September 21, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Guest Review Of Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead From Becky At CrooksBooks.

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Deady By Elle Cosimano- Summary

Goodreads summary of Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead (Becky’s Review, below, Contains Spoilers!): 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 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’s Knocks ‘Em Dead―the hilarious and heart-pounding follow-up to Finlay Donovan’s Killing It.



P.S. You can see my summary and review of the series here and my interview with Elle Cosimano here.

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Deady By Elle Cosimano- Review

I told you I loved the first book, right? So it should be no surprise to you all that I instantly went out and treated myself to the next book in the series and then devoured it in a day. I didn’t love this one quite as much as the first book, I’m not sure why, but there were plenty of things I did love about it.

Vero gets so much more page time in this book, which was something I adored; she seemed a bit of a side character in book one. We knew she was essential to the story, but we didn’t learn that much about her. Well, in this book, that all changes. Don’t get me wrong, she still has that air of mystery around her, but we do get to learn a whole boatload more about her, why she went along with Finlay’s murder run in book one, and why she decided to stay with her. She becomes more of a none POV MC, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about her, especially because this helped strengthen her bond with Finlay.

Finlay herself has gone through some personal growth since book one and is slightly more confident and assured in herself. In this book, though, she finds her dilemma slightly closer to home, what with someone offering 100k to kill off her ex-husband. I, much like Vero, may have tried to subtly push Finlay into doing the task herself. However, Finlay’s morals, and the fact that she did love him once, whether he’s an arsehole now or not, means that instead of finding ways to kill him herself, she spends her time trying to find the people who put the ad out and stop any attempts on his life. In true Finlay fashion, though, things don’t go quite to plan, and she finds herself on the bad side of an actual gun for hire. I found her a little more flirty in this book, with fewer fucks to give and more sure of herself, which is something I adored.


Thank you to Becky at Crooksbooks. A blog for guest posting on Novellives.com. I’m honored to have her! Please check her site out, and give it a follow.

The mystery was so well developed and filled with multiple twists that just kept us as readers on our toes. Similarly to book one, we are never sure who we can trust, who’s playing Finlay from the shadows, and who is actually on her side. Cosimano has again managed to get that blend of the ridiculous and the reasonable down to a tee. Alongside the mystery of who put the hit out on Steven, her ex, we still have the backlash from the previous book’s events, with the same characters from book one making a re-appearance as well as some new faces that add a sinister and sometime’s a hilarious undercurrent to the story. I will say when we find out the mystery of who put the hit out on Steven, I cackled. It was so well played and so well developed into the story that I couldn’t quite believe I hadn’t seen it coming.

The romance is just as steam filled as book one, and I’m team Nick… I’m just putting it out there. The tension between these two is off the charts, plus her kids already love him. What more could you want in a man? I loved seeing Finlay open herself up to the chance of something more, even if it was only a little. Julian may be the one who knows about her past and accepts her. Still, I think she might just be realizing that their relationship might not have the longevity she truly longs for. I’m hoping we get more Finlay and Nick shenanigans in the third book because Detective Nick Anthony makes me swoon, and if Finlay doesn’t want him, I’m calling dibs!

Do I already have the third book on my Kindle? Yes. Am I planning on picking it up once I get through a few more books on my TBR? Absolutely. Do I think I’m gonna love it as much as the first two? You betcha. This series is just so overwhelmingly fun while still giving us a boatload of heart, and I am just desperate for Finlay to get out of the accidental murder game and get the happy ending she deserves.

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