Book Review: Tinker, Tailor, Schoolmum, Spy by Faye Brann #TinkerTailorSchoolmumSpy @WriterFaye @fictionpubteam @HarperFiction @RandomTTours


Vicky Turnbull has never regretted giving up her career for family life in the suburbs. And apart from being outstandingly good at paintball, no one would ever know that in a past life she was an undercover spy and has been trained to kill a man with her bare hands. Not even her husband, and certainly not the other mums at the school gate.

But beneath the school runs and bake sales, Vicky had never quite said goodbye to the past. So, when a newcomer on the PTA sets alarms bells ringing and MI5 comes calling, she’s determined to prove that despite her expanding waistline and love of pink gin, she’s still every bit the cold-eyed special operative.

When the assignment gets uncomfortably close to home, Vicky must decide if she has got what the job takes after all, and if home is really where her heart is…

My Review

Vicky Turnbull is not an ordinary housewife and mother. She’s a former spy who somewhat retired 14 years ago after having her first child. So she is very surprised when her former employer, MI5 reaches out with a new assignment that is a little too close to her home life. But Vicky very quickly dusts down her spy skills and off she goes. Does Vicky still have what it takes to be a spy? Once she is back in her former spy life which life will she choose?

The book arrived just before the weekend and it was the perfect weekend read. It was funny, light and full of suspense. A mum who’s a spy is just a brilliant concept and kept me entertained from start to finish. Vicky is such a likeable character and hilarious, it was hard not to like her from the beginning. You could tell from the first chapter during the paintball event that Vicky had the makings or was a covert agent and that she’d not lost any of her skills. However, it was also clear that she missed her former life and she fell back into her old role very quickly and easily. There were a few hair raising moments when Vicky was under cover and trying to obtain information, especially when a ghost from the past made reappearance. It was also interesting to learn more about Vicky’s life before she was married and had children and her past assignments. This added more context and background to Vicky’s character. I would really be interested in a prequel based on Vicky’s life as a spy. Although I loved everything about this book as a Whovian I have to say one of my favourite parts was when Vicky and her husband attend a Halloween party and they dress as Dr Who and Vicky dresses as a Dalek.

A funny, witty and a comedic spy movie in book format. I can’t recommend this book enough. Definitely a book I will be reading again!

Author Bio

Faye grew up in Essex before running away to drama school. She worked in the West End as a stage carpenter but decided to get a ‘proper job’, for reasons which are still unclear but may have been influenced by Rachel from Friends. After a decade working her way to the heady heights of middle management, Faye met her husband and moved to Dubai where she ditched corporate life for good in favour of having a baby, performing improvised comedy, and gaining an MA from Falmouth University.
Now back in London with her family, Faye divides her time between performing in musicals with her local theatre company and working as a freelance copyeditor, but her real passion is for writing novels about (and for) kick-ass middle aged women. Her first novel, Tinker, Tailor, Schoolmum, Spy, won the Comedy Women in Print Unpublished Prize in 2020.
Keep in touch with Faye on Twitter and Instagram @writerfaye

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