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    Review of AGNES AND THE HITMAN by Jennifer Cruise and Bob Mayer

    St. Martin's Press, August 2007

    Agnes Crandall is going to host her best friend's daughter's wedding, she's going to renovate the fabulous antebellum mansion she recently bought, and she's going to make a perfect life with her fiance, Taylor. That the bride's grandmothers seem intent on sabotaging the wedding is a problem, but nothing she can't fix. A bit harder to handle is the teenager who pulls a gun on her. Well, not so much the kid with the gun but the consequences of Agnes beating him with a frying pan and sending him down into a basement she hadn't known existed.

    Government hitman Shane Smith kills for Uncle Sam. But when his uncle calls, asking for help dealing with Agnes and her problems, Shane feels the underpinnings being pulled from his life. What seems really weird, though, is that his job, the job he messed up when his uncle had called him in the middle of a hit, seems completely connected to whatever crazy things are going on around Agnes. Well, that and the fact that Agnes shakes him to his normally calm soul.

    As Agnes uses food and cooking in an effort to assemble a family around her--a family she never had as a child, Shane kills Mafia hitmen who are gunning for Agnes, helps with the air conditioning, picks up killers and wedding cake ingredients on his trips into town.

    Authors Jennifer Cruise (see more BooksForABuck.comr reviews of novels by Cruise) and Bob Mayer (see more reviews of novels by Mayer) really let things go wild in a funny romantic adventure. Agnes, with her history of frying pan assaults, makes a charmingly different heroine. And we can't help liking Shane despite his profession since his uncle and his friend Carpenter seem to like him and Shane does help out with the air conditioning and prevents Agnes from killing her ex-fiance. AGNES AND THE HITMAN is has its thoughtful moments, but it's mostly pure silliness.

    The badguys are way over the top, the situations are completely wacky, but Cruise and Mayer make it work, creating a fun read that's hard to put down.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 9/23/07

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