August is a good month for spy themes. Besides Jason Matthews Red Sparrow series, we have “Agent of the State” and “The Extremist” by Roger Pearce, the first 2 stories in a series about British agent John Kerr, who fights with both foreign adversaries and his own government. “The Middleman” by Olen Steinhauer traces the rise and fall of a domestic left-wing terrorist group.
Fans of stories about spies and secret agent men will want to read Jason Matthew’s Red Sparrow trilogy. “The Red Sparrow” introduces Dominika Egorova, a former dancer drafted to become a “sparrow,” a trained seductress. Sent to seduce a CIA operative, she is instead recruited to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington. This story was shortlisted for an Edgar Award and made into a popular film featuring Jennifer Lawrence. In “Palace of Treason”, Egorova returns to the Soviet Union, where she becomes part of Putin’s inner circle. In “The Kremlin’s Candidate”, she uncovers a plot to install a mole in the US government. Author Matthew’s, an ex-CIA officer, combines an insider’s knowledge of tradecraft with a masterful handling of pace and suspense. Highly topical, as well.
UPS strikes gain. These books arrived late Wednesday. The are all ready to take out! Dial in your requests or come by early on Friday! The one on top is a bio of Princess Margaret (the latest in House of Windsor dish).
In “The Quiet Side of Passion” by Alexander McCall Smith, Isabel Dalhousie hires an office assistant and an au pair for her daughter. Unfortunately, the romantic woes of the new hires outweigh their help. In “The Endless Beach” by Jenny Colgan, a woman trades her career in London for the remote isle of Mure. She never dreamed that her boss would follow (apparently she has not read much romance fiction!). “The Subway Girls” by Susie Orman Schnall, is a “fast-paced, clever novel” about two women in the 1940s who vie to escape the confines of home. “Eagle & Crane” by Suzanne Rindell, Suzanne, is a “satisfying” novel about a love triangle set against the background of WWII and the internment of Japanese citizens.
The Prisoner in the Castle is Susan Elia MacNeal’s latest Maggie Hope mystery, with a plot that owes more than a little to Agatha Christie. Maggie has been posted to Killoch Castle, a lodge in the Hebrides. She is there along with other agents with knowledge too sensitive to leave in the field. When one by one, the guests begin to be murdered, Maggie must discover who the killer is if she is to survive. MacNeal’s latest is “darkly atmospheric and as beautifully woven as a clan tartan” (Lauren Willig).
Most everyone knows about the Cuban missile crisis, but many are unaware of a similar incident which took place during the Reagan years. In 1983, Taylor Downing documents how a US military exercise in Europe, one that included the deployment of tactical nukes, nearly took us to the brink. Soviet leadership, already on edge from Reagan’s confrontational posturing, feared the US was preparing for a preemptive strike and put their forces on full alert. “This book (which reads like a thriller) is a clear and compelling reminder of how much words and actions matter in international relations” (Christian Science Monitor).
UPS dropped 16 new titles for the library. They are unboxed, barcoded, wrapped and ready for readers.