What would happen if you crossed Lawrence Block’s John Keller with quintessential Jersey Girl Stephanie Plum? Probably a hitwoman who’ll probably take out a victim by accident than on purpose, one with a family straight out of Jerry Springer. In other words, you'd get Maggie May Lee…
The last thing Maggie Lee remembered was playing with her three-year-old niece, Katie. When she woke up in the hospital, her sister and brother-in-law were dead and little Katie was in a very expensive coma, for which treatment would to cost a mint. A mint was out of reach for Maggie, who worked in an insurance agency call center.
Lucky for Maggie, opportunity knocked: the little boy in the room next to Katie had a mobster Grandpa, who made our Maggie an offer she couldn’t refuse: bump off the kid’s father, the guy who ‘d put him in the hospital, and collect $100K – tax-free. That’s how Margaret May Lee found herself a reluctant – and neurotic – hitwoman: these are Maggie’s confessions.
With more dysfunctional family members than the most comedic chick-lit, JB Lynn’s Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman careens pike hauling Maggie’s three and a gabby brown lizard who claims his name’s Godzilla, though he prefers “God.” Her family’s dysfunction extends to Maggie’s parents, both locked up – Dad’s in jail after a bank robbery ended in murder; Mom’s locked up so the guys with butterfly nets don’t have to hunt for her. It’s no wonder the heroine is a bit worried when she discovers she’s talking to God… That her BFF is a psychic who calls herself Armani does not simplify matters.
The second novel out of New Jerseyite Lynn, Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman is paced fast and hit all the usual stops on the quasi-romantic quasi-comedic mystery-thriller ride. Everything you expect is on hand, including the obligatory good boy-Maggie-bad boy love triangle, the crappy self-image, the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, the ethereal best friend, and the wacky relatives. It’s still a fun little read, though its shelf life will probably be brief: a second installment was published within a few months (Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman). The series doesn’t look like it has the legs to go more than three or four – regardless of Maggie Lee’s “killer legs.”