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I think I might have a new favorite Jennifer Cruise book. For Christmas, I bought my mom Agnes and the Hitman and it is laugh out loud hysterical. Ranks up there with Faking It and Bet Me. And, while I was reading it, my family was also watching Tangled and with the heroine in the movie and the heroine in the book both using frying pans as the weapon of choice was unbelieveable. I started cracking up for no reason other than the irony of the situation.

Agnes and the Hitman is a collaboration between Cruise and Bob Mayer, but there is no tension between the two. If I didn’t remember that is was a collaboration, I would say that Cruise wrote the whole book, simply because I don’t know Mayer’s writing style.

They bring Agnes, a cook who has many issues, including anger management and Shane, a hitman who can’t seem to close his latest hit. They come together rather explosively.

I completely relate to Agnes, who feeds everyone. Cooking is her therapy and she just keeps feeding all the people who keep showing up at her house, including a hitman, his partner, a handyman (who isn’t who is appears to be), a would-be dog-napper, and her best friend. She’s supposed to have a wedding and reception, except the house the falling apart around her ears. She’s fighting off the former homeowner, who wants the house back, and trying not the kill anyone else.And she’s up to her neck in a twenty-year-old mystery.

And Shane can’t seem to kill his latest hit, Casey Dean. Things keep going wrong and then his uncle Joey calls him back to Two Rivers to protect Agnes. Except, he thinks he should be protecting people from Agnes instead. Between the two of them, the wedding preparations, Brenda, tension between the bride and groom, and Agnes’s trusty frying pan, everything appears to be going to hell.

But, like every romantic comedy, everything does work out, mostly. There are a few loose ends that aren’t tied up nicely, but it is hinted that they wil be resolved. I laugh so hard, I cry and this is one book that is worth reading until two in the morning, even when I have to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to go to work.

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