone it’d be her. There is a part of the book where she calls herself an office and I think if that would have been an actual twist it would have blown my mind. 

Book two does get off to a much slower start compared to the first one. In the first book the plot felt very fast paced with action around each turn, while the second has much more of a slice of life feel to it in the beginning. While I do think the development of the world is necessary as Finlay’s adventures extend to more books, there are points where the different storylines get a bit lost in themselves as they build up. This can make a few points feel a little muddy, but overall wasn’t a huge problem and did not impact my enjoyment of the story as a whole. 

Wooo the romance here. The hot lawyer and handsome cop are back, as much as Steven hates it. I will admit in the first book I didn’t have a preference for who Finlay ended up with at the end of her little love triangle. Julian was hot and kind - his approach to Finlay having kids and also being a bit messy was refreshing and felt like something she needed. So I was definitely a little surprised that he took such a turn in this one, and ultimately didn’t care much when they decided to put things on hold. Nick on the other hand surprised me in book one with his sudden romantic entry, but I liked that he challenged Finlay and called her on her messy moments because he cared for her. I’m glad that he made a resurgence in book two and I really hope there’s more to come.

I would like to see a little more compassion and understanding for Finlay in the future. Yes, she is a bit messy at times, and she does make some rather questionable decisions, but she’s also under a crazy amount of pressure and in some dire circumstances. It would be refreshing for other characters to not just make fun of her, or tease her for being a mess, but rather to try to uplift her and understand where she is coming from.

In the end Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is just as, if not more fun than the first installment in the series, and it leaves me with just as much thrill and anticipation. My Nancy Drew loving heart is so happy, and Finlay is a heroine I can root for again and again. This book doesn’t come out for another five months and I am already dying for the third one. I hope there are several more books planned for the series as I’m not ready to say goodbye to Finlay and her sleuthing ways anytime soon.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 Stars **** 

Finlay Donovan is back!! This was such a fun follow-up to the first book and spoiler alert…it totally leaves you with a cliffhanger so you know a third one is coming! 

Finlay and Vero are back with even more accidental and totally unbelievable (but LOL) criminal activity. They’re on a mission to find out who wants Steven dead and of course things get messy. Plus Finlay is STILL procrastinating on her book deadline. We also learn some backstory to some of the secondary characters which I loved. 

My only complaints were that at times so much was going on that it was hard to keep up with who did what. But it all eventually came together in the end and made sense (as much as any of this series makes sense HA!). I also was a little confused at the lack of information and character development with Vero and her past. I felt like the build up made it seem like more was supposed to happen there but maybe that’s coming?? But overall can’t recommend this series enough. Def some of my favorite books this year! 

Thank you so so much to Elle Cosimano, Minotaur Books, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
Was this review helpful?
Finlay is at it again! The entire cast of characters returns, as Finlay has to navigate keeping her children safe while there is a hit out on her ex-husband, which of course she can’t tell him. Vero is still a great help, except Finlay begins to question what all she really knows about her nanny/accountant. And there are wigs, dead bodies, and stolen cars. What more could you ask for?

The story, of course, is ridiculous in the most entertaining way. Although I didn’t think this one was as immediately captivating as the first, it soon picked up and delivered on the laughs and mischief. And with so many red herrings, I didn’t figure out who was behind everything until it was revealed at the very end, and what a surprise it was!

Cosimano didn’t disappoint with this light, fun read. I can’t wait for more Finlay Donovan! 4 stars.
Was this review helpful?
THANK YOU so much to Net Galley for this Arc!! I feel like a fairy godmother of books. I was pleasantly shocked yet pleased to receive it.

Finlay Donovan does it again!

With the same laughter, entertainment, charm, and mystery, this book does not disappoint.

This time around, we follow Finlay and Vero trying to track down who has a hit out for Finlay's ex-husband. Exactly One month after the first book took place the hired hitman (or rather woman) life is still fresh in her mind.

Struggling to make ends meet and experiencing writers' block, Finlay is willing to investigate any lead to protect her family. We are also introduced to some new characters, along with some favorites ( hello Nick).

Worth the read and highly entertaining this book hit the mark! Unfortunately, you will have to wait till 2022!
Was this review helpful?
This is a great follow-up to the first book, Finlay Donavan Is Killing It.

Finlay is still dealing with a severe case of procrastination, writer's block, an obnoxious ex-husband and the uncertainty of dating after divorce.

This second book finds Finlay still stumbling into reluctant criminal activity with her nanny aka accountant, Vero.  

I liked the continued character development and hope the next installment of Finlay's life is close to publication!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this soooo much more then the first one. New mystery yet still connected to the mystery from the first book. All the same characters plus more backstory to the secondary characters from the first book. Ugh I can’t say enough awesome things about it! I can’t wait for the next one 😉
Was this review helpful?
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
.
🎃 Elle does it again! This book was phenomenal. Funny, suspenseful, relatable shit show main characters, and just the perfect read.
.
🎃 In this sequel, Finlay and Vero use their below average detective skills to try and figure out who wants Steven dead. Of course, they just end up making a bigger mess. Spoiler alert: there's a third book!
.
Thank you @netgalley for the Advanced Reader Copy! Loved this one!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my review! 

After reading Finlay Donovan is Killing It, I knew I had to read the sequel simply because I LOVE these characters! Finlay and Vero are the type of characters you feel like you know, or at least want to know and want to be friends with. I loved how their friendship developed even more in this book. I can say with certainty that I enjoyed Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead even more than the first book. Although some parts seem far fetched, the story is so FUN; a great comedic mystery!
Was this review helpful?
Y’all – I just love this series. Finlay is back at it again with the communication flaws and mystery murders! We know that Finlay has SO much going on in her life to the point that she has the nanny she can’t afford move in full-time because … life is a mess. I think that is the most relatable thing about this story. Even when you think you have it all together, life happens! The constants are the love of family and friends and how you would kill for your children, or at least, get put in some seriously dangerous situations.

Now, the first book I gave 5 stars, this one, I give 4. Here’s why: (no spoilers) –

I love that Finlay and Vero have become so close that they are like family, however, there is some serious character development lacking in the way of Vero and her past/present! This leaves for a few “why don’t you know this, Fin” questions.

Also, I get the romance is a fun added piece as Finlay is a good woman that got super screwed over and deserves some fun. Just a tad harder to love the love in this one, but it does clear up where her head is at i’m that respect.

Can’t wait for everyone to read this one!

Thank you so much to @netgalley & @minotaur_books for the early copy!
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars. Finlay Donovan is kind of a mess. But the kind of mess I suspect many of us would be if we were single moms who accidentally murdered several people and in so doing got mixed up with the Russian mob. Once again, we have (most of) the elements that made Finlay Donovan is Killing It so engrossing and fun: strong female leads, including Finlay’s incomparable takes-no-shit partner in literal crime, Vero; all the hijinks one might expect from the aforementioned plot; a humdinger of a cliffhanger ending; and sizzling will-they-or-won’t-they tension. Julian spent most of the book offpage, though, so I’m guessing the love triangle may resolve itself in the next book? That’s a shame—the three-way tension is fun, though I (like the rest of Fin’s family and her editor, evidently) am rooting for the hot cop.

Very excited that Vero’s backstory and the cliffhanger means we’ll get at least one more in this series! Write faster, Elle Cosimano!!
Was this review helpful?
4/5 ⭐️

Finlay, girl...get it together. But also, don't, because then it wouldn't be as much fun for us to read, right?!
The second installment of Finlay's life was just as exciting as the first. Very much giving "Dead to Me" vibes with Vero as her side lady. 

Such a delightful mixture of murder, mystery, and sooo much humor! Couldn't stop laughing, really. Being a mom myself, I relate hard with her struggle to keep up with the kids and her job as an author. Miss Girl really is constantly on the struggle-bus, and matters are not made better when she learns her ex-husband has a hit on him! Her scrambling to find the answers was super anticipatory and interesting, had me feeling like I was in on solving a homicide waiting to happen. 

Oh and the love triangle?! We love a love triangle, and to see our girl Finlay get so much attention adorned upon her. Not much happens, and I kinda wanted more, but I'm sure Elle Cosimano will deliver in the next one. 

Thank you to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an ARC!
Was this review helpful?
Book 2 in the Finlay Donovan series picks up right where the first one left off without missing a beat. Cosimano did a great job reminding the reader of events from the first book with subtle recaps that I appreciated. Fin’s wit and accidental charm were present as well, but there was something missing for me this time around. Book 1 was an easy 5 stars…

But with this one, I didn’t really get those laugh out loud moments, and found myself turning pages a little slower. Overall this was still enjoyable, it just lacked some of the pizazz we saw in the first book. 

Thank you to Minotaur Books / St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the gifted eARC! Finlay returns February 1, 2022!
Was this review helpful?
𝙲𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚙𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚍. 𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚢’𝚍 𝚏𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍 𝚑𝚒𝚖 𝚋𝚘𝚋𝚋𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛’𝚜 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚏𝚊𝚌𝚎, 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚎𝚢𝚎𝚜 𝚋𝚞𝚕𝚐𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚖𝚙𝚝𝚢, 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚍𝚊𝚠𝚗. 𝚆𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚎 𝙸 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍𝚗’𝚝 𝚑𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚕𝚢 𝚜𝚊𝚢 𝙸’𝚍 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚔𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚗𝚢𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎, 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎, 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚗𝚘 𝚍𝚎𝚗𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚑𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚌𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚙𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚒𝚋𝚕𝚎.

And with that opening scene, we're off! The second installment was like meeting up with an old friend with plenty of laugh out loud moments. Christopher is a pet goldfish, by the way. Finlay is not a monster.

Finlay is behind on her book deadline, juggling two love interests, wondering what her live-in nanny/sidekick Vero is hiding, and trying to find out who placed the ad for the hit on her ex-husband Steven. Oh yeah, throw in the Russian mob just for good measure.

The antics are over the top and plentiful, and I loved every word. I hope this series and its lively characters are around for quite some time.
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to have been accepted to read this because Finlay Donovan is killing it was such a great story and this sequel is just as amazing as the first installment.

This one follows the events of the ending of book one and without giving spoilers for book 1 I must say this series may become a new favorite for me.

There so much fun and entertaining and so hard to put down.

Finlay Donovan is for sure a new favorite protagonist for me and I will recommend this book for a longgg time!  

4,5 stars!
Was this review helpful?
Finlay is BACK! And we couldn't be happier.
Fresh from the craziness of what happened (and started at a Panera Bread) in the last book, Finlay just wants to keep her head down, her house above water, and finish her book.
However, Vero is acting funny and there's an advertisement asking for someone to kill her ex. Fin takes things into her own hands as she tries to discover who is behind the plot to kill her ex (mostly so she can keep her kids safe during visits). Her younger boytoy is MIA and he just privated his Instagram, and the cop everyone else wants her to be with might figure out her role in all the things she wasn't supposed to do. And then there's that whole novel she has to write.

Finlay is the heroine we all need. I really hope we get more Finlay. <3
Pretty please?
Was this review helpful?
4.25 stars rounded down
thank you so much to st, martin's press and netgalley for this digital ARC <3

'finlay donavan knocks 'em dead' picks up right after the first book. i read the first book a few months prior and admittedly, i've forgotten a few details. however, i never felt the need to reread the book as cosimano did an amazing job of refreshing readers' memories, especially of important tidbits that are a must-know for this book. i would recommend reading the first one though, just because it's an amazing book and it will ultimately help with your general understanding of the sequel. 

this book follows finlay roughly a few weeks after the event of the first book. someone had hired a hit on her ex-husband and finlay is determined to get to the bottom of it. in typical finlay fashion, she gets caught up in more than she bargained for as she tried to solve this mystery. 

the general structure of the story is the same as the first but i found that it didn't hinder my enjoyment as much as i thought it would. the mysteries were still new and caught my interest. it has the same humor and charm as the first one, yet it still stands out on its own as the events differed. i think this structure really works, especially with cosimano's writing style. you can't help but get drawn into the mystery and see what kind of shenanigans ensue. 

i did feel like this book lacked this spark the first book had. i didn't laugh as much as i did the previous book, though i won't deny that there were some moments that made me giggle. however, i'm excited for the next book and would recommend this (and the first book) to mystery lovers and people who need a good laugh. this series is *the* series to pick up if you're in a reading slump as the pace is fast and it holds your attention well.
Was this review helpful?