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Publisher's Summary

Every desperate housewife wants an alias. Donna Stone has one - and it happens to be government-sanctioned.

But Donna earned it the hard way: Her husband was killed the day she delivered their third child.

To avenge her husband's murder, Donna leads a secret life as an assassin.

But espionage makes for strange bedfellows, and brings new meaning to that old adage, "Honey, I'm home...."

©2011 Josie Brown (P)2014 Josie Brown

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    251
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Performance

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
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    250
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Quick Quips and Sarcastic Humor

At some point in time, I remember seeing the cover of this book and it peaking my interest. I honestly don't remember where or when, but it's familiar. And the title struck a cord with me, The Housewife Assassin. It just sounds intriguing, no? That's why when I saw it on Audiobook Jukebox I just knew I had to give it a chance and at only about 6 hours long, it went by very quickly.

Donna Stone is a housewife and mother. She has three children, lives in a very exclusive gated community in southern California, manages the house and her kids very busy lives. Maybe not as well as some of the other Mommies in the carpool, but then again, they don't have to worry about clean up after torturing information out of an arms dealer and trying to make it on time to pick up the kids from after school. Yes, Donna is a covert agent for ACME, a government sanctioned agency that handles black ops. She became an agent after finding out that her husband was an agent and was killed while she was in the hospital giving birth to their third child. After a couple of months, his boss had to give her the bad news that his paychecks and benefits were going to stop. After she shot an attempted intruder, she was offered a job. That was 5 years earlier. Donna has now become quite the assassin with 40+ kills to her credit, each one a step in the direction of taking down the rogue group that killed her beloved husband and took away the father of her children.

Believe it or not, this was a light hearted, almost slapstick thriller. Were there tense moments and scintillating action? You bet. But it was told with quick quips and sarcastic humor and kept mostly PG-13. Think of movies like Killers, This Means War or even The Spy Next Door. There were some dark moments, especially towards the end, but overall I spent more time giggling than shocked or dismayed.

Melissa Moran did a great job bringing the characters to life. The tone and inflection were spot on. I especially loved the Stepford-esque quality she gave to the Perfect Housewife Advice at the beginning of most of the chapters. The had me snorting and cackling with the over the top tips and tricks to keeping your household running smoothly while eliminating your enemies.

Overall, this was quite an enjoyable read. There were enough twists to keep me interested, and some interesting 180's that I never saw coming. The story left me satisfied, but wanting more, so 4 stars.

55 of 57 people found this review helpful

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  • kim
  • Harrisburg, PA, United States
  • 12-04-14

Unique

Any additional comments?

Yes, I would recommend this story it may be hard to believe but this was a lighthearted story with some funny scenes and some slapstick thrown in for good measure. Don't get me wrong there were some very dark moments in the book which should be expected because of the subject matter but they do not detract from the story. The plot twist changes the story dramatically and leads right into the next book. As the story progressed I really became interested in what happened to Donna and her kids. I liked the music and helpful hints at the beginning of each chalpter. I enjoyed the narrator I think she added to the lightheartedness of the audio. I am eagerly awaiting the entire series on audible. Sorry for the briefness of this review but it was hard to write without including any spoilers.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Fun & frivolous

I don't usually listen to books in this genre but I enjoyed it.

The plot is predictable and silly but enjoyable and the characters are likable, especially Donna, even if they are stereotypical. The writing is witty but what really makes this a fun listen is the narrator (there were a few times I found myself snorting with laughter). I'll probably check out new books in the series as they come out.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Perfection! Enthusiastic 5-Stars

Josie Brown's accomplished skills as a writer are on display in this exciting suburban mystery. Strong central characters, compelling incident to launch the story, twists at every turn. There's humor, romance, and intrigue in this page-turning tale of a housewife-turned-assassin. While taking on the evil Quorum, Donna struggles to reconcile competing feelings of love for the man she lost and the man she found while also feeling motherly concern for the safety of her children. The whole town's involved in this delightful journey through pies, baseball, carpooling, and yes, assassins, moles, and terrorism. I will be reading/listening to every book that Josie Brown writes. Fabulous job by the narrator. Fabulous!

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Welsh
  • Columbia, SC United States
  • 10-26-14

Unique premise and excellent reader

Where does The Housewife Assassin's Handbook rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is quirky and unique - a housewife that pays the bills by being a secret assassin and protecting the country, all the while seeking justice.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Housewife Assassin's Handbook?

It would be a spoiler if I told exactly what, but when Donna finds out one piece of crucial information, it shakes up everything she has ever known and rocks her world to the core.

Which character – as performed by Melissa Moran – was your favorite?

Donna of course.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Protecting the world is the least of her worries.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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It's fun if you can handle the grown-up scenes.

It's fun little story that's like a Bond scenario in American suburbia with a touch of romance novel here and there. I didn't stay up late to finish it but I never walked away from it. That's a good thing in my world. Narrator was a little odd on the male voices but overall an enjoyable listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kelly
  • Olean, NY, United States
  • 03-16-15

Great listen

Nice and light. narrator was perfevt. storyline kept my interest. looking forward to the series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Cute premise,somewhat awkward presentation.

The premise is cute and holds up OK through the book. Presentation is awkward but there is enough"there there" as Willie Brown once said, to make it an enjoyable read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • United States
  • 06-26-17

Super!

suspense, satire, humor, assassins, widow, family-dynamics, action-adventure

What can a young widow with 3 children under 7 do to make money and (sort of) avenge her husband's murder? Become a government assassin. Crazy tongue-in-cheek series of adventures with each prefaced by a household tip. Gets a little hairy sometimes, but nice escapism.
The narrator performed quite well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable book. Funny, but rated X

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It's really funny but there are a few very explicit sexual parts that are really unneeded and take away from the lightness and enjoyability of the book.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The housewife/assasin puns or satire.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes

Was The Housewife Assassin's Handbook worth the listening time?

yes

Any additional comments?

Again, it's a really cute book but the explicit parts are not needed and actually take away from the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie
  • 09-04-17

Family life can be murder

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book and had to get it as an audiobook too.Donna is a stay at home single mum (well with an absent husband, she might as well be one) .......well that's what everybody thinks but Donna has a secret (- I would tell you but then she would probably have to kill me.) and when her boss places a new agent in her house to play the missing husband She has to play the roll of her life not only to convince the snobby mum's but also the children that daddy is home . All the while saving the world from terrorist and making sure her daughter's 1st daddy and daughter school dance goes off without a hitch. Simple right?<br/><br/>I just loved this book and hope the rest of the books in the series get added to Audible as I will definitely be buying them if and when they come out.

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  • Carien
  • 02-01-16

Betrayal times two

What an adventure. I wish real life was so exciting! Poor Donna has been betrayed so many times by the one she loved and still...
I liked the way Brown has approached this as a 'guide for good housewives' something out of Stepford or the 1950s. But then the twist of an assassin mother who juggles love, life, danger and her children.
The narrator was a perfect choice, sounding exactly like a 1950s tv ad for the perfect life.
It is a pity the rest of the series is not available on Audible.

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  • S. Pesante
  • 08-13-15

Fun adventure

Like the style and light enough to consume in one reading. The audio book was well presented and I really liked the commercials. Would like to read another by this author. My only complaint is that it was a bit pat and could use more tension but as a light read it was great.