#FridayReads 2022-11-04 – A Cute Cover Week -‘How To Kill Men And Get Away With It’, ‘Grave Reservations’ and ‘Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead’

I’m looking for light-hearted distraction this week so, naturally, I’m reading tales about murder and assassination dressed up in cartoon covers in bright non-threatening covers that say ‘Yeah, there’ll be blood and bodies but they’ll be male and the heroines will be female and cool or at least witty and there’ll be more smiles than splatter.’

One book is a debut novel by a British journalist. One is the start of a new series by an author best known for her Steampunk novels One is the second book in a series that I enjoyed last year.

I’m hoping it’s going to be a fun week, with lots of smiles.

‘How To Kill Men And Get Away With It’ by Katy Brent (2022)

I was sold on this book by the title and the cover before I even read the publisher’s summary. This is wish-fulfilment writ large. In the UK, it’s the men who do the killing and the women who do the dying. Here are the figures for 2020 generated by the Femicide Census:

I don’t know how dark this book will be but my going in position is to remind myself of the words of the Los Angeles gangster, Mickey Cohen: “I never killed a guy who didn’t deserve it.” and figure that our heroine probably has a lot of men to choose from who meet that criterion.

‘Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest (2021)

“Grave Reservations’ called to me because I think the pitch is cheeky and brave. Imagine you’re an established author, with a fan-base that loves your Steampunk novels, and you want to try something different, so you go to your agent and say: ‘So there’s this (erratically) psychic travel agent, who saves the life of a Seattle PD Detective and he pulls her into his investigations and she goes along because of a case in her past that she needs closure on. It will be funny and have a romantic but hapless B plot romance, and there will be sequels.’ I think the book deserves to be read just for the author having the chops to sell the idea to the publisher.

‘Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead’ by Elle Cosimano (2022)

I read the first book in this series, ‘Finlay Donovan Is Killing It’, back in April and was pleasantly surprised to find that this was a clever, cunningly constructed book, camouflaged by a light, zany, ChickLit veneer. The plot was smarter than the main character. The threats and the violence were real. The writing succeeded at being light without being fluffy or bland.

So, I’m back for a second helping. I’m expecting Finlay to get herself into a mess that it seems impossible for her to get out of and then, with the help of her friends and a modicum of luck, pull off a chaotic last-minute escape.

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