Reviews for Killers Of A Certain Age

by Deanna Raybourn

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Having long worked for an exclusive network of assassins called the Museum, Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie are hitting 60 and being sent to pasture with an all-expenses-paid vacation, their well-honed people skills no longer needed in an age of technology. It's soon evident that high-ups at the Museum have marked them for assassination, and they must figure out how to survive. From the New York Times best-selling ("Lady Julia Grey series"), Edgar Award-nominated ("Veronica Speedwell Mysteries") Raybourn.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Four female assassins on the brink of retirement are brought back into the game by a surprising assassination attempt—on them. Since they were recruited in their 20s, Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have been working as secret assassins for a clandestine international organization originally created to hunt Nazis. Now they're in their mid-60s, and the Museum—as its denizens call the elite group—has sent them on an all-expenses-paid cruise to celebrate their retirement. Several hours into the trip, though, Billie discovers another of the Museum's assassins onboard the ship. It turns out that she and her colleagues have uncovered a plot to end their own lives. They're forced to flee while simultaneously solving the mystery of why their employers have put targets on their backs. The story jumps back and forth between the late 1970s and early '80s, when the women were first recruited, to the present day, when the female assassins have all lived long, full lives and worry about menopause and lost spouses more than whom they might kill next. Juxtaposing the two timelines creates an interesting dichotomy that examines the nuances of the female aging process from a unique angle. The writing is witty and original, and the plot is unpredictable; Billie is a complex and likable character, but the other three women, while easy to root for, tend to blend together. As the women race around the world trying to stay alive, Raybourn vividly evokes a number of far-flung locations while keeping readers on their toes trying to figure out what's going to happen next. A unique examination of womanhood as well as a compelling, complex mystery. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Edgar finalist Raybourn (the Speedwell series) makes a dazzling excursion out of the Victorian era with this uproarious contemporary thriller. Billie, Mary Alice, Natalie, and Helen have been a cozy quartet of “avenging goddesses” for more than 40 years, one of the “most elite assassin squads on earth,” recruited in late 1978 by an “extra governmental” organization called the Museum. Soon after they’re forced to go on an all-expenses-paid retirement cruise in the Caribbean, they discover they’ve apparently been targeted for death by the Museum board. They immediately go into investigative overdrive, relying on their expert training and experiences to uncover the means and motives behind their potential demise. Flashbacks to several of their high-profile cases, including a Zanzibar hit on an aging baroness that comes back to haunt Billie, keep the reader guessing. Colorful regional details and vividly portrayed secondary characters flesh out this rollicking tale. Fans of Helen Tursten and Richard Osman will relish watching these badass women in their 60s (“no one notices you unless you want them to,” Billie observes) swing into action. Raybourn has outdone herself. Agent: Pamela Hopkins, Hopkins Literary Assoc. (Sept.)


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Billie Webster was a college student when she was recruited by The Museum. She, Helen, Mary Alice, and Natalie were the first all-women team of assassins trained to kill Nazis. Eventually, they moved from Nazis to dictators, arms dealers, drug smugglers, and sex traffickers. It was an excellent job with full benefits, including retirement now, 40 years later. When they go on a cruise, though, Billie recognizes a fellow assassin who hasn't made contact with them. Her team reunites for work when they realize they are the targets, now expendable as retirees. Before they blow up the ship to give themselves time to gather information, they make sure all the passengers are off safely. It becomes a fast-paced gamble to see if they can save themselves before skilled assassins take them out. Although they were trained by a mentor at The Museum, even the present board underestimates women, and killers, of a certain age. VERDICT Fans of Raybourn's "Veronica Speedwell" historical mysteries will enjoy this well-plotted story, and a thriller featuring four skilled, well-trained women is a treat in a male-dominated genre. A fast-paced, explosive, fun novel, reminiscent of the 2010 movie RED.—Lesa Holstine


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Four female assassins on the brink of retirement are brought back into the game by a surprising assassination attempton them.Since they were recruited in their 20s, Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have been working as secret assassins for a clandestine international organization originally created to hunt Nazis. Now they're in their mid-60s, and the Museumas its denizens call the elite grouphas sent them on an all-expenses-paid cruise to celebrate their retirement. Several hours into the trip, though, Billie discovers another of the Museum's assassins onboard the ship. It turns out that she and her colleagues have uncovered a plot to end their own lives. They're forced to flee while simultaneously solving the mystery of why their employers have put targets on their backs. The story jumps back and forth between the late 1970s and early '80s, when the women were first recruited, to the present day, when the female assassins have all lived long, full lives and worry about menopause and lost spouses more than whom they might kill next. Juxtaposing the two timelines creates an interesting dichotomy that examines the nuances of the female aging process from a unique angle. The writing is witty and original, and the plot is unpredictable; Billie is a complex and likable character, but the other three women, while easy to root for, tend to blend together. As the women race around the world trying to stay alive, Raybourn vividly evokes a number of far-flung locations while keeping readers on their toes trying to figure out what's going to happen next. A unique examination of womanhood as well as a compelling, complex mystery. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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