|Title: Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman
Author: J. B. Lynn
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: Julia
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
Maggie Lee is not your average hitwoman. For one thing, she’s never killed anyone. For another, after hitting her head in the car accident that killed her sister, her new best friend is a talking lizard—a picky eater, obsessed with Wheel of Fortune, that only Maggie can hear.
Maggie, who can barely take care of herself, is desperate to help her injured and orphaned niece get the best medical care possible, so she reluctantly accepts a mobster’s lucrative job offer: major cash to kill his monstrous son-in-law.
Paired with Patrick Mulligan, a charming murder mentor (who happens to moonlight as a police detective), Maggie stumbles down her new career path, contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, a semi-psychic friend predicting her doom, and a day job she hates. Oh, and let’s not forget about Paul Kowalski, the sexy beat cop who could throw her ass in jail if he finds out what she’s up to.
Training has never been so complicated! And, this time, Maggie has to get the job done. Because if she doesn’t . . . she’s the mob’s next target.
Evoking shades of Wonderfalls and Stephanie Plum, CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN could just as easily been titled “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”. This book bears more resemblance to a wacky, caper of a contemporary romance than urban fantasy, but the addition of talking animals gives it one foot in the paranormal camp… or perhaps, as the main character worries, the mental hospital.
Maggie Lee is the responsible sister in a family with more than its fair share of characters and ne’er-do-wells, and it was no surprise when her overdeveloped sense of responsibility lands Maggie in the world of contract killing. And oh what a world it is. The “professional” parts of Maggie’s life were what required the largest suspension of disbelief on my part, but ultimately it was worth the effort. The circumstances that set this plot hurtling forward are the crucible in which Maggie is fired… and cracked. Her careful veneer of distance and control starts to slip as soon as she wakes up from a car accident and hears Alan Rickman’s voice emerge from her niece’s anole, but hearing animals talk turns out to be the least of her problems. I liked the risks the author took with Maggie and her earnest, bigamist partner, and these two get the most development amongst the many zany characters that Lynn introduces. While I found Patrick relatable, I’m not sure I can really root for a relationship when he has two wives already. Paul’s attractions are skin deep, and his interest in Maggie’s father’s hidden loot an obvious gambit for a future book. These are just two of the many plots and characters left hanging in CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN, and while I can’t say I’m burning to continue the series, this introduction certainly piqued my interest.
While all the slapstick and over the top action didn’t quite make up for characters that were more quirks than depth, I was very entertained by Maggie’s transformation from a tense, controlled ball of anger to a slightly less tense professional killer. Funny, wacky, and violent, CONFESSION OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN was an entertaining way to spend an afternoon. The road ahead doesn’t look smooth for Maggie and her partners in crime, but it will certainly be interesting.