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.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Deanna Raybourn’s Killers of a Certain Age was one of my most anticipated books for fall 2022. It’s been getting so much (well-deserved) attention in my reading recommendations sphere, especially since it was chosen as the Bad on Paper Podcast Book Club pick for September and I try to participate every month.
I DEVOURED Killers of a Certain Age this weekend and I hope SO many readers keep picking up this mystery meets comedy (think Finlay Donovan is Killing It) about four retired assassins who discover on a cruise commemorating their retirement that someone on the ship is out to get them. Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie were trained together as an all female assassin group, led by one of the founders of an assassin network, the Museum. After successful careers, the book begins on their vacation as the four figure out someone from the Museum is out to get them. Led by Billie, the four must use their expertise as they get the job done: find out who set them as targets, why, and get them.
Killers of a Certain Age was such a smart read that made me want to keep turning the pages to find out more! The book was so well executed and planned out. There was so much action and suspense, but I never questioned Billie and the women’s plans either. It also had this lightness and humor to it at the same time – despite the fact that Billie & the main characters are basically risking their lives to save their own lives – that made me laugh out loud throughout. The book alternates between the women’s initial trainings back in 1979 and throughout their early careers and present day, led by Billie’s first person perspective. Billie is the unspoken leader of the group, but all 4 bring their own skills and histories to the mix. A huge aspect of the novel, as suggested by the title, is that the four women are often underestimated, especially in their current situation, because of being in their sixties and for also being female (something they had to deal with throughout their careers). I was so intrigued by learning about the Museum & its inner-workings and how the four leads got involved in the first place. There’s a touch of romance involving Billie’s storyline (again loved how it was told, but wanted a bit more) and I wanted more about Helen, who seems to be struggling between her husband’s death and with retirement & reflecting back on what her career required, but I think Deanna Raybourn leaves some for us to infer on our own. Yet, Deanna Raybourn didn’t leave a question in my mind by the end, besides wondering if she would ever consider writing a sequel (despite the fact that I did enjoy how the book ended).
Overall, Killers of a Certain Age is a must-read book, especially for readers who enjoy the crossover meet mystery/thriller and humor. Deanna Raybourn fortunately has a huge backlist, & I’m definitely going to keep an eye out on her future releases.
Is Killers of a Certain Age on your TBR? Have you read it? What mysteries & thrillers have you been loving lately? Share in the comments!