Saturday, December 9, 2017

Book Review: The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook by Josie Brown

Humor, Suspense, and Sex Make Strange Bedfellows (Pun Intended)

The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook is the story of Donna Stone who is recruited by Acme, a front for the CIA, after her husband Carl is killed.  Now the career housewife and mother of three can go after her husband’s killers, a shadowy group of freelance assassins known as the Quorum.

I admit to being intrigued by the subtitle of this book:  “Murder.  Suspense.  Sex.  And some handy household tips.”  With a tagline like that, you can’t expect anything too serious, and it’s not.  The story starts well, with a farfetched scene involving Donna on a mission and some decent humor.  And it remains fast and light, being a tale you can finish in an afternoon or a couple of evenings.

But with the premise of homemaker turned assassin, I expected a focus on satire and humor, while the author went for suspense and sex.  Unfortunately, that’s a difficult task.  How do you make a mother who hands out housekeeping tips about killing, poisons, and cleaning up after a hit the protagonist of a suspenseful, romantic yarn?  In this case, the task proved a bit too steep, as the humor wanes, the mystery is fairly transparent, and the reader is left wondering what to make of the sex embedded in a satire.

So, overall, for a light and easy, afternoon read with a touch of humor, The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook will fit the bill.  Just don’t expect to become too engrossed in the suspense or the romance.

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