From the moment Finlay Donovan sat down at that Panera Bread table in Finlay Donovan is Killing It, crime fiction fans knew she was a character who would be having many more on-page adventures. After the madcap escapades of Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘em Dead, Finlay and her best friend/nanny/partner-in-crime Vero found themselves in a quandary that perfectly sets up the action of Elle Cosimano’s new novel, Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun.

Elle Cosimano makes the wise decision to allow this third entry in the series to tie up some loose ends, while also putting into play enough drama to carry the series forward for several more novels. In many ways, Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun is the “lightest” of the books so far, if one can reconcile light with the accumulation of dead bodies, a partnership with a convict, and yet another cliffhanger ending leaving readers worried for a beloved character’s safety and anxious for the next book in the series.

Due to her actions trying to save her ex-husband’s life, Finlay owes a debt to Feliks Zhirov, a Russian mobster still plying his trade from behind prison bars. Feliks has instructed Finlay to uncover the identity of another contract killer (Codename: EasyClean) before the authorities are able to piece together the truth. All evidence is pointing to EasyClean being a police officer and this once again gives Finlay the chance to check two things off her ever-growing to-do list.

While struggling with the plot of her latest novel, Finlay believes attending the citizen’s police academy will give her some much-needed insight into life behind the badge, allowing her to bring more honesty and realism to her writing. By roping Vero into attending as well, the two of them can tag-team a covert investigation into the members of the police force, thereby uncovering the secret identity of EasyClean. As fans of the series reading that sentence will know, this really means bumbling along in a series of precarious incidents populated with hilarious antics that might lead to the accidental discovery of a few pertinent facts. But only if these two unlikely cohorts can stay alive long enough.

Complicating matters is the presence of both Finlay’s sort of/maybe boyfriend, Nick—a cop running the citizen’s police academy—and the nosy and observant Georgia—Finlay’s police officer sister. Getting anything past these two is challenging under the best case scenario, which this week of strenuous training is anything but.

The shenanigans of our pair of would-be investigators dominates the plot of Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun, providing readers with countless laugh-out-loud moments. Almost as much fun as watching these two get into trouble is the amazing and clever ways they manage to get out of their messes. In the midst of it all, Elle Cosimano allows time for some very tender and meaningful moments between lovebirds Finlay and Nick, something readers of the series have been longing for.

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun clocks in at just about 300 pages, so the storyline is streamlined and focused here. There is a subplot involving Vero and her cousin, but the main focus is on wrapping up this EasyClean storyline. There is no doubt that the Finlay books are more linked than many crime series novels, meaning that reading them in order is definitely preferable for the best experience, but given how much fun it is to spend time with Finlay and the gang, this is hardly a chore.  

BUY LINKS: Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano

Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No promotion was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.