Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Book Review: "Operation Bonnet" by Kimberly Stuart

Summary from Christianbook.com: Twenty-year-old Nellie Monroe has a restless brilliance that makes her a bit of an odd duck. She wants to be a private investigator, even though her tiny hometown offers no hope of clients.

Until she meets Amos Shetler, an Amish dropout carrying a torch for the girl he left behind. So Nellie straps on her bonnet and goes undercover to get the dish.

But though she’s brainy, Nellie is clueless when it comes to real life and real relationships. Soon she’s alienated her best friend, angered her college professor, and botched her case. Operation Bonnet is a comedy of errors, a surprising take on love, and a story of grace.

Oh man. If there was ever a time where I would snort while laughing when reading a book, this would be the book to do it. As it stands, I did spit out some drink while reading the book. Once back in a cup and the other sadly sprayed on my shirt. That's how funny this book is. If you ever thought that Christians and Christian fiction were boring, preachy and serious, you need to pick up this book. Humor is the high point of the story and makes it one of my favorite reads of the year.

Nellie is a 21 year old young woman who suffers from small town-itis. There's pretty much nothing that goes on in her town so she decides to stir up some excitement in her life and become a private investigator. Her first case involves a former Amish young man named Amos who hires Nellie to be his "Magnum PI" and find his lost love, an Amish girl he left behind. Nellie takes her job seriously and goes undercover into the Amish community. She learns how to chop veggies and bake a pie among other things as she looks to bring closure to this Romeo and Juliet type relationship.

I think the funniest bits of the book come from Amos. Stuart does not make fun of him but instead shows how popular culture is just a bunch of catchphrases to remember. I love how eager Amos is to fit into society and his willingness to try out things. Pretty much anytime he popped up in the book, I knew I was going to be in for a good laugh. Besides all the laughs, I also applaud Stuart's view into the Amish community as she portrayed them simply as that: a community and not an ideal lifestyle. The ending was also a bit surprising because what I was expecting didn't happen but I was still very satisfied with it. Nellie also learns to appreciate she has in her town and comes to accept her life as it is.

I have to recommend this book to everyone. It's so hilariously funny without being offensive to anyone. Don't be fooled by the cover or even the title of the book. It's about the Amish partially, but it's not an Amish book at all. This book is a winner from beginning to end. And I mean the very end, for right when I was about to close the book, the very last thing in the added appendix is a letter from Amos. Read his email address. I just about died laughing. Kimberly Stuart, you have always been one of my favorite authors and now you've topped even yourself. Well done! If you need a laugh, this is THE book for you. I really hope that there will be more books featuring Nellie. Also, I personally think that Stuart would make a wonderful YA author as well. HIGHLY recommended.

Operation Bonnet by Kimberly Stuart is published by David C. Cook (2011)

This ARC was provided by a publicist


  1. This looks so funny! I think I have to give it a try :)

  2. Whew! Publicity has kept me away from your great reviews. I'm so happy to catch up and still smiling over this cover:)

  3. Oh my goodness, I just discovered this book in the David C. Cook catalog earlier today and thought, I have to review this! I love the cover too... so different from many of the same ol' Christian fiction covers. I look forward to reading this one!

  4. Deborah,

    Thanks for your kind review! I wish I could quote it in full and print it on the first page! :)

    What a lovely way to begin my day. Thanks for spreading the word.


    p.s. I agree with you. Amos was my favorite scene-maker as well. And I'm THRILLED you spit out your drink while reading. Words to make an author proud, I promise.


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