Friday, November 16, 2007

A Book Worthy of KET

Title: Agnes and the Hitman
Authors: Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

An entertaining book with a horrendous amount of plot twists and complications. When I picked it up, I didn't know to expect gratuitous sex scenes, which was a bit annoying (yeah yeah, I know those are supposedly the good parts, but I don't generally read smut. Plus, when you pick up a book and aren't expecting that, it's irritating when suddenly you're reading a full-blown... - well, you get the idea). You'd think a librarian would remember that Crusie is more or less in that smut categorization, but no. I guess being an academic librarian has addled my brain.

So, Agnes is a woman with a temper and a penchant for hitting men on the head with frying pans (she's up to 3 or 4, but really, who's counting?). She's a cook, with a cooking column in the paper, so it just seems to happen that the frying pan is always a convenient weapon.

Then this kid shows up and tries to take her dog, gets bonked on the head with a frying pan, AND falls through the wall into a basement Agnes didn't know she had. And dies.

So Agnes seeks out Joey's help. Joey is ex-mob. He calls in his hitman nephew, Shane (a governmental hitman, of course), to protect his "little Agnes", because of course, Joey knows more than he's telling. Shane comes to her rescue, cue gratuitous sex scene (Agnes has an anger problem and her shrink told her to take it out in non-violent physical activity. Although I'm not convinced that scene really qualified as non-violent).

Also, there's the subplot of Agnes throwing a wedding on Saturday (the story takes place the week leading up to the wedding). Agnes just bought a house from Brenda (aka biggest bitch ever), who has this evil plan to get her house back by making Agnes default on payments. Brenda agreed to waive the first 3 months of payment if Agnes had Maria's wedding (Brenda's granddaughter) at the house. Of course, Brenda gets the house back if Agnes misses three payments - which she will have done if the wedding gets moved.

Oh yeah, and there's the subplot with Agnes' fiance, Taylor.

And that subplot with Shane's next hit.

Chaos ensues involving mafia, $5 million, a bomb shelter, flamingos, a pink wedding dress, multiple attempts on Agnes' life, a crooked government employee, other hitmen (or perhaps hitwomen), and way too much more to even begin to name.

My favorite character by far was Carpenter, Shane's cleaner. And by cleaner, I don't mean clothes or houses. Bodies. He's this huge hulk of a man who is ordained in some sort of out-there religion and is always making the most bizarre comments. He's nuts, he's sweet and unexpectedly caring for a cleaner, and he really makes the book.


posted by Kate at 8:08 AM


Blogger reyn said...

so far this morning I've learned that ket reads "smut" and having a fiance does not negate crazy semi-violent sex with other dudes.

I learn so much from you guys!

11/16/2007 12:06 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

I meant worthy of ket in a crazy plot twist can-hardly-keep-the-details-straight kind of way. She's always posting those.

I call it smut, however, others probably take offense at that term.

The fiance is actually already married, so really, he deserves it.

11/16/2007 12:11 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

A sweet and caring religious guru who's a carpenter and cleanses the stains of the dead? Sounds like Jesus to me.

We also have Joey and Maria, and Agnes means lamb of God. There's also an evil usurist. Are we sure we aren't missing something here? ; )

11/19/2007 8:41 PM  
Blogger ket said...

I just read this one; being so far behind with reviews, it's much more expedient to just say "ditto" to kat's review, except to clarify that Taylor's an ex-fiance by the time Agnes sleeps with Shane, and those were rather tame sex scenes. I mean, seriously, kat, do you really think they'd be all that bad with a former Green Beret as a co-author? Incidentally, based on his book cover picture, I'd never picture him as one...

And regarding elizabeth's odd religious interpretation, there's all kinds of mob family power struggles going on too, so, really, you could think of one or two of the characters as "godfather" type figures too. :-)

Also, I'm sure I read the previous book these authors collaborated on (Don't Look Down), but can't seem to find a review of it here. I'm just going to go on faith that I read it before this got started and not feel badly about it.

12/28/2007 7:37 PM  

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