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VINE VOICEon 21 October 2008
Food columnist, Agnes Crandall is having a bad week. She has the wedding of the century to plan all while someone attempts to sabotage it; she has dog-nappers appearing in her kitchen; the threat of losing her house and a fiancé who is more interested in making money than in her. And then Shane, the hitman, appears through her bedroom window and Agnes realises her old problems were nothing compared to what's about to come.

This book is a deliciously chaotic but fun crime caper and really shows off Jennifer Crusie's humour and how well she and Bob Mayer work together.

Agnes, given the moniker of 'Cranky Agnes', is more feisty than cranky and she is funny and despite her issues, someone you want to be like. Although this isn't really a romance, her interactions with Shane (who himself is a gorgeous, complicated, man's man) are great and very sexy.

The body count in the book is high but the crime and murder isn't particularly gruesome (despite the book being full of mobsters and hitmen!) and is more fun and entertaining than anything. There is so much going on that you really are kept guessing and I wasn't sure exactly what was what until the very last chapter.

Overall, this is an entertaining and sexy romp of a read and certainly one that will have you turning the pages. Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer seem to be perfect writing pairing and I look forward to more of their collaborations in the future. Definitely recommended. 5 stars.
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VINE VOICEon 8 May 2008
Now this is more like it; back to the old Crusie sharp wit, fun, and comic chaos, unlike her first book with Mayer which was plodding and disjointed. This is much more like Welcome to Temptation and Fast Women.

One reviewer of "Agnes..." discribes it as "disjointed", but I think that may be because she listened to it on CD rather than read it. I wouldn't have thought that the book would lend itself to being listened to particularly well and would say that that would also apply to several of Crusie's books, not just this one.

Here we have "Cranky Agnes" a quick tempered, pan wielding food writer, who has just bought her childhood dream home Two Rivers from her best friend's mother Brenda, in conjunction with Agnes's fiance chef, Taylor. Her dream should now have come true, except that Taylor seems somewhat reluctant to move in with her as was the plan. Agnes, who really longs to settle down with the love of her life and cook big family meals, has not had much luck finding the "love of her life", as her past two boyfriends were too keen to sample other womens goods and were hit over the head with Agnes' frying pan for their pains. A reaction which led to Agnes having court appointed anger management counselling.

However, life is much better now; she has Taylor, the home of her dreams and her goddaughter's wedding to cater for the next Saturday, things should go swimmingly. Then add to the mix her friend Joey's mob connections; the fact that Brenda wants her house back and is willing to go to extremes to get it; her best friend and Brenda's daughter LL and mother of the bride, who hates her mother Brenda as she thinks that she killed her, LL's, father who has been missing for 25 years; a bestman with an annoying sense of humour; two young gun-wielding dognappers who are sent to dognap Agnes' bloodhound Rhett, by their swamp-rat, ex-mob grandfather Four wheels; an Irish handyman named Doyle; two lonely, noisy flamingos; a sealed up basement leading to a sealed up nuclear shelter, which in turn may lead to the corpse of Frankie and a missing five million dollars; a mob Don as wedding guest of honour; the bride and groom both getting cold feet at the last minute and a pink flamingo themed wedding and you have the wedding from hell.

Then last but far from least is Joey's nephew Shane, a government employed 'hit-man', who thanks to secrets kept by Joey, is not who he thinks he is; Carpenter his partner and cleaner-upper and Wilson their controller.

Fast, funny mayhem.
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on 13 July 2013
"Agnes and the Hitman - A Novel" by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

This is not the first time that this pair has attempted to co-author a novel. Their first novel together "Don't Look Down" left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth and I was tempted to pass "Agnes and the Hitman" by, but since I do so love the works of Jennifer Crusie I decided to give them another try; and I'm very happy that I did. This is a funny and sexy, mystery/contemporary romance novel, written in a way that brings to my mind the screw-ball comedy movies of the 1930`s, perhaps something along the lines of a Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn film.

There are two separate yet intertwined stories at play here, one that involves Agnes Crandall, the house she has bought with her fiancé, her penchant for hitting people with here cookware, their fledgling catering business, a wedding and her dog named Rhett. The second part of the story revolves around the "hitman" Shane, "no last name, just Shane" who is brought in by Agnes's pal Joey to watch out for her, an old Mob crime and the government. So many secrets and lies, so much feminine back stabbing and more secrets and lies, all mesh to make this one of the funniest and mysterious mysteries of this genre.

The book is one of the few that proves that collaboration between two authors can and do work out very well. I can't wait to see what other books this team comes up with.
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on 24 January 2011
I would want to know if this book was another winner. And I was not disappointed. You know every character inside out within five minutes of beginning the book. Cruisie has created yet another work of art in her own special mad-cap way, I mean pink flamingos and pink sand being delivered for a hienous wedding? Classic! You'll never look at a frying pan in the same way again, or for that matter, a barbeque fork! Don't miss this one.
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on 1 October 2015
I chose to read Agnes and the Hitman when our Book Club was a tie and we had the personal choice of two books. A good friend has told me how good Jennifer Crusie books are so this was my chance to find out for myself and I have to say I completely agree. This novel covered the space of a week - but, wow, what a week it was! A very difficult book to put down as there is always something beginning, something being tied up (or someone!) and you are ALWAYS bang in the middle of another crisis. Oh, how I laughed when one of the other club members reported missing her bus whilst having her nose stuck in this one ... which bit was she reading? Could have been any of it! The characters were priceless .. if you were in a battle you would want all of them on your side - except Brenda of course! But then, we've known a few Brenda's in our time, couldn't help but see a known face on her every time she cropped up. There was so much action and FUN in this book, I wish I could read it for the first time again highly entertaining, a most definite laugh-out-loud book (I did, several times). And whilst I'm happy for all of you to step in and take up the mantle of all the 'good' characters - I WANT TO BE AGNES!! An absolutely fabulous, gold-plated, sparkly five stars from me
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on 2 August 2008
I've loved Jennifer Crusie's novels since reading Crazy for You and I have been disappointed by the fact that she seems to have stopped writing her own novels.

I didn't enjoy Don't Look Down but Agnes and the Hitman was a real treat. Excellent writing and I could barely tell who wrote what - so it felt like a seamless read.

Totally back on form, this felt more like Welcome to Temptation and Faking It. Great fun and I recommend it unreservedly.
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on 13 September 2014
This author was recommended to me. I found her writting style a little 'different' at first but once i got use to it there was no stopping me. So how can i discribe this book?? Well..
The action is none stop from the very beginning, the book is full of action from start to finish, leaving u guessing whats going to happen next. Its a real page turner. Its also great to read from both agnes and shanes views. There is a love story, sex and deep conversations. And some very very funny laugh out loud moments.
Anges is great, completely nutty but great. You will love her from the start. Highly recommend.
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on 17 April 2013
I just love this book. The people are funny and the two main
characters are so likeable that you cannot help but love them.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 September 2007
She's known as food writer Cranky Agnes. Actually that's really a pretty fair description of heroine Agnes Crandall at and away from her typewriter. "Fair description" may be an inaccuracy because authors Cruise and Mayer can come up with the most outre portraits of the characters they create, all of which makes for fun, fast-paced reading. This is to say nothing of their plots that twist and turn entertaining readers with a spicy, amusing, romantic tale.

Agnes would very much like to have a children, so thinking maybe third times a charm, she's on fiancé no. 3. The pair have just bought a house from a mobster's widow, Brenda Fortunat0 who offers them three months payments in return for having a family wedding in the house (and what a group that is!).

Nonetheless while Agnes is planning the wedding, a dognapper appears on the scene trying to snatch Agnes's dog. Why? Because the canine was wearing an eye popping necklace in a newspaper photograph. Agnes, of course, believes the jewels are paste or worse. Then, her bedroom window is put to good use when Shane climbs in. He's there to protect Agnes, and couldn't be happieir about the assignment after he sees her. (The feeling is mutual).

Missing money, a dead body, a conniving Brenda, Fortunato relatives, and hitmen all combine to make Agnes's life not only iffy but a mess.

Voice performer Sandra Burr brings this comedic collection of characters to vibrant life. She's a gifted actress and director who not only grabs listeners but holds them captive until we hear the last line.

- Gail Cooke
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on 17 March 2008
I waited for this book and I will say that I listened to it on Audio. The problem that I had was that whenever a character would speak, you would have to hear it again, as if they were thinking about what they had just said, what they really felt. I found this very confusing going back and forth between what is said and what is thought.
I just couldn't get into this format. I hope this is that last time Ms.Crusie writes in this manner.
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