Sherry — the falls colors are on parade but not quite at peak yet in Northern Virginia
I love a spy novel. Maybe it’s because I watched The Man from Uncle and Get Smart when I was young. Or maybe it was because there always seemed to be a spy thriller or ten in our house growing up—Leon Uris, Ken Follett, and Dorothy Gilman were my favorites. In the past couple of years it seems like there have been more spy thrillers featuring women coming out. And I’m here for it. I thought I’d share five of my recent favorites in alphabetical order by author
Second Shot by Cindy Dees — Here is the first bit of the cover copy: Retirement isn’t easy for a former CIA assassin. For fifty-five-year-old Helen Warwick, it may be impossible. I couldn’t wait to read it and I really enjoyed Helen and her complicated relationships with her family. There are some very graphic scenes with serial killers that I ended up not reading. That part of the book was a secondary plot and skipping scenes in this instance didn’t make me miss anything related to the overall plot. I’ll read the second book when it comes out.
The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen — I snagged this the moment I saw it on Amazon Prime First reads. It’s comes out on November 1st. It says it’s book one in the Martini Club series. From the cover copy: Former spy Maggie Bird came to the seaside village of Purity, Maine, eager to put the past behind her after a mission went tragically wrong. These days, she’s living quietly on her chicken farm, still wary of blowback from the events that forced her early retirement. Fortunately, I downloaded it the day I’d finished reading another novel. This is a page turner with intriguing friends and their complicated relationships. I can’t wait for the next one!
Red Widow/Red London by Alma Katsu — From the cover copy: Lyndsey Duncan worries her career with the CIA might be over. After lines are crossed with another intelligence agent during an assignment, she is sent home to Washington on administrative leave. Alma worked in intelligence and takes those experiences to create a realistic and thrilling look at what it’s like to work for the CIA.
The Slough House books by Mick Herron — The first line of the cover copy for the first book in the series Slow Horses: London, England: Slough House is where washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. I originally bought this book for my husband and then decided to read it when he was done. The ensemble cast of complex characters hooked me right away and we’ve enjoyed every book since.
Barbara Ross recently said this of them: For readers, these books are tremendous entertainment. For writers, they are a master class in showing and not telling. And in juggling a dozen point-of-view characters, yet always advancing the story and still getting us to care about the characters, despite our limited time with each.
Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn — From the cover copy: Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon. They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they’re sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller by New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn. I loved the women in this book and Raybourn captures their individuality perfectly. Fingers crossed there’s a second one!
I also found this list of spy books with women leads written by women and once again I’ve added to my TBR pile!
Readers: Do you like spy novels? Do you have one to add to my list?