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The Housewife Assassin's Handbook (Housewife Assassin Series, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Josie Brown
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,432 customer reviews)

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Shadow of a Doubt
Shadow of a Doubt
Following your heart is usually the right thing to do … unless you are part of an underground British spy agency. Devon inadvertently puts his beautiful girlfriend in danger and they wind up on the run. Learn more about the author, Tiffany Snow

Book Description

Murder, suspense, sex—and some handy household tips.

"Josie Brown writes with all the secrets, sex, money and scandal of an OK! Magazine cover…Truly entertaining reading." -- Jackie Collins

- Every desperate housewife wants an alias. Donna Stone has one…and it happens to be government-sanctioned. She earned it the hard way: her husband was killed the day she delivered her third child. To avenge his death, she leads a secret life – as an assassin. But espionage makes for strange bedfellows – and brings new meaning to that old adage, "Honey, I’m home…"

If you love funny mysteries with hard-boiled, sexy women sleuths, check out THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S HANDBOOK!

Books In This Series (10 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From the Inside Flap


    "Secrets, sex, money and scandal...Josie Brown is a skilled observer whose clever dialogue makes for truly entertaining reading." 
    --Jackie Collins

    "Brown takes a dark look at the fears of parenthood and family... Still, the message from the somber realities is one full of hope: love makes a family, commitment keeps it together."--Publishers Weekly

    "The writing is laced with venomous humor..."-The Wall Street Journal

    "A fine piece of literary work." -New York Post , Page Six

    "If you like Desperate Housewives, then you'll fly through this gossipy novel full of Wisteria Lane-esque characters living in a suburban jungle. Brown entertains up to the satisfying ending."

    "A funny, engaging, and often bittersweet tale..." --Cincinnati Public Library Spotlight Feature

    For more on Josie Brown's books, go to her website:

    From the Back Cover

    "This is a super sex and fun read that you shouldn't miss!" - Mary Jacobs, Bookhounds Reviews
    "It's a fast-paced read, and the gadgets are awesome...The perfect combination of mystery and humour." - Curled Up with a Good Book and a Cup of Tea
      "...The chemistry between Donna and Jack is enough to set water on fire... A healthy dose of humor and ridiculousness in a book that won't be put down - so go pick it up now!" - Cat's Thoughts
    If you love funny mysteries with espionage and action and adventure--not to mention hard-boiled women sleuths--check out THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK!
    THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK (Book 1) Every desperate housewife wants an alias. Donna Stone has one, and it happens to be government-sanctions. But espionage makes for strange bedfellows, and brings new meaning to the old adage, "Honey, I'm home..."
    On Donna's to-do list: First, exterminate a rogue operative out to assassinate the newly elected Russian President. Next: file for divorce!
    'Tis the season for mistletoe...and murder! There will be no peace on Earth if Donna doesn't find a shipping container filled with heat-seeking missiles!
    London. Paris. Guantanamo Bay. Donna Stone is looking for love -- and terrorists -- in all the wrong places. In this fourth full-length novel of The Housewife Assassin series, Donna Stone finds out that breaking up is hard to do. Then again, so is dating a terrorist, let alone eleven of them! Does this make Donna a serial dater, or a serial killer? Worse yet, an old flame gets in the way of Donna's chance for true love. But she doesn't cry...She gets even.
    An NSA scientist has disappeared with a deadly plague virus. Donna and Jack must find him before it is unleashed on Fantasy island. But first they'll have to deal with a nude sunbathing serial killer, a Lord of the Flies 'tween takeover, poison dart-throwing pygmies, and a hunt club with the most unusual prey. And you call this a vacation?
    Housewife Assassin Donna Stone's executive mission is crystal clear: stop the assassination of both US political parties' presidential candidates. When she discovers she has a long-term vendetta with one of the targets, can she put her animosity aside long enough to save the candidate's life?
    Lights, camera and non-stop action await Donna and Jack when they are hired as espionage consultants on a movie set. There will be plenty of close-ups, and too many close calls as they use the movie's many location shoots to track down crucial intel needed to take down the Quorum. But nothing--including a lascivious leading lady, deadly stunt doubles, or being on Interpol's Most Wanted list-will stand in their way.
    In this full-length prequel to the series, Acme Industries' black-ops agent, Jack Craig, is tasked with investigating the mysterious death of his organization's most prolific hit man, Carl Stone--only to fall in love the the dead man's wife, Donna--a woman he must never contact, but who may hold the key to her husband's disappearance. When Acme approaches Donna to join their organization as an assassin, Jack's undercover mission changes both their lives forever.
    THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S Killer App (Book 8)
    In order to flush out an internationally renowned hacker who is wreaking havoc with top secret documents inside the United States' Intelligence Community's secured database, housewife assassin Donna Stone infiltrates three very successful high tech corporations, including one with an operating system that contains artificial intelligence designed to meet your every need--even if it kills you; another with a CEO who plans to broker the country's intelligence secrets to the highest bidder, be it a terrorist or enemy state; and an interactive game start-up with an avatar on the deadliest mission of all: kill Donna. Can she save the world from terror--and at the same time protect her children from the painful knowledge of the father who deserted them?
    It's up to Donna Stone to save a hotel filled with international dignitaries from terrorists whose usual demands are million-dollar ransoms. But this time, the price is much higher, and much more personal, for the housewife assassin.
    Housewife assassin Donna Stone's green thumb--and for that matter, her trigger finger--is put to the test when it's discovered that genetically enhanced corn containing a deadly brain-eating virus has been released into America's food chain.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 4130 KB
    • Print Length: 290 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 194205209X
    • Publisher: Signal Press (May 13, 2011)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0050PJZLK
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,417 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    104 of 109 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Super Sexy and Fun Read May 25, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition

    Donna thinks her husband has a normal job that includes a LOT of travel but it affords her the life she has always dreamed of and then Carl is declared dead while she is at the hospital delivering her third child, she finds out exactly what his job entailed as an assassin. When the money runs out from his job, she finds out the strange truth about what Carl actually did and is drawn in a world of espionage and terrorists. I guess being a mother prepares you for coordinating attacks and being vicious and you can ask anyone who has ever been involved in the PTA. She is hired by Acme Industries as an operative to help counteract the activities of the Quorum and other slime.

    So when Donna's "husband" returns to her life, it turns out to be Jack, another Acme operative that wants to use her as a front. She tries to get to the bottom of exactly what happened to her husband. There are more twists and turns in this plot than Mulholland Drive and if you have been in the car with me, just as fast! Her partner in crime is now Jack but Donna can't exactly figure out which side he is on and every time she thinks she has the answer it is wrong. This is a super sexy and fun read that you shouldn't miss!

    How do I love this book, let me count the ways:

    1. A kick ass woman that can literally kick ass as well as cook and clean. Donna gives a whole new meaning to "taking out the trash".

    2. The book is set around Los Angeles, mostly in a gated community suspiciously like Coto de Caza, full of housewives that could be 'real" and for the setting alone, a big giant WIN!

    3. Super Sarcasm, snarky dialogue and making fun of all that is wrong in the OC, politics, as well as current world affairs.
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    100 of 108 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Even though it was free, I paid too much May 25, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Not funny, not romantic, and not a mystery, but if you want a ridiculous plot with lots of sex and violence, this is for you
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    50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Careful not to make this mom's hit list March 12, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    The Housewife Assassin's Handbook was a little pulpy, a little campy, and except for one WTH? plot twist, a thoroughly enjoyable read. Think Desperate Housewives with ninja skills and technical support.

    It seems that being a mommy and an assassin require similar talents, and it's okay if you can't see the connection--Donna Stone will walk you through it. She manages to juggle her carpool and dispatching international bad guys with a calm detachment...well, with the bad guys at least--if only she could draw on that cool when it comes to dealing with the mean mommies in her posh suburban neighborhood.

    What was bad? Well, there is a plot hole or two and the WTH plot twist. But I can get past that last...

    What was good? I love this idea--it is so unbelievable in it's ridiculousness that it is amazing. Brown doesn't dance around her story or her characters. There is no apologizing and no half-way in her characters or their actions; she just sells 'em big and over-the-top and it works.

    Great rainy day read!
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    116 of 132 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Charlotte October 8, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This book is a complete waste of time. Unbelievable plot, unbelievable characters, filthy language, graphic sexual descriptions. One review references 'Get Smart'. I would choose "Three Stooges"-without any laughter. One of the very few reads that I stopped because I would rather wash dishes.
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    43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Buckle Up! April 19, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This book will have you staying up past bedtime, sacrificing sleep to see what happens next. It's a fun, funny, sexy, thrill-ride of a read ... Desperate Housewives meet Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Yes, you should suspend your sense of disbelief, but you'll do it with a smile on your tired, sleep-deprived face.
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    65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like it October 22, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This book requires more than the average amount of suspended disbelief. The CIA hires the widow of a former agent to become a big-time assassin who only strikes during her children's school hours. It's an enormous stretch. The sex is more graphic than necessary, and the plot twists are pretty predictable. But if you go into it thinking more like "Get Smart" and less like "Mr. And Mrs. Smith," it's a fun read. Even though I didn't find the plot or characters particularly complex, I liked the quirky voice in which it was written.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Started out boring....didn't really get better July 7, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    The plotlines were very simple. It was easy to see exactly where the author was going with the story. There was no mystery, simply an excuse for sex scenes written without the use of a decent thesaurus. Lots of slang for body parts slamming together. Not a treat.
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    48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I think this is probably Satire. Or at least tongue in cheek. One part of me says hooray for taking all those cliches and making fun of them, giving a fresh twist with predictability. For playing with all that melodrama in the bedroom. The other part of me just groans. When I was finished, I did some research and found that Ms. Brown is widely accepted as a brilliant writer who, does from time to time, write Satire. If this is Satire, it's beautiful. I just wish I'd known it before I invested in my protagonists. Because protagonist One waffles and sleeps with more than one person (not necessarily bad, but the complete emotional swing kina throws ya). And then she wants to eliminate the other protagonist violently (who I happened to like). Wild uncharacteristic emotional swings mixed with making the main protagonist seem stupid just doesn't do it for me. It was hilarious in places though. And I like that the author's note says she had fun writing it. And she's done her research of suburbia and assassin-world. So part of me wanted to give it a four star rating. Funny. Sexy. Satire-y. The other half beat the star rating with a shoe because, even Satire needs a romance and characters you can count on.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
    This was a good storyline with some twists and turns that keeps you on the edge and not wanting to stop reading!!
    Published 3 days ago by Sandra
    4.0 out of 5 stars Full of surprises
    Lots of twist and turns, a good read, the story moves at a fast rate of speed, leaves you wanting more
    Published 4 days ago by Donica Drachenberg
    5.0 out of 5 stars all I have to say!
    I totally loved this book! I had a really hard time putting it down! I was enthralled the entire time! From the first page to the last! Awesome!!!
    Published 10 days ago by Katrina H
    5.0 out of 5 stars This is definitely a kick ass book.
    Thoroughly enjoyed this free book. I will definitely have to purchase the rest of the series. Very serious in some ways and very humorous in other ways. Read more
    Published 11 days ago by Florence Mayfield
    2.0 out of 5 stars Wished the author would have closed the bedroom door.
    It would have been an excellent book if the author left out the explicit sex, and toned down the description of bloody oozing brain matter. Read more
    Published 12 days ago by SewSewDesign
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Fabulous book! Hard to put down
    Published 13 days ago by Jen Collins
    2.0 out of 5 stars Assassin and Motherhood?
    Pretty unbelievable but the action kept coming.
    Published 14 days ago by jmcw
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Pretty good...the bits at the beginning of each chapter are a bit silly though.
    Published 15 days ago by nicholas tello
    4.0 out of 5 stars A Entertaining Read!
    This was my first time to read a book by Josie Brown. I thought it was entertaining and a easy read.
    Published 16 days ago by Ms.Vickie
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fast, flirtatious read!
    I usually like much longer and more complex books but I really enjoyed this. It was a fun and easy read. Read more
    Published 16 days ago by Laurel
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    More About the Author

    My novels are:
    - The Housewife Assassin's Handbook [Book 1; 2011, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing [Book 2; 2012, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Killer Christmas Tips [Book 3; 2012, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Relationship Survival Guide [Book 4; 2013, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Vacation to Die For [Book 5; August 2013, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Recipes for Disaster [Book 6; November 2013, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Hollywood Scream Play [Book 7: March 2014, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Deadly Dossier [Series Prequel; June 2014, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Killer App [Book 8; August 2014, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Hostage Hosting Tips [Book 9; November 2014, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Garden of Deadly Delights [Book 10; March 2015, Signal Press]
    - The Housewife Assassin's Tips for Weddings, Weapons, and Warfare (Book 11; July 2015; Signal Press]
    - The Candidate [Steamy Political Thriller; 2013 Signal Press]
    - Totlandia/Onesies, Book 1/Fall [2012, Signal Press]
    - Totlandia/Onesies, Book 2/Winter [2012, Signal Press]
    - Totlandia/Onesies, Book 3 / Spring [2013, Signal Press]
    - Totlandia/Onesies, Book 4 / Summer [2013, Signal Press]
    - Totlandia/Twosies, Book 5 / Fall [2015, Signal Press)
    - The Baby Planner [2011, Simon & Schuster]
    - True Hollywood Lies Series [2011 / 2005, Signal Press], including
    - Hollywood Hunk
    - Hollywood Whore
    - Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives [2010, Simon & Schuster] which was optioned by producer Jerry Bruckheimer as a dramatic series for television.

    Like most authors I know, I'm a voracious reader. My favorite classic authors are Edith Wharton, John le Carre, Martin Cruz Smith, Jane Austen, Graham Greene, P.D. Wodehouse, Margaret Mitchell, Glen David Gold, and Raymond Chandler.

    As for contemporary authors, I think that both Martin Cruz Smith and John Le Carre are two of the best writers alive, and I love the writing styles of Helen Fielding, Jackie Collins and Allison Pearson. I think John Lescroart and MJ Rose are amazing, both as authors and author advocates.

    I'm a cinephile (I see everything--chick flicks, action films, art house movies, almost every kind of foreign film) and I'm a walker and hiker--anywhere from four to eleven miles a day.

    Otherwise, I'M WRITING. Or researching for my next books....meeting the wonderful people who let me know that what I write resonates with them...or hanging out in my fave bookstores (which is any bookstore in any town I happen to be in, at the time).

    I've got a sweet romantic husband (who both cooks AND walks the dog, come rain, sleet or flood), and two great funny kids, a boy and a girl. Yeah, I know, I'm lucky, and I should count my blessings. (Believe me, I do!)

    I'm also the author of three non-fiction books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Finding Mr. Right [Alpha/Pearson]; Marriage Confidential: 102 Honest Answers to the Questions Every Husband Wants to Ask, and Every Wife Needs to Know [Signal Press]; and Last Night I Dreamt of Cosmopolatans: A Modern Girl's Dream Dictionary [St. Martin's Press]

    As a journalist, my celebrity interviews and relationships trends articles have been featured in Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, Redbook and Complete Woman magazines, as well as AOL, Yahoo,,, and

    You can connect with me here, or on:

    - Facebook Fan Page:
    - Twitter:


    The Baby Planner

    "Brown takes baby mania to its illogical, hysterical extreme in this bubbly romp....But what begins as a light foray into Bugaboo country turns into something bigger than a satire of status-obsessed Bay Area yummy mummies as Brown takes a dark look at the fears of parenthood and family, with Katie's heartbreaking longing for a child unveiling a disturbing reality about her marriage and family. Still, the message from the somber realities is one full of hope: love makes a family, commitment keeps it together." --Publishers Weekly

    Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

    "Josie Brown writes with all the secrets, sex, money and scandal of an OK Magazine cover. Truly entertaining reading."--Jackie Collins, Hollywood Wives

    "Josie Brown's writing is whip-smart as well as wickedly funny, and just as you are enjoying the ride she takes you on, she shatters your heart with her insight into modern lives." --Tatjana Soli, New York Times bestselling author and 2011 recipient of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction for The Lotus Eaters

    "Already touted as the perfect summer beach read, this character driven (sometimes steamy) book can best be described as the offspring of an affair between Desperate Housewives and a Jennifer Weiner novel....A quick look into the sometimes catty world of wealth where priorities get shifted, friendships get broken and marriages, like their mansions, get rearranged. It was light and fluffy (with some excellent dialogue.)..." --

    "I loved it! Josie Brown captures the highs and lows of love, lust and marriage with heartwrenching pathos. I'm recommending it to all my friends as the perfect beach read!" -- Lisa Rinna, acatress, and author of the novel Starlit

    True Hollywood Lies

    The tone is confessional, the writing laced with venomous humor..."
    --Wall Street Journal

    "Brown captures the humor of working for a megalomaniac...[A] well-paced, entertaining story..." --Publishers Weekly

    "A fine piece of literary work." --New York Post

    Impossibly Tongue-Tied

    "Brad, Angelina, Britney and Kevin may want to check out Josie Brown's new novel, Impossibly Tongue-Tied, for its ripped-from-the-headlines plot that mixes their scandals together..." - PAGE SIX, New York Post

    Josie lives in San Francisco, California, with Martin and our two children.

    Martin, my husband: THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO FINDING MR. RIGHT, and MARRIAGE CONFIDENTIAL: 102 HONEST Answers to the Questions Every Husband Wants to Ask, and Every Wife Needs to Know.


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    Love It
    Why, thank you, Cocoboo! Sorry I just saw your post now. I'm both honored and flattered at the comparison. And yes, the kids do add a whole different dimension to the series. I love the challenge of showing their emotional growth in each book. My warmest regards to you, and thanks for finding me... Read More
    Jun 21, 2014 by Josie Brown, author, the HOUSEWIFE... |  See all 3 posts
    Who's a better James Bond: Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, or Daniel Craig?
    I'd have to say as much as I loved all of the men who played Bond, I could never really get into the whole idea of James Bond. That is until Mr. Craig. I think they did a better job with his movies, but I think that had a lot to do with the writing there as well. I think that the writing with the... Read More
    Sep 3, 2013 by Amazon Customer |  See all 6 posts
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