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September 7, 2023

Why I Swore to Never Hire a Goon (Except in Emergencies) by JF Lee ~ a Review

by MK French

Shi Baizhe's sister is kidnapped, and a hero would be able to find her. Unfortunately, he doesn't have money and heroes aren't cheap. Goons, on the other hand, are far more affordable. A retired gang boss, two brutes, a thief and cats are now the crew to find his sister.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of humor novel Why I Swore to Never Hire a Goon (Except in Emergencies) by JF Lee
September 2023; Indie; ebook (285 pages); humor

Why I Swore to Never Hire a Goon (Except in Emergencies) 
is in the same general world as JF Lee's other really fun wuxia-inspired novels, and this one in particular is from the Tales from the Jianghu series. Shi Baizhe and his sister Binbin aren't particularly well-liked or rich, and his small business ideas fail in the execution. Trying to go through the magistrate didn't seem to work, and he generally didn't know much about the gangs in his town. Heroes and goons alike pass through town, and he eventually gets a group together to do the heist/rescue. For the reader, it's hilarious to see the hiring trials. There's extra fun if you've read other books in this world, but it's not necessary. It's a heist story in the wuxia world, and Shi Baizhe truly worries and cares for his sister. His earnestness brings out the best in the goons he hires and they work together like antiheroes.

Like all great heist stories, it doesn't go exactly to plan, and the ending is a lot more fun than you think it's going to be starting the book. Having a crew isn't what Shi Baizhe thought it would be, but it gives him a fond and familial kind of bond, just as great heist stories do. This is a fun read, and if you've never read the other JF Lee wuxia stories, do yourself a favor and pick them up.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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