Agnes and her frying pan

Agnes and the Hitman - Bob Mayer, Jennifer Crusie

This was a reread. I have already read this book several times, and the pleasure of reading it doesn't fade. Every time, it's as wonderful as before. Here is my old review.

What I like the most about this novel are its characters. The protagonists - Agnes and Shane, the Hitman - yes, sure, but everyone else too. Even the smallest characters, who have only a few lines of dialog, are sharply defined, with their unique, unmistakable personalities. Not many writers can manage such a feat.

I wanted to include a few quotes here but I had trouble deciding: there are so many wonderful quotes in this book. So I'll include only one. It appears on the first page of the novel.

The heroine Agnes is a food columnist, and her select columns are incorporated into the novel as chapters epigraphs. Here is the first one, called "Pan Hunting."

Do not be seduced by those big-box come-ons, full of "complete sets" of extraneous cookware. A complete set is whatever you need, and maybe all you need is a wok and a hot place to grill your bacon. In a pinch, I can do it all with my good heavy nonstick frying pan. Besides the obvious braising, browning, and frying, I can make sauces and stir-fries in it, toast cheese sandwiches and silvered almonds, use the underside to pound cutlets, and in a pinch probably swing it to defend my honor. If I could find a man that versatile and dependable, I'd marry him. 

As you can guess, Agnes's heavy non-stick frying pan is an important prop in this book. It does even more than she says in her column.  


One of the best romance novels I've ever read, this book is hysterically funny and emotionally touching, as delicious as Agnes's cooking. It's guaranteed to lift your mood from whatever slump you're in. Read it, folks. You won't be sorry.