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Killers of a Certain Age
Cover of Killers of a Certain Age
Killers of a Certain Age
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
“This Golden Girls meets James Bond thriller is a journey you want to be part of.” -Buzzfeed
Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon.
They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they're sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller by New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, 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 more on technology than people skills.
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.
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
“This Golden Girls meets James Bond thriller is a journey you want to be part of.” -Buzzfeed
Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon.
They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they're sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller by New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, 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 more on technology than people skills.
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.
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  • From the cover Chapter One

    November 1979

    "My mother always says it's common as pig tracks to go around with a run in your stocking," Helen says, eyeing Billie's ripped hosiery critically.

    Billie rolls her eyes. "Helen, it's murder, not cotillion."

    "It's not murder," Helen corrects. "It's an assassination, and you can make an effort to look nice. Besides, they're supposed to believe we're stewardesses and no stewardess would be caught dead with torn pantyhose." Helen brandishes a familiar plastic egg. "I brought spares. Please go change while you still have time. I'll start the coffee."

    The run is so tiny only Helen would have noticed it. Billie opens her mouth to argue and closes it again when she sees the tightness around Helen's lips. Helen is nervous and that means her eye for detail is hyperfocused, searching out things to worry about. Better for her to fuss about snagged pantyhose than any of the thousand other things that could go wrong on their first mission, Billie decides.

    "Mary Alice is on coffee detail. You go check on Nat," Billie says, plucking the egg from Helen's hand. She pops into the lavatory just long enough to strip off her ruined hose and shimmy into a fresh pair, emerging to hear the conversation from the cockpit. Movies again-of course. When Gilchrist and Sweeney aren't debating the odds of getting Goldie Hawn into bed, they are trying to stump each other with film quotes.

    "'A deer has to be taken with one shot. I try to tell people that, but they don't listen.'" The pilot waits while his copilot pauses the preflight check, screwing up his eyes in thought.

    "Monty Python and the Holy Grail?" he guesses.

    The pilot rolls his eyes. "Jesus, Sweeney, no, it's not Monty Python. Did that line sound funny to you?"

    Sweeney shrugs. "It could be." The copilot jerks his head towards the galley. "Skirt!" he calls.

    Billie steps into the doorway of the cockpit.

    "Yes, Sweeney?" she asks.

    He pulls his mouth to the side, doing his best Bogart as he looks her up and down. "She missed being beautiful by just a hair, but the voice more than made up for it. It was low and smoky, the sort of voice that ordered whiskey neat and told the bartender to keep the change."

    "I don't remember that in The Maltese Falcon," she says.

    His expression is outraged. "It's original! Come on, I make a great Sam Spade."

    "Don't quit your day job. What did you ring for?"

    Sweeney repeats the quote. "What movie is it from? Vance just threw that one out and acted like I'd punched his grandmother when I didn't know it."

    "The Deer Hunter," she tells Sweeney. She points to the pilot. "And his next line will be from The Godfather."

    The pilot grins. "How do you know that?"

    "Every other one of your quotes is from The Godfather," she says. She pauses and the pilot gives her an assessing look. She is perfectly turned out, from the crisp, uncreased uniform to the smooth, dark blond hair tucked into a neat French pleat. Her hands don't shake and her eyes don't dart around. But she is nervous-or excited. Something is thrumming under her skin, he can almost smell it. And it is his job to settle her down.

    "You got this, Billie," he says in a low voice. "You and the others are good or they wouldn't have given you the job."

    She smiles. "Thanks, Gilchrist."

    He shrugs. "I've given you a lot of shit in training, but the four of you are alright-provided you make it through tonight," he adds with a heartless grin.

    "That's comforting," she tells him as Sweeney laughs.

    "Just remember the mission and you'll be fine," Gilchrist assures her. "Sweeney and I will be...
About the Author-
  • Deanna Raybourn is the New York Times bestselling author of the Edgar Award–nominated Veronica Speedwell Mysteries, as well as the Lady Julia Grey series and several stand-alone works.
     
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 1, 2022
    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.

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Killers of a Certain Age
Deanna Raybourn
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