Books

Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls, by Beth McMullen (July 4, 2017, Simon & Schuster/Aladdin)

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In Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls, a fast-paced and fun Middle Grade romp, twelve year old Abigail Hunter begins to unravel a lifetime of secrets when her mother sends her away to The Smith School for Children. Abby has never had a normal life: she and her mother, Jennifer Hunter, have always been world travelers, but what Abby has taken as simple wanderlust on her mother’s part is soon be revealed to be something much more sinister.

Abigail Hunter first learns that she is being shipped off to boarding school when she gets a letter from The Smith School for Children, congratulating her on her acceptance. Is this because she tried to free the lemurs at the Central Park Zoo? Or rigged the student council election? Is boarding school the ‘consequences’ her mother keeps talking about?

Turns out boarding school isn’t all bad. Abby’s friends are cool, and they all think she’s even cooler, globetrotting with Jennifer—everyone calls their parents’ by their first names; it’s a boarding school thing. Sure, Quinn won’t look twice at Abby, but then again the girl he’s after finds him supremely annoying, so it all evens out.

Abby’s everyday routine is broken when Veronica Brooks, only the most popular and scariest girl in the whole school, goes missing, and Abby decides to break into the headmistress’s office to learn the truth.

What happens next is spies, bad guys, self driving cars, exploding smartphones, kidnappings, narrow escapes and a whole lot chaos. In a world where nothing is quite as it seems, Abby must learn to trust her friends and trust her instincts if she’s going to come out on top.

Original Sin, by Beth McMullen (Hyperion)

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“Smart, sassy, sexy Sally Sin is an absolute delight of a heroine whom I predict will be around delighting readers for a very long time. And her first adventure, Original Sin, is pure entertainment gold.”
–John Lescroart, author of the New York Times bestselling Dismas Hardy novels

After falling in love and making a quick exit from her nine-year career in the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction), ex-spy Sally Sin does her best to become Lucy Hamilton, a stay-at-home mom in San Francisco. No one, not even her adoring husband Will, knows about her secret agent escapades–chasing evil masterminds through perilous jungles, escaping assassins, and playing dangerous games of cat and mouse with her old nemesis, Ian Blackford, a notorious and dashing illegal arms dealer.

In her new life as Lucy Hamilton, she squeezes inside forts crafted from couch cushions by her three-year-old son Theo, makes organic applesauce, and frequents the zoo. But sometimes her well-honed spy reflexes refuse to lay low. She can’t help breaking into her own house to check on the babysitter or stop herself from tossing the yoga instructor who gets on her nerves. And when Ian Blackford, who is supposed to be dead, once again starts causing trouble for the USAWMD, the agency becomes desperate to get Sally back on the job.

How can Sally or Lucy or whatever her name is save the planet while at the same time keeping her own family’s world from spinning out of control? Pick up your copy today and find out how messy modern parenting really can be!

Every bit as much fun as a spy-mom thriller ought to be, Original Sin is a fast-paced mystery with a dose of romantic tension to keep things lively. A great read for mothers and spies, and anyone who has ever dreamed of being either.

Spy Mom, by Beth McMullen (Hyperion)

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Meet Sally Sin. Wife. Mother. Retired Spy. Or so she thinks. After nine years with the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction)–where she desperately tried to stay one step ahead of her dashing nemesis, Ian Blackford–Sally has become Lucy Hamilton, stay-at-home mom to Theo and wife to adoring husband, Will, who knows nothing of her covert past. Now, instead of chasing bad guys through perilous jungles, she builds giant Lego towers, reads Green Eggs and Ham, and crafts forts from couch cushions and blankets. There’s not a lot of mystery or romance in parenting.

But just as she’s starting to get used to it, Sally’s old Agency boss, Simon Still, shows up to recruit her for one more job, involving the illegal arms dealer, Blackford, who is on the move again. Original Sin features Sally’s great chase to thwart Blackford, who, conveniently, no one besides her seems to be able to stop. But can she make it to preschool pickup, get dinner on the table, and foil Blackford’s nefarious plot?

And just when you think the thrills are over, you’ll be ready To Sin Again.
When the Agency Director is taken hostage, Sally is once again called into action. A rescue operation? Easy. That is, until Sally learns of a connection between the kidnapping and her own mysterious childhood, which complicates everything, even Theo’s kindergarten applications. Being a mom is hard enough, without having to save the world.
Funny, fast-paced, and with a cool mix of mystery and romance, Spy Mom offers two thrillers for mothers and spies, and anyone who has ever dreamed about being either.

Happily Ever After, by Elizabeth Maxwell (Simon & Schuster/ Touchstone Books)

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At forty-six, Sadie Fuller’s life isn’t exactly romantic. A divorced, overweight, somewhat sexually frustrated mother of an eleven-year-old, she lives in the suburbs, shops the big box stores, makes small talk with her small-minded neighbors, and generally leads a quiet life. But while her daughter is at school, or when Sadie is up late at night, she writes erotic fiction under the name KT Briggs.

Then, during a routine shopping trip, Sadie runs into someone familiar…too familiar, in fact. She encounters an incredibly handsome man exactly like the one in her imagination–and her latest novel. Is Aidan Hathaway really one of her characters? And if so, what is he doing in Target? As Sadie tries to negotiate this strange new world, her eyes begin to open to romantic possibilities in places she never dreamed of looking…places where Happily Ever After might not be so far-fetched after all.