Pinterest Hidden Image

Laugh your way through the escapades of the beloved single mom turned hitman with the Finlay Donovan Is Killing It series. There are five books in the series by Elle Cosimano, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, International Thriller Award winner, Bram Stoker Award finalist, and Edgar Award nominee, and two more to come.

You’ll learn everything you need to know about the fast-paced and lighthearted crime series to improve your reading experience here. Keep reading to unravel these mysteries.

Finley Donovan is killing it books by Elle cosimano on a bookshelf.

Finlay Donovan is Killing It Series in Order

Below is the publication and reading order of books in the Finlay Donovan series of popular books, most of which are novels, except for one optional short story.

  1. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It (2021)
  2. Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead (2022)
  3. Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun (2023)
  4. Veronica Ruiz Breaks the Bank (a short story; 2023)
  5. Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice (2024)
  6. Finlay Donovan Digs Her Own Grave (March 4, 2025)
  7. Untitled 2026 novel
  8. Untitled 2027 novel

Quick Reading Tips

  • These books should definitely be read in the order in which they were published. They follow a storyline in which each book picks up where the last one left off, and they recap prior events that will be spoiled for you otherwise.
  • The Finlay Donovan books are light, escapist books that are funny, smart, intriguing, suspenseful, and even romantic! They would also make for indulgent beach reads.
  • The Finlay Donovan series works well both in print and on audio. I personally prefer the audiobook versions, as the narration is very entertaining.
  • Veronica Ruiz Breaks the Bank is an optional short story on Amazon that dives into the background of Finlay’s sidekick, Vero. I loved it, so I definitely recommend reading it.

Finlay Donovan Series: Book Summaries and Reviews

@theliterarylifestyle Finlay Donovan is Killing It Aesthetic 🔪 #finlaydonovaniskillingit #finlaydonovan #ellecosimano #bookaesthetic #bookaesthetics #booktok ♬ Kill Bill – SZA

Below are quick summaries and reviews of the Finlay Donovan series of books. I have tried my best to keep them simple and not include any spoilers, but since this book series follows a chronological storyline, there are necessarily some spoilers.

Finlay Donovan is Killing It (Novel 1 of 5; 2021)

  • One of New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2021
  • An American Booksellers Association bestseller
  • Praised in Country Living, Parade, Bustle, Goodreads, and many more

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It begins in a Panera Bread. A tired and frantic, recently divorced single mother of two and down-on-her-luck writer, Finlay, is discussing the plot of her next murder mystery with her agent.

Fun Fact: This is something that actually happened in the author’s life and inspired the novel!

A woman who overhears the conversation mistakes her for a contract killer and offers her payment in exchange for murdering her evil husband.

Struggling to make ends meet on her own, Finlay becomes intrigued by the offer. But, when she meets the woman’s husband in real life, she becomes entangled in a murder mystery that’s bigger than she ever expected.

An investigation with ties to the Russian mob follows as Finlay attempts to discover and develop her new self, alongside a cast of characters including her nanny and partner-in-crime, Vero Ruiz, her ex-husband and his new fiance, and two new men of interest — a law student/bartender and a detective involved in the investigation.

I don’t know why I waited so long to read the Finlay Donovan Is Killing It series of books! Once I started this book, I couldn’t stop.

You do have to suspend some logical belief when reading these books. Finlay seems to just always happen to find herself in the middle of the action, find the right clue at the right time, be told top secrets, etc. But, that’s also what makes the series so entertaining!

Elle Cosimano succeeds at making Finlay really likable in a situation that potentially could have made her an unlikeable protagonist. It’s hard not to root for Finlay, her friendship with Vero, and the men who vie for her heart.

This book also ends on a cliffhanger to keep you interested in reading more!


Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead (Novel 2 of 5; 2022)

  • USA Today bestseller
  • Praised in Bustle, Business Insider, Goodreads, POPSUGAR, and many more

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead picks up as Finlay investigates a potential hit on her ex-husband. As she tries to uncover what woman wants him dead and tries to keep him and her children alive, the Russian mob returns.

It’s a solid follow-up — a suspense-filled story that, once again, involves a bit of romance as Finlay continues to come into her own.


Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun (Novel 3 of 5; 2023)

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun sets the bar high for Finlay, as she’s indebted to the Russian mob, and she must find her ex-husband’s contract killer before the cops do.

So, she and Vero spend time with Finlay’s favorite cop, Nick, in a citizen’s police academy, where they learn the tricks of the trade and act under the perfect cover-up.

Meanwhile, Finlay continues to confront Vero’s past and juggle her love life, work life, and parenting life.

You’ll love Finlay and Nick in this one!


Veronica Ruiz Breaks the Bank (Short Story 1 of 1; 2023)

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Veronica Ruiz Breaks the Bank is a quick tale that explores the backstory of Finlay Donovan’s trusted sidekick, Vero.

After Vero was falsely accused of stealing from her sorority, she escaped to her cousin Ramon’s to start a new life. There, she takes a janitorial job at a bank, where she overhears her boss and a security guard discussing a thief. She sees the investigation as the perfect opportunity to score a promotion. In the process, she also meets Finlay.

It’s by no means a full origin story, but it’s a fun peek into how Vero left college and became intrigued by crime and investigations, told from her own perspective. The biggest fans of the series won’t want to miss it.


Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice (Novel 4 of 5; 2024)

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Finlay and Vero head to Atlantic City, where their “getaway” acts as a cover for a deal with a loan shark, a search for a stolen car, and the saving of Vero’s crush, Javi. Things become extra complicated when Finlay’s ex, her mother, and the rest of the gang accompany them.

There, the plan falls apart fast, and they unexpectedly find themselves as potential suspects in a murder.

This was the perfect time in the series to freshen things up by transporting the characters to a new location, and Atlantic City was the perfect place for both mayhem and crime.

It has all the same humor and heart you expect from Finlay and Vero in investigating the seedy underworld of criminal minds, and fans of the series are also likely to be both pleased and intrigued by the ending.


Finlay Donovan Digs Her Own Grave (Novel 5 of 5; March 4, 2025)

From the publisher:

Finlay Donovan and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero have not always gotten along with Finlay’s elderly neighbor, Mrs. Haggerty, the community busybody and president of the neighborhood watch. But when a simple call to a plumber turns into the discovery of a dead body in her backyard, Mrs. Haggerty needs their help.

The police take Mrs. Haggerty in for questioning and, though she swears she’s innocent, it’s clear to everyone she’s keeping a secret . . . but whose? With her house now an active crime scene, she’s released from custody with nowhere to go. Her concerned grandson, Brendan, an aspiring politician, doesn’t have room in his one-bedroom apartment for her and appeals to Finlay to let her stay at her place until the investigation is over.

Finlay and Vero have no interest in getting involved in another murder case—or sacrificing either of their bedrooms so they’d have to share. After all, they’ve dealt with enough murders over the last four months to last a lifetime and they both would much rather share their beds with someone else. But when the focus of the investigation widens to include Mrs. Haggerty’s neighbors, Finn and Vero are left with little choice but to uncover the woman’s secrets before the police start digging up theirs.

About Author Elle Cosimano

about


Originating from the Washington, D.C. area, Elle Cosimano‘s literary debut was in YA fiction, but she gained further acclaim with her venture into adult fiction through the Finlay Donovan Is Killing It series, a humorous and suspenseful mystery book series.

Recognized for her ability to blend suspense, humor, and engaging character dynamics, Cosimano’s works earned accolades like New York Public Library’s Best Book.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Finlay Donovan is Killing It a series?

Yes. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is a series of mystery novels and one short story by Elle Cosimano: Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead, Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun, Veronica Ruiz Breaks the Bank, and Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice. The next three novels in the series will be released one per year beginning in 2025, with Finlay Donovan Digs Her Own Grave.

How many Finlay Donovan books will there be?

There will be seven Finlay Donovan books and one short story about her sidekick, Vero, including Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead, Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun, Veronica Ruiz Breaks the Bank, Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice, and the forthcoming 2025 release, Finlay Donovan Digs Her Own Grave. According to author Elle Cosimano, the next two novels in the series will be released in 2026 and 2027.

Is Finlay Donovan Is Killing It a cozy mystery?

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano is both a funny and contemporary take on the cozy mystery genre. It builds suspense while also making you laugh at the comedic adventures of the single mom turned contract killer at the heart of the story.

Do I need to read Finlay Donovan books in order?

Yes. The Finlay Donovan books should definitely be read in the order in which they were published. They follow a storyline in which each book picks up where the last one left off, and they recap prior events that will be spoiled for you otherwise.

Conclusion

The Finlay Donovan Is Killing It series of books offers an escapist blend of suspense and humor in a modern context, through the eyes of a single mom turned hitwoman. These books work well both in print and audiobook formats (where the narration is especially entertaining).

To recap, you should read the Finlay Donovan books in the order in which they were published so as not to spoil the continuing storyline.

If you read these and are looking for something similar to read next, check out the Molly the Maid book series of cozy mysteries.

Save This Post Form

Save This Post!

Email yourself a link to this post so you can come back to it later.

By saving, you agree to receive email updates. Unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment or Question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *