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Killers of A Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn: A Book Review

I’m a woman. Guilt is our birthright. Guilt if we want to be mothers, guilt if we take the Pill instead or choose to abort. Guilt if we stay home with our kids or guilt if we work. Guilt if we sleep with a man, guilt if we say no. Guilt if were lucky enough to survive for no good reason.

Killers of a certain ageOne day this week I had a meltdown.

It had been coming for awhile, and was sparked by several different experiences, but it all built up until I just needed a day to myself.

So I did a bit of work at home and then I spent the rest of the day not talking to anyone. Reading a book.

I don’t know how long it’s been since I read for longer than an hour at a time. And Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn was the exact book I needed.

Intelligent, but not too serious.

It’s the story of four women who were recruited in the 70s to be a part of a super-secret organization that had formed after WWII to find and execute Nazis. They were trained to become the organization’s first group of women assassins, and now, forty-ish years later, they are ready to retire.

Except the organization has put a hit on them. So they have to work together one last time to figure out who is trying to kill them and how to stop them. 

Is it weird to say that a book with a lot of dead people in it was just really fun?

Well, weird or not, it was. Fun. Not the kind of thing I usually read. I’m usually about dark & twisty, despair & depression. But while this book addresses real issues—namely, how the world discounts people, especially women, as we get older—it wasn’t too dark. The women’s friendship feels real, they travel to a few different spots in their adventures, they help each other but also aren’t afraid to call out each other’s weaknesses if necessary.

And there’s a satisfying ending.

(Plus, just this oddity: It’s the second book in a row I’ve read that was set partly in New Orleans, which I have never wanted to visit but now I kind of want to, even though I probably would be very uncomfortable and out-of-place, but I want to try a muffaletta and some beignets.)

It was exactly the reset I needed to check out of the real world for a bit.



I JUST listed to an episode of the podcast, The Sh*t No One Tells You About Writing, in which Rayburn was interviewed! Now, reading your review, I’m completely convinced I have to read this novel! Thank you!

I’m sorry you had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad meltdown day. I hope things are better. 🤗

Cindy deRosier

I thought I would be very uncomfortable and out-of-place in New Orleans because I am a museum and art person, NOT a bar and partying person. And then I went and it was a thousand times better than I expected, with absolutely no discomfort or feeling awkward. There are so many wonderful museums, so much interesting history, and oh my goodness, the food!

We went at Christmas time and it was magical. This is the first of four blog posts about all the things we did there:

I promise you will love New Orleans.

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