cover image Killers of a Certain Age

Killers of a Certain Age

Deanna Raybourn. Berkley, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-20068-1

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.)