The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Agnes and the Hitman, by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

One of the first things I did when sitting down to write this review was to visit Amazon.com and see if Crusie and Mayer have another book in the works. Great news: they do, to be issued next year! Now, do you really have to ask if I liked this one, their second effort together?

I’ve already reviewed their first collaboration, Don’t Look Down, which I really liked. But that book felt to me like they were trading chapters or segments of chapters instead of writing the book together. Agnes and the Hitman, on the other hand, reads like it was written by two people sitting side-by-side at the same computer. On her own, Crusie writes highly irreverent and hysterically funny romance novels with a mystery or problem-solving element that keeps slamming the two protagonists together in spite of themselves. Bob Mayer writes thrillers and adventure novels. And together, they are an inspired partnership in which Mayer’s fast pacing and aura of imminent danger and pacing adds urgency and heat to Crusie’s hilarious, passionate, and initially reluctant lovers.

So, what’s this book about, anyway? Agnes Crandall is a struggling chef and caterer who has staked her entire reputation and net worth on pulling off a wedding that the mother-of-the-bride seems intent on sabotaging. Enter the Mafia-equivalents and Shane, the hitman. While trying to sort the various heroes and villains from among her friends, acquaintances, and business associates, Agnes falls for Shane, Shane falls for Agnes, an alleged $5 million fortune may or may not be in the basement, the wedding is imperiled, a bridge gives out, and someone tries to kidnap Agnes’s dog, Rhett. And that’s just the outline. Sample passage: “…being shot at by a strange man shortly after having angry sex, shortly after having tried to kill your fiance, shortly after having a dognapper point a gun at you was a bad night for anybody, even a woman as tough as Agnes.” Read this book — you’ll love it.

About Rhett: the purpose of this blog is to steer people away from books in which horrible things happen to animals and towards books in which animals are treated well. So, spoilerish though it may be to say so under normal circumstances, I must say that Rhett comes to no harm. He’s fine. The kidnapper says on page 6, “I wouldn’t kill no dog,” and he doesn’t. Rhett does have some interesting little adventures, but he mostly sleeps. In other words, he’s a dog. There are also flamingoes, which go bonkers when isolated from their kind. Flocking birds need to be in a flock. Rest assured that any flamingo isolation is temporary, however. There’s also an alligator, briefly. I am happily declaring this book SAFE for animal lovers. Enjoy!

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September 17, 2009 - Posted by | beach book, birds, Book Reviews, dogs | , , , , ,

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