Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

by Elle Cosimano
Minotaur Books, February 2021, $$26.99

Writer Finlay Donovan is a seriously overwhelmed single mom, who gets mistaken for a contract killer in this irresistible comedic mystery from Elle Cosimano. Battered financially and emotionally by her ex-husband, and desperately in need of money, Finlay briefly entertains the idea. After all, she’d like to murder her ex, so she sympathizes with her would-be client.

On a whim she “borrows” a little black dress from her old hubby’s new wife, Teresa, and decides to scout out the potential victim for herself. Disguised in long blond tresses, she drives to The Lush bar where Harris Mickler is supposedly having a business meeting. When she sees him slip a knockout drug in the drink of an unsuspecting woman, Finlay decides to step in, and switches the drinks.

Soon Harris is feeling the effects and now Finlay has to get him the heck out of there. I found myself laughing out loud at the slapstick shenanigans that followed. Through no fault of her own, at the end of the night she ends up with Harris dead on her garage floor. The plot deepens when her former babysitter Vero shows up unexpectedly. Instead of being appalled, she suggests splitting the commission and enthusiastically volunteers to help get rid of the body.

Finlay Donavan Is Killing It reads heavy on the silly and light on the heavy stuff, which was a welcome surprise. Vero and Finlay’s escapades together reminded me of a Lucy and Ethel skit, in a good way. If you need a laugh (And who doesn’t?), you can’t go wrong with this one.

Eileen Brady
Teri Duerr
February 2021
Minotaur Books