By Deanna Raybourn
To understand this book, think Golden Girls with a lethal edge.
Billie Webster, Helen Randolph, Natalie Schuyler and Mary Alice Tuttle are no Blanche, Rose, Dorothy or Sophia. They are assassins.
Recruited in the 1970s, they work for an autonomously organized, non-governmental agency known only as “The Museum.” Originally formed to hunt Nazis, it has since expanded its mandate.
But after 40 years of field work, the joints ache, the reflexes slow and the passion dims. While no new assignments have come in, “a packet half as thick as a vintage phone book” arrives inviting them on a luxury Caribbean cruise on the Amphitrite embarking the day after Christmas. This appears to be their retirement gift.
“Trouble has smelled like a lot of things in my life. . . On the Amphitrite, it smelled like gardenias and money,” Billie thinks.
They are hardly through their first mimosas, when Billie spots someone she knows: Brad Fogerty, a junior field operative from the Museum. He’s dressed like a crew member, so he’s working undercover. But he must have known that Billie and her colleagues were on board because the Museum had sent them on this cruise. The fact he hasn’t made contact means only one thing to Billie: She and her friends are his targets.
As in all the best spy thrillers, Billie and her fellow assassins have to first escape from the ship and Brad Fogerty and then figure out who wants them dead and why.
Like sextagenarian James Bonds, they jet from the Caribbean to Miami to New Orleans to England, Switzerland, Paris and England again. They are brave, resourceful and have decades of experience and relationships to rely on in getting free of the death sentences that have been falsely laid on them.
The fact that they are old-school and often low-tech is an asset against their younger enemies who seriously underestimate them.
This book is fun, suspenseful and fast-paced.
If you love the mysteries of Richard Osman (THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB, THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE and THE BULLET THAT MISSED), you’ll enjoy KILLERS OF A CERTAIN AGE.
The Author: Deanna Raybourn
KILLERS OF A CERTAIN AGE is author Deanna Raybourn’s first contemporary novel. It was published in September 2022.
Her books have been nominated for many awards including the Edgar, two RT Reviewers’ Choice wards, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns and a Last Laugh.
In 2015, she launched a Victorian mystery series featuring Veronica Speedwell, a butterfly-hunter and amateur sleuth. She also writes the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, and the 1920s Adventures.
A native Texan, she majored in English and history at the University of Texas, San Antonio. She now lives in Virginia with her husband and child.