Do you love comic thrillers and caper books? Then you’ve got to try this story of a group of retired female assassins who reunite to save their own lives. Check out my review of Killers of a Certain Age
Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
Published on September 6, 2022 by Berkley.
Synopsis: Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for “The Museum,” the code name for an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies on technology.
When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.
Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman–and a killer–of a certain age.
What Else Has Deanna Raybourn Written?
A LOT. If you aren’t familiar with Deanna Raybourne’s work, you should be!
The Lady Julia Grey series (five books plus some novellas, 2007-2011) features a widowed noblewoman in Victorian London who, along with an enigmatic private investigator, solves her own husband’s murder and then proceeds to solve other crimes.
The Veronica Speedwell series (seven books, 2015-present) is set in Victorian London, about an independent, orphaned woman who solves crimes with an enigmatic German baron.
Deanna Raybourn also wrote The Dead Travel Fast, City of Jasmine, Night of a Thousand Stars and A Spear of Summer Grass.
All these were historical romance or historical romantic suspense. I think that Killers of a Certain Age is her first non-paranormal, non-historical novel, but if I am wrong, please correct me in comments.
Review of Killers of A Certain Age
To me, Killers of a Certain Age was a comic thriller, which is slightly different from a cozy mystery. Though there is some overlap.
Dial A for Aunties leans more toward a cozy, but I feel that one of the differences is pace.
What I am calling a comic thriller moves at much a faster pace and cuts out the small town color and quirk. Comic thrillers to me are also a bit more murder-y. But tomato, tomahto.
In any case, there is both humor and suspense in Killers of a Certain Age. Also friendship, sisterhood, and feminism.
Scrappy Billie, patrician Helen, sassy Mary Alice, dramatic Natalie – the four bonded in the 1970s when they were handpicked as part of Project Sphinx, a training program for a squad of female operatives, a.k.a. assassins.
Forty years later, the group heads our on a retirement cruise. But trouble is afoot, and they soon realize they are all in mortal danger.
Killers of a Certain Age was a fun, fast-paced read with a lot of humor. The book was mostly focused on the group’s daring, improvised missions.
But the narrative also takes a bit of time to touch on their friendships, the different choices they’ve made in their lives, and the indignities of getting older.
What Are Books Like Killers of A Certain Age?
If you enjoy comic thrillers, cozy mysteries, and caper books, I think you’d like Killers of a Certain Age.
If you enjoyed the travel and international intrigue aspect of Killers of a Certain Age, you could try Two Nights in Lisbon.
If you’ve read Killers of A Certain Age, please let me know what you thought in the comments!