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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead

Series: Finlay Donovan #2

Audio Narrator: Angela Dawe

Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

ISBN: 978-1250242181

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: 02/01/2022

Format: Audio/e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars + (ARC)

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.

"A funny and smart, twisty and surprising series."―Megan Miranda

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...


One of Bustle's "Most Anticipated Books of 2022"

One of Business Insider’s "Most Anticipated Books of 2022"

One of The Bibliofile’s "Best New Mystery & Thriller Books for 2022"

One of Bookbub’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2022”

One of Goodreads “Most Anticipated Mysteries of 2022”

One of POPSUGAR’s “Must-Read Thrillers and Mystery Books” of 2022

One of Canadian Living Magazine’s “2022 TBR List”

"Riotous . . . Given the challenge of matching her first novel’s gorgeous premise, Cosimano does a remarkable job. What next?"―Kirkus Reviews

"Diverting . . . such fun. Fans of wacky, offbeat mysteries will eagerly await Finlay’s further exploits."―Publishers Weekly

"Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano was a delightfully fun surprise in 2021, and Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead is every bit as bright and hilarious as its predecessor."―Popsugar

"Finlay Donovan fans rejoice! The incredibly talented Elle Cosimano is back with another installment chronicling the adventures of Finlay Donovan, the incorrigible author racing to meet a looming deadline while running for her life. In Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead, Finlay and her intrepid nanny, Vero, once again end up smack dab in the middle of the plot of one of her crime novels. Hired guns, the Russian mob, and a love triangle for the ages? Yes, please! Reminiscent of Jennifer Weiner’s Goodnight Nobody and Susan Isaac’s After All These Years, Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead is clever, dark, and laugh-out-loud funny. I’m a fan for life." ―Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Overnight Guest

"The Finlay Donovan series is an unpredictable, fun, funny, page-turning delight. Like her creation, Elle Cosimano knocks 'em dead." --Gwenda Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Not Your Average Hot Guy

"Finlay Donovan is the perfect 21st century heroine―I adore her."―Sophie Cousens, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Next Year

"A delightful escape with a lovable heroine. Finlay Donavan will keep you rooting for her as the pages fly by!” ―Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs Parrish

"Elle Cosimano does it again! A funny, fast-paced sequel that's part rom-com, part mystery, pure joy!"―Chantel Guertin, bestselling author of Instamom

"A fun, refreshing series. From the first page to the last, Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead kept me smiling. A fast-paced, fabulous read, full of heart. I can’t wait for the next one!"―Kaira Rouda, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody's Home

"A clever, razor-sharp thrill ride from beginning to end! I'd follow Finlay Donovan anywhere."―Rachel Lynn Solomon, bestselling author of The Ex Talk

"Readers will be swept up in this wacky heroine’s attempts to just make it through her mishap-filled life and have a little romance along the way . . . A fun romp for bookclubs and for anyone who enjoys slapstick mysteries."―First Clue - Superstar Sleuths

Praise for Finlay Donovan is Killing It:

“A twisty delight.”―PEOPLE

“[Cosimano's] main character is so endearing it's easy to surrender...”―New York Times Book Review

“If you love thrillers, but wish the genre would lighten up a little then you absolutely must read Finlay Donovan Is Killing It.”―PopSugar

“Fast-paced, fresh, full of humor, and original.”―Jill Orr in St. Louis Magazine

“Part comedy of errors, part genuine thriller… Deftly balancing genre conventions with sly, tongue-in-cheek comments on motherhood and femininity, Cosimano crafts a deliciously twisted tale.”―Booklist

“Suspenseful, funny.... More, please.”―Kirkus Reviews

“Amusing… pleasingly absurd... [a] romp from a skilled comic writer.”―Publishers Weekly

My Review

Is the pandemic bringing you down?

Want some laughs?


Elle Cosimano's FINLAY DONOVAN KNOCKS 'EM DEAD #2 is highly recommended! A laugh-out-loud comedy featuring protagonist Finlay Donovan, mom and novelist of romance/mystery turned hit-mom and partner in crime with her babysitter, Vero.

In this installment, someone wants Steven (Finlay's ex-husband) dead. Even though Finlay wished this sometimes (because he is a scum bag), he is the father of her children, and appears someone has a hit out on him; she has to make sure the children are not in his care.

Surprise, Surprise. SURPRISE! Many twists and turns and another jaw-dropper at the end, providing hope there will be a #3 and many more.

I am all "IN" for the long haul!

Keep them coming—what a wild cast of characters for murder and mayhem. A huge fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, I would not miss a book. So hopefully, Elle Cosimano can pull out many more to come. I am already a FAN.

Like the Stephanie Plum series narrated by Lorelei King, it is always a pre-order. The same here because Angela Dawe is a perfect voice for the Donovan cast. As long as these two are narrating, an auto pre-order and assured highly entertaining experience.

FINLAY DONOVAN KNOCKS 'EM DEAD is the perfect book to read to make you laugh out loud. I went in a bit blind, having not read the first book in the series. You can easily read this without reading the first one, but I wanted to make sure I had not missed anything. So about halfway through #2, I purchased #1 Finlay Donovan Is Killing It and am glad I did. Finished it quickly and went back to #2.

FUN, FUN, FUN! I believe I like #2 better than #1, even though both are five stars. I LOVE these characters and got to hand it to the author; she receives an award for pulling this comedy out in the middle of a pandemic. At the end of the book, I enjoyed her notes about how difficult it was to get this inspiration during such a lousy year. Some readers may not think about everything the authors go through when they sit in front of the computer to crank out these masterpieces. They are human and have crap to deal with too. So thank you, Elle Cosimano—BRAVO!

CHARACTER COMPARISON: I wanted to take a minute and provide my take on Finlay Donovan's characters compared to the Stephanie Plum series. I would love to hear your take. Both have a love triangle, mobsters, murder, family, humor, and rollicking adventures with hilarious scenes and characters.

I love Sylvia's character and constantly talking about the "hot cop" and the mom talking about Nick's biscuits (butt). Who knows, Finlay might need to plan a murder for hire to get Sylvia off her case. Both Plum and Donovan's moms of course want them to settle down with the hot cops and both moms like cooking and meddling. I also love Delia so much and her one-liners are priceless. Finlay's mom might be a closer match to Plum's Grandma Mazur's personality than Plum's mom.

Finlay Donovan | Stephanie Plum

Finlay | Stephanie

Vero | Lula

Georgia | Valeria

Nick | Joe Morelli

Julian | Ranger

Steven | Vinnie

Sylvia | Connie

Delia | Grandma Mazur

Parents | Parents

Theresa Hall (realtor) | Joyce Barnhardt (nemesis) or Grandma Bella

Zack | Bob (golden retriever) Sorry, Zack (no human for comparison here).

I like Lulu's (former hooker) love of food (chicken and donuts) and tight clothes and sass, whereby Vero is more dry, serious, and mysterious. I enjoy Finlay's crime/romance writing and the banters with her agent. I adore Grandma Mazur and the funeral homes, but Finlay has lots of action, and am pairing Grandma Mazur with Delia (love her sass and spunk). Both have steamy hot cops and side guys with fun sex, so I think they both are well rounded even though Stephanie is single and Finlay is a mom.

You can view my #AuthorElevatorSeries Interview with Janet Evanovich and the Plum anniversary edition here where we go behind the scenes. I am hoping I can snag an #AuthorElevatorSeries Interview with Elle, for the next installment! I would love to know the inspiration behind this highly entertaining series. If you are a fan of Janet's Stephanie Plum series, you are going to love this one.

I have the audio ARC of The Recovery Agent Janet's new Gabriella Rose series (Plum spin-off) coming (3/22/22) and am excited. I can see spin-offs and many more Finlay Donovan books to come.

THANK YOU. A very special thank you for this introduction into the Donovan world to #MinotaurBooks #StMartinsPress #NetGalley and #MacmillanAudio for a beautiful hardcover copy, an ARC e-book, and audiobook. I love all of them, and especially the audiobook narrated by Angela Dawe for an award-winning performance!


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pub Date: Feb 1, 2022

About the Author

Photo credit: Powell Woulfe Photography

Elle Cosimano is the Edgar-nominated and award-winning author of the acclaimed young adult novels Nearly Gone, Holding Smoke, The Suffering Tree, and Seasons of the Storm. Her debut novel for adults, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, kicked off a witty, fast-paced contemporary mystery series, which was featured as a People Magazine Pick and one of New York Public Library's Best Books of 2021. In addition to writing novels for teens and adults, her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and Time. Elle lives with her husband and two sons in Virginia. You can learn more about her at her website:







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