Agnes and the Hitman

Agnes and the Hitman - Jennifer Crusie, Bob Mayer Probably one of the better chick-lit stories I've read thus far. I usually don't like books that have so much going on with respect to events and drama that it makes your head spin, but this book was more endearing than I expected. For me, this book has so many elements that I like (and dislike on some terms) that I can't help but call it a guilty pleasure. A bit of humor, some great action, a little mystery, and a lot of romance give this book enough leverage to make me want to read it again. (Not to mention it's excellently read by Sandra Burr in the audiobook version.) The story revolves around Agnes Crandall, a gifted cook and culinary columnist who has a history with bad relationships, and a well-established anger problem. When an intruder tries to take her dog, she delivers a characteristic defense using a frying pan. I say characteristic because she has a history with frying pans and...well...cheating lovers.The intruder (accidentally) ends up dead, and not necessarily by Agnes's hand. What happens from there is a series of events that involve a former mob boss and his nephew, who happens to be a government issued hitman and his "cleaner" partner. Agnes thinks her problems are over, but when more people start coming not only to take her dog but to kill her, she's not very happy about it. (Understatement, lol)Not to mention Agnes has to deal with the witchy (with a capital "B") former owner of the house to prevent a swindle so elaborate that it involves people closer than she knows are possible. Granted, you have to suspend disbelief at the number of times she's actually able to get away with some of the things she does (then again, you also have to do it with some of the conflicts and cliches in this book - the character relationships and dynamic are something that helps carry these along better than most would).I loved the relationship between Agnes and Shane in this book - Shane actually has a bit more flesh than I thought a hitman would have in a story structured like this, and the characters are genuinely funny and easy to like, with a southern hospitality twist that makes it all the more interesting in its dysfunction.I think the collaboration of two different authors to create an environment like this was very well done, and the story comes across with a lot of spice and sweetness. I'd recommend it for those who like a little something more than the light romance read.Overall score: 4/5