I have read nearly all of Deanna Raybourn’s books and this one is a definite departure from her usual historical fiction. However, she keeps her penchant for mystery solving shenaningans here, and her trademark sense of humor is intact. Just a wee bit snarkier.
Four retiring lady assassins are invited by their former employer to literally sail into the next phase of their lives aboard a complimentary cruise. How are former assassins allowed to just retire and sail off into the sunset, you ask? Well, they aren’t. When a familiar face is spotted onboard, the women realize that their “vacation” might be more of a permanent situation. Suddenly on the receiving end of assassination, each of the women is forced to confront their own personal demons while unraveling the mystery of why they are being hunted.
While grieving personal loss and coping with hot flashes and aging bodies that have been put through more than most, the women have to rely on one another one last time to get the job done. With the help of a very confused wife, a traumatized Ukrainian orphan and a cat full of attitude, they formulate a plan. Remove the board members of their former agency and regain their reputations. Well, their reputations and their pension.
Raybourn is a favorite of mine. She is the queen of witty banter. Her stubborn man loves stubborn woman but both are too stubborn to say so scenarios are legendary. She went a little out of her comfort zone here, I think, and while I did enjoy the book it wasn’t a page turner for me like her others. It’s a book stuck somewhere between her Lady Grey/Veronica Speedwell novels and her other historical fiction novels. It’s well written and the characters are interesting but it’s missing something. I couldn’t shake the feeling that Raybourn was trying to rein her quirky self in here a little bit even though the material totally lends itself to full on quirk.