This summer, sin is in. In the hilarious debut Original Sin, a former U.S. spy turned stay-at-home mother of a toddler tries to find a most elusive work-life balance when the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction) decides it desperately requires her services again, and calls her back into the field.
On the surface, Lucy Hamilton looks just like all the other stay-at-home San Francisco moms. She takes her three-year-old son, Theo, to the beach, to the playground, and to the zoo. She folds laundry and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband, is that for nine years Lucy was Sally Sin, a spy for the United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction. And that's just the way Lucy wants to keep it - a secret.
But when Lucy's nemesis Ian Blackford, a notorious illegal arms dealer, hits the USAWMD's radar, the Agency calls Lucy back to action to lure Blackford out into the open. As Lucy races to unravel the mystery that surrounds Blackford's return, she realizes that the answers she needs lie in a past she's tried very hard to forget. With the clock ticking, Lucy must fight to save herself and her loving family - and, oh yes - the world.
"Starred Review. McMullen's breezy style conveys both humor and emotion and is perfectly suited to her stylized spy adventure. An exuberantly entertaining start to what could become a wildly popular series." - Booklist
"...[A] promising light thriller." - Publishers Weekly
"High-spirited fun that will appeal to readers who enjoy sassy mystery heroines." - Library Journal
"Sally's slapdash, offhand delivery is fun even though the exposition is laborious and the payoff too long delayed - perhaps anticipating the second planned Sally Sin Adventure." - Kirkus Reviews
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Rated of 5
Sherry H. (Naperville, Illinois)
"Wanna Get Away?"
It took a little while to get into, but once I did it was fun. Good book for the summer or at the beach. Not so much if you're looking for an involved discussion at book club.
Good main character and humorous predicaments. Think Jennifer Cruise meets Janet Evonavich!
Rated of 5
Linda Z. (Corydon, IN)
I had a hard time getting into this book and understanding where the author was going with the plot. It did not make a lot of sense to me. She had some clever jabs at the spy organizations but her main focus was not realistic. I would assume there is going to be a sequel but I think I shall pass on it.
Rated of 5
Sally G. (Saint Johns, FL)
Beth McMullen is a California resident and that is all I can tell you or….shoot you.
This is her debut novel about Lucy Hamilton; spy, stay-at-home Mom to Theo, and wife to Will a tree hugger.
We meet Lucy crawling around her backyard looking for something or someone her intuition has alerted her senses. We learn that her paranoia is because she had been a spy by the name of Sally Sin.
This fell a little short on the comic side for me and I was not thrilled by the flashbacks, as they seemed a little contrived and not flowing. It is a good story and has well described characters especially Ian Blackford her former handler. I think future novels will be better.
This is reminiscent of Jane Doe on Hallmark Mysteries.
Rated of 5
Karen L. (Antelope, CA)
Great debut novel
Original Sin is a clever riff on the espionage novel, with a unique voice, swift pace, great characters and a plot that seems fresh for such a well-plowed genre. While the book's book jacket description seems quite tongue-in-cheek, the fact is that this is a serious spy-turned-Mom story, punctuated by a good spy/bad spy clash at the Point Bonita lighthouse involving her 3 year old son. The author effectively weaves the past and present into a story that pushes the reader to suspend disbelief about how a spy could try to become a regular person. I found the book hard to put down once the story kicked into high gear.
Rated of 5
Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
Remember the 1980’s television show, “The Scarecrow and Mrs. King” starring Kate Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner? If so, then this author’s first book will be familiar. Imagine your neighbor is Sally Sin aka Lucy Hamilton living in San Francisco with her handsome husband and 3 year old child. And unbeknown to your husband she has a “past” . . . one filled with escapades involving international situations in foreign countries and an ex-agent bad-guy nemesis that reappears to interrupt her “new” life. This book is fast paced, highly enjoyable and a fun read especially on a weekend of being “snowed-in”. Since the mystery of Sally’s parentage still persists along with how will her husband handled the situation (does he or doesn’t he know), I feel there may be another book in this “sinful” series.
Rated of 5
Gayle M. (Billerica, MA)
Surprisingly good read
When I started reading this book I thought I was in for fluffy chick lit about a woman trying to balance motherhood with being an international superspy. Instead I read a book with a lot more heart about a woman struggling to keep the various areas of her life on track. Yes, the book does have international espionage, but Sally Sin was no super spy. She got the job done, more or less. Then she met Will, got married and had a son, whom she adores. Now her main focus is on being the best mom she can be. Of course, her old life comes back to haunt her. This is where the book begins.
The story is well told and surprisingly believable. The characters are likable and three dimensional. The plot moves along at a nice clip. And you are satisfied at the end of the book. What else can you ask for from a book? Overall a fun read.
Beth McMullen graduated from Boston University with a degree in English Literature. After landing a gig with Reader's Digest, she eventually realized she'd rather write books than condense them. She relocated to San Francisco, California and worked in Silicon Valley to pay the bills, trying to do as much writing and traveling as possible. Finally, after getting married, she and her husband decided to take one year and see as much of the world as they could before they ran out of money. It's a big world. Beth currently divides her time between writing and taking care of her two young children. She holds an MLS from Long Island University and lives with her family in Davis, California. You can visit her website at www.bethmcmullen.com.
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