Original Sin: Book summary and reviews of Original Sin by Beth Mcmullen

Original Sin

A Sally Sin Adventure

by Beth Mcmullen

Original Sin
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2011
    304 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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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Reader Reviews

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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.

Peggy H. (North East, PA)

Stephanie Plum, look out!
When I received the book, I was a bit put off by the vibrant pink ModSquad cover. I was afraid that instead of being funny and interesting that the book was just going to be stupid. But I was not disappointed--the writing is sharp and funny, and the character interesting...makes me want to read the next adventure. Good to see a female character that can take care of herself!

Andrea L. (Cottonwood Heights, UT)

Exciting Debut Novel
What an exciting debut novel! The storyline in fun, the heroine is quirky and strong, and the complexity of the storyline will allow for an entire series! I simply cannot wait for more. This fun book will make you wonder about that neighbor of yours, you know, the one who had mad judo skills and perfectly manicured nails, who seems really well versed on obscure third world governments and their access to yellow cake uranium. Yeah, that one. Sally Sin, ex-spy must protect her new family from her hidden past, save the world, and clean applesauce from the ceiling. When her ex-boss starts playing his old games and using her as bait for the bad guy, Sally knows she must beat the 'bad' guys as well as the 'good' guys at their own game if she wants to have a chance at a normal life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookBrowse book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 ... : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Deborah

A Fun Escape
Original Sin is a fun and fast read... totally enjoyable! What stay-at-home mom (or any mom, really) doesn't want to be a spy?? Ms. McMullen describes a relatable motherhood with a major entertaining twist. Fun, fun, fun!

Liz M. (Fair Haven, NJ)

The female version of Mitch Rapp?
I love Sally Sin. If Mitch Rapp had a younger sister it would be Sally Sin. Beth McMullen's "Original Sin" is a great story. I very much enjoyed McMullen's style of writing. Filling the reader in with flash backs keeps the story fast paced and crisp. Sally Sin is a great character. She is believable. Sally's dialogue and actions are well worked out and are quite believable. I loved her. She is smart, she has understated beauty, she is funny and a symbol of a new kind of wonderful motherhood.
Simon is everything you would imagine as a "boss of spies." He has an appearance of coldness but you do sense that he does care for and about Sally. He is also believable and well drawn.

I can picture Ian Blackford in my mind. His character is so well thought out and developed. You can feel the tension through the story between Ian and Sally. The differences between Will and Ian are strong. You can see Sally wanting both men. The men, to me, represent the two different lives that Sally yearns for. It is very well done. You don't even have to think about what McMullen is trying to get across to the reader....her writing gives it to you in a highly enjoyable way.

I think that Beth McMullen has written a fantastic book. Great story supported by great,believable characters. My biggest hope is that "Original Sin" is the first in a series for Sally Sin, Ian Blackford, Simon Still, Pauline, Will and The Blind Monk.

Gary R. (bolingbrook, IL)

Dare I say sinfully good!
When I received this book it was the day before the blizzard of 2011! 22 inches of snow and then the coldest days of the year! What does that have to do with this,nothing except it was a good time for a little 'Sinning'! This is not a book that requires a lot of deep thought, just very good entertainment, what I needed in the dead of winter! These are the adventures of Lucy Hamilton a.k.a. Sally Sin, former spy turned wife and mother,and her former boss who needs her for one more job. This (if I understand correctly) is the first book of an ongoing series. This is a great intro to the character Sally Sin, a great entertaining read. If you have children you will love Lucy! And even if you don't, read it and like myself you will be waiting for the next book!

...44 more reader reviews

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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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