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Agnes and the Hitman Hardcover – August 21, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Crusie and Mayer (Don't Look Down) reunite to pen this mostly successful romantic comedy with a hint of action-adventure. Agnes Crandall is a feisty food writer and cookbook author on her third fiancé, Taylor Beaufort. Though their future looks bright, their romance is curdling, partly due to their deal with widowed mob wife Brenda Fortunato (who is selling them her old house) to hold a Fortunato family wedding at their house in exchange for three months of payments. After an armed thug tries to kidnap Agnes's dog, who appeared in the local paper wearing a gaudy necklace that Agnes believes (incorrectly) to be junk, a Fortunato family friend (and mobster) asks hit man Shane to keep an eye on Agnes. (He does more, of course, than keep an eye on her.) Brenda, meanwhile, may be trying to screw Agnes out of the house, and then there's the matter of a body and $5 million possibly hidden in thebasement. Crusie and Mayer have crafted a bubbly novel with enough convenient coincidences, caricatured characters and ridiculous situations to make screenwriters of goofball date movies proud; amusing banter and surprising moments of poignancy keep the mushrooming plot barely in check. (Aug.)
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*Starred Review* Food writer Agnes Crandall knows how to use a frying pan to create delicious meals and to deal with difficult men. It's that second skill that gets her into trouble. When a masked intruder tries to take her bloodhound Rhett, Agnes whacks him with a frying pan full of hot raspberry sauce. The teenage dognapper ends up dead; but before the police arrive, Shane, the nephew of an old family friend, turns up at Two Rivers, the faded southern mansion Agnes calls home, to offer his professional services. Shane quickly discovers that while Agnes certainly seems capable of taking care of herself, she could use a little help dealing with a two-timing fiancé, a local crime family determined to kidnap Rhett, and a long-lost fortune. A southern, Mob-flavored, flamingo-motif wedding provides the richly comic setting for the second literary collaboration between the highly entertaining team of Crusie and Mayer. Generously seasoned with an acerbic wit and graced with a wonderfully original pair of protagonists and a wickedly amusing cast of secondary characters, Agnes and the Hitman is fabulous fun. Charles, John
Top customer reviews
Someone wants Agnes dead so her Uncle Joey sends hitman Shane to protect her. Joey and other locals used to be or still are mob related. A romance develops between Agnes and Shane.
I was unhappy with lack of explanations. At the end all of a sudden we hear that one bad guy is in jail, another bad guy left town but we don’t know what happened to him, and money was found and split among so and so. There were no explanations or evidence of things. See example in Spoiler. Also I did not understand things between the hitman and his boss.
Brenda stabs someone. Agnes appears and the victim grabs her clothes before he dies. The cop arrives and believes Agnes killed him so he puts Agnes in jail. At the end Brenda is put in jail but there was no logic or evidence for the cop to put Brenda in jail instead of Agnes. Sure Brenda physically assaulted two people later, but that didn’t prove she killed the earlier guy.
I was also bothered about the money. It was missing for many years. All of a sudden it is split among people at the end. The guy who had it or knew where it was never spent it over the past many years. Why didn’t he spend it? Where was it and why did he share it with various people at the end?
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 419 pages. Swearing language: strong including religious swear words, but not often used. Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: three plus two references with no details. Setting: current day South Carolina and Georgia. Copyright: 2007. Genre: contemporary romance.
Meet Agnes, she's a cook, a caterer, advice columnist, and oh yes has a slight temper problem. Fortunately her boyfriend is a hitman and has connections to hide the bodies. It's a very funny dark comedy with an interesting and convoluted plot. Seems someone is trying to kill her and she does not know why. Her "uncle" is an old mob boss that sends his number man to keep her safe. As the action heats up so does their relationship. Topping this is Agnes trying to host her friend's wedding at her new house, a old antebellum home that, the bride's mother-in-law is trying to swindle her out of. If that's not enough, she learns there's a hidden bomb shelter under the house that may contain 5m in stolen money. Now her house is filled with two hitmen, a dog napper, two old mobsters, a mob princess, a detective his bumbling deputy, and the wedding party. What can possibly go wrong?
This is the first time I read a book by this author, but I liked it, it was fast reading, and I couldn't put this book down until I had
I love the fact that the two main characters are not your typical hero and heroine.
I love the way that the setting is very much an integral part of the novel.
I love the weight that co-author Bob Mayer, a Green Beret himself, brings to the male lead.
I love Crusie & Mayer's deft foreshadowing and the effortless read.
I love the way abandonment and leavetaking are woven into the romance between Shane and Agnes.
I love the backstory of the characters, including that of the secondary characters.
I love the drama, the female insecurities, the masterful description, the poetic totality of the story that for me, packs a knockout punch.
This is, hands-down, my favorite romance novel of all time.
If you are looking for a romantic comedy with dark overtones, look no further.
If you need your hero or heroine to be icons of purity, charity, or niceness, keep looking.
This novel takes two deeply wounded people, throws them together in the pressure cooker of the last week before a big wedding, and mixes in fatal accidents, murder, murder that purports to be accidental, and thievery on an unexpected scale, considering the quiet locale. Add a touch of mental imbalance and the"bless her heart" cattiness of the deep south, and you have a masterpiece of slightly sinister romantic comedy.