Friday, August 26, 2016

Review of "The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook Murder. Suspense. Sex. And some handy household tips," by Josie Brown

Review of

The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook Murder. Suspense. Sex. And some handy household tips, by Josie Brown

Five out of five stars

 This book is meant to be humorous, the main character is a female assassin (Donna) employed by Acme Industries, a CIA subcontractor whose purpose is to carry out the dirty tricks that Congress would not approve of. The story opens with her in a sexual situation with a Russian mafia boss where her task is to kill him and get away with it.
 As her target is undressing with obvious lust, she is thinking that she needs to complete the job fairly quickly, for she has to pick up her 10-year-old son and his friends when their baseball game is over. Her concern is that the other mothers will be furious if she does not fulfill her carpool obligations.
 This is the opening bit of information describing the environmental context that Donna must deal with. A collection of suburban women that are married, full of the status thing, critical of each other behind their backs and often trolling for each other’s husbands. The geographic location is Southern California.
 The plot is complicated, Donna’s husband Carl was supposedly killed while battling the Quorum, an international terrorist organization that is well organized and funded. It is something like SPECTRE in the James Bond movies, they are in it for the profits. When Carl vanishes, Donna is recruited as an agent for Acme and she proves to be a very efficient operative.
 When the Quorum is identified as trying to kill the candidates for the Republican nomination for president, the leader of Acme considers it so critical that he assigns another operative, a man named Jack, to pose as Donna’s husband and the father to her children. Jack has a reputation as a man good with the ladies, so he attracts a great deal of interest from the other women in the neighborhood.
 This is an offbeat and amusing story, the humor is based on the unusual premise of a harried single mother trying to balance her job with the obligations of motherhood. There is also a bizarre, yet significant three-way love and sex triangle involving Donna. While there is some explicit sex, it is an essential plot device that adds to the complexity of the story.
 Part romance and part thriller with some soap opera entanglements thrown in, this is a story that melds all the threads together into a wacky and comical series of events.

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