Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer


Source: purchased for Kindle.

Genre: contemporary romance/mystery.

My rating:

Agnes and the Hitman is the third Jennifer Crusie novel I read (though it’s co-written with Bob Mayer), after I loved Bet Me and enjoyed Charlie All Night. Agnes and the Hitman was the best of three, even if it was completely different.

Agnes is a chef, hot-headed and fed up with being treated like a fool by the men she knows. She’s angry and violent (she’s handy with her cast iron skillet) and in no way your typical romantic heroine. I loved her, she was everything that I wanted in a romance heroine but didn’t know how to express. It’s rare for me to fall so completely for a female character, especially in romance, I always have some complaints about gender issues and whatnot. If I had to make a comparison, Agnes is like an angrier, Southern version of Stephanie Plum (who is one of my all-time favorite fictional people in case you didn’t know).

Shane (no surname), her love interest, is a hitman (the body count of AatH is unusually high for a romance, that’s true). He’s the guy who takes care of things for you, and he’s on a mission. So why he ends up living with Agnes, saving her life, and repairing her house, is a mystery. I was afraid he’d end up being one of those one-dimensional macho-types, and while he was certainly macho (look, it’s not really something I like, either, but stay with me), he was a complex love interest with separate motives and experience, so I really liked him, too.

I mentioned Stephanie Plum – and I think Janet Evanovich’s entire series is a great comparative title for Agnes and the Hitman. The supporting characters are over the top, hilarious, and ridiculous, there’s a flamingo wedding, a secret basement, and a mob war. So be prepared for some seriously high-level twists and turns. It was one of those reads that I couldn’t put down because the plot just pulled me in and refused to let go. I also snort-laughed a lot and debated making my husband read it (I didn’t, in the end, he’s not much of a romance reader).

I’ll be re-reading this one for sure, it’s a fabulous pick-me-up when a fluffy romance just doesn’t cut it and you need something with a bit of a bite.

Have you read Agnes and the Hitman? What did you think?

Do you have any other romance recs with unconventional heroines for me?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • You know, I totally hadn’t thought about how there were similarities to Stephanie Plum until you mentioned it in your review but you’re right! They are kind of similar. Agnes has a similar attitude to Stephanie and whilst she does have more anger issues than Stephanie did she is the same kind of character. And Shane and his macho personality kind of worked for me. Only because he wasn’t one dimensional, though. This entire book just kind of made me hungry as well.

    • I may have noticed the similarities with Stephanie Plum because I read this one and SP #14 (omg) quite close together, so it stood out more. And yeah, Agnes had more anger issues, which I found so refreshing. :) I’ll slowly chip at Crusie’s backlist, thanks for introducing her to me! ;)

      • You’re welcome! I like to make sure authors get the love they deserve and really with Crusie you’ve got a long backlist to work through so you’re bound to find a few you enjoy.

  • I fucking love Agnes, so much! She is one of my favorite characters. I just love how angry she is but she has a big heart. This is one of my favorite books, can you convince Nick to read it cause she doesn’t listen to me :)

    • YESS! Agnes was fantastic. She’s a perfect example of a hard-to-love heroine that I fell for completely. I told Nick to read it. Maybe she’ll listen to us. :)

  • Yay! I loved this one too, it was just so zany and fun. Who doesn’t love an angry heroine who’s handy with a frying pan both inside and out of the kitchen? I think you’re right that Agnes is sort of like Stephanie Plum, but she’s a bit more competent and has better taste in men, LOL. Shane has a weird sort of charm that I can’t really explain, but it worked for me too!

    Have you read the other Crusie and Mayer collaborations? I wonder how they compare to this one.

    • Eh, I quite like Ranger for Stephanie. :) How many of the Plum books have you read? I read #14 a couple of months ago. I buy one every six months or so, to cheer myself up.

      And no, I haven’t read any other books that they wrote together. I didn’t even notice there were 2 authors before I started writing the review.