How to Get a Literary Agent in Two Murders or Less

How to Get a Literary Agent in Two Murders or Less

by Ellie Burmeister

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Aspiring novelist Amanda Anderson has never had any luck, but she hopes that's about to change. She goes to a writer's conference to find an agent, but ends up with a husband. After a whirlwind courtship, she elopes with Jonny Goodsnuff, a bestselling suspense writer and single father of two.

Soon she discovers that her husband's only good on paper. Jonny Goodsnuff has a deadly secret, and before she can walk away Amanda finds herself in a desperate game of cat and mouse. But who are the cats? And who are the mice? And most importantly, will any of this bring her closer to a publishing contract?

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012822871
Publisher: Mirth Press
Publication date: 07/03/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
File size: 386 KB

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How to Get a Literary Agent in Two Murders or Less 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
ladycato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a complicated review for a complicated book that I received through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.I'm a writer. I've gone through the whole querying cycle. I've cried over rejections. I've trunked novels that will never see the light of day again. The title of this book is brilliant. The publishing industry has a wealth of material that can be used for a murder mystery. This sounded like an ideal read for me.There are a few problems with that.Foremost, it's not a murder mystery. There isn't an actual dead body until page 140, so it defies the conventions of the genre. Also, murder mysteries need an intelligent protagonist to solve the crimes. Amanda is not an intelligent protagonist. In fact, she is a whiny and gullible person who stumbles through the book and only survives because of intelligent friends. The premise is that Amanda is a writer from small-town Ohio. She has written novel after novel, and scrapes her pennies together to go to a writers' conference in Malibu. There, she encounters slimy publishing industry professionals--in this book they are all cruel, heartless jerks who only want to make money--and meets the bestselling author, Jonny Goodsnuff. That's the guy's name in the book, truly. They have one date, and then they get married. She sells all of her belongings and gives all the money to him--the millionaire--and immediately after wedlock finds he's a complete jerk.Half of the book is spent showing why Amanda is a sainted figure. Everyone is mean to her--horribly, irrationally mean. The people in publishing are the worst, including Jonny and his agent. And Amanda is so oblivious, it takes her 200 pages to fully realize that her new husband is a waste of oxygen and she was stupid to marry him.After being confused about the lack of dead bodies and any crimes in over half the book, I had to accept it was kind of a chick-lit book that existed in a world of hyperbole. Amanda is the innocent waif. Everyone else is mean and awful (except her two friends, who are the only realistic people) and agents are snakes. I don't usually try and read into books and project an author into their characters, but I had a vibe here that the author is bitter towards traditional publishing. Some points made the author seem knowledgeable about the industry, whereas other things were so bizarre and off-the-wall that I said, "Huh?" out loud, like the millionaire Jonny forwarding his dinner bill to his agent so the publisher could pay for everything. The book was published by Lulu but under the moniker of Mirth Press, so it's a print-on-demand deal and not done through any traditional firm.This is where it is especially complicated, because unlike a lot of print-on-demand titles, this one is very well done in many regards. Technically, it works. The plot points come together. The scenes are smooth. The dialogue is chatty in a chick-lit way, but works. There aren't typos and embarrassing grammar gaffes like so many self-published books. It was well-edited, and the writer can write. Yet the problem remains that: 1) almost the entire cast consists of bizarre caricatures, and 2) not a single one was likeable, especially the main character.In the end, I'm left profoundly disappointed and rather confused. It's all good and well to break the boundaries of genre, but this...? I don't know. But I do hope that the author keeps writing, as they have obvious skill.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book through the Early Reviewer program. This fun, kooky mystery was a quick, enjoyable read. I figured out the mystery ahead of time, but it didn't spoil the story. I docked half a star for the main character who is supposed to be the down-to-earth person in the crazy world of publishing but who is instantly soothed by fancy houses, jewelry, and cars. All in all, though, good stuff.
eggsnhm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an utterly delightful read, though the title is quite misleading. Rather than being a murder mystery, this is more of a light romance that happens to have a murder or two. The protagonist is, indeed, too stupid to live; however, even though I kept wanting to dope-slap her, as a plot device, it works. Fast-paced and engaging, it is a great romp.
Marva on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got to read this book in one of its almost last drafts, so I'm sure it's changed a bit.. It's totally cute, and a nice mystery plot to go along. It certain will appeal to writers who've been seeking agents and thinking a couple of murders might be in order. You won't be disappointed if you're a fan of modern cozy mysteries. Well, looks like some reviewers were disappointed, but I got such a kick out of the premise, I didn't mind some of the problems mentioned here.The book is due for release at the end of June.
yonitdm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book immensely. Yes the main character is too stupid to live, it's a plot device, and I've read many other books where this was done much less enjoyably. The plot is far fetched, engaging, fast paced, and well written. In fact, I devoured the first half of the book so quickly I'm saving the last 100pages for my plane ride. I don't want it to end!
BDavis54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program. Like others who have previously reviewed it, I agree with most of them about Amanda, the main character. She is just too gullible. OK, most people would be easily impressed with wealth, jewelry and fancy clothes and maybe would even marry someone after knowing them only a month or so. It just seemed too superficial to me. I just about stopped reading halfway through but when the accident happened and changed everything for Amanda, I kept reading to see if she got any smarter about things. Well, she didn't but with the help of two friends and another one who comes to mean much more to her, she muddles her way through to understanding everything that happened. As other reviewers said, this really isn't a murder mystery. It is fairly obvious who is the villain. I can't say it's a great book, but it is probably a good on for summer reading on the beach.
njstitcher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I neither liked nor disliked this book. Although it would probably be classified as a mystery, it seemed to have a bit of an identity crisis. It was hard to swallow all the things that happened in this book about an aspiring writer trying to get an agent. Most of the characters, minor and major, were not likable people. Almost all of them, including the narrator, Amanda, vacillated between screaming hysteria/anger and calm rationality, often from one sentence to another. The plot twisted and turned without much sense, as if the author wasn't sure where it was all going. As a grieving widow, Amanda was totally unbelievable. All told, I gave this two and a half stars because it improved slightly as it went on.
eallen99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How to Get a Literary Agent in Two Murders or Less is an unconventional guide for wannabe writers who are willing to do whatever it takes to get agented...NOT! It's not often the reading public at large is privy to what writers go through to see their manuscript journey from inception to bestseller. Even rarer is the opportunity to tag along with a charmingly naive budding author as her aspirations catapult her from one impulsive decision to the next with the sole intention of getting agented and ultimately published. And that's when life imitates art imitates life...Her adventure takes off with dizzying momentum; immersing her in a real-life murder-mystery plot worthy of a great book! Perhaps her own? If she can write...and if she survives... Burmeister has spun a fun and appealing tale of ambition, sex (albeit bad sex), murder and mystery. Her book is a dynamic, page-turning, laugh out loud romp into the lesser known world of publishing. It should be required reading for all readers just so you'll understand what authors must go through...
Nextian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amateur novelist Amanda Anderson goes to a writer¿s convention looking for an agent and ends ups with a husband. But the whirlwind romance soon reveals a seedy underside that she did not bargain for and she finds herself in a deadly struggle for her life.Much to my surprise, I actually found How to Get a Literary Agent in Two Murders or Less to be a very enjoyable read. The trick is to keep reading through the long expository section at the beginning which is almost painful in its absurdity. Ten chapters into the novel, I honestly thought this was going to be one of the worst books I had ever read. But the pacing and plot evened out as I went on and I found that I was enjoying myself by the time of the actual murder. And it wasn¿t long afterwards that I realized I was having a hard time actually putting the book down. Overall, I found the book to be a lovely summer read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story you must stick with. The beginning is a little slow while the characters are developed, but eventually progresses into a very entertaining murder mystery with a lot of unexpected twists. It is well thought out, with plenty of clues dropped like bread crumbs for us to follow. Many of the clues are so subtle that aren’t even noticed until explained later in the story. It is written in first person, which the author handles very well. There are a few inconsistencies that a nitpicking reader might not be happy with, but they should be ignored. At various times, we are forced to change our impression of the main characters. Amanda first seems like a typical dumb blond. However, as her character develops, I came to like her. Johnny was always a bit despicable and had too much of a split personality to ever be really likable. The Stonewall character was a little confusing. At first I felt he was shallow, but he ended up being very amiable. The author’s ability to cause me to change my opinion about the characters crept up and happened before I realized what was going on. In the end, justice is served and I closed the book feeling very satisfied with the outcome.
PathfinderRM More than 1 year ago
Given that this was a first novel by Ellie Burmeister, I wasn't expecting as much as was delivered. Reading a book on a computer is normally a chore for me but in this case I spent several hour-long sessions because I was engaged in the story. There was enough suspense to keep me coming back to my laptop. I had no trouble visualizing the characters and getting to like and/or dislike them. While the protagonist, Amanda Anderson, lacks judgement in her choice of men, she is a smart lady who recognizes her mistakes and has the strength to correct them. I am not a literary critic I just know what I like and I enjoyed this story. I'm hoping that there will be more Ellie Burmeister stories in the future.
tilliekrystall More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book mostly because of the title. The further in I got found me reading it in the car before comnpleting errands and in the driveway before going back in my house. I love John Grisham, but was excited to read something that was less complicated and more fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago