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An Unlikely Agent by Jane Menczer
  

An Unlikely Agent

Historical Fiction   Debuts of the Month   Exclusive Pre-Publication   Literary Fiction   Romantic Fiction   

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An enthralling Edwardian espionage thriller featuring an endearing, independent female lead and lashings of intrigue.

London, 1905, and Margaret Trant is living a humdrum live until she sees an interest-piquing advertisement for a secretarial position. “Was it really possible that my life could change?” she wonders in response to the ad’s offer of wild new horizons, and she grasps the opportunity with both elegantly-gloved hands. Immediately thrilled by the secrecy surrounding her new employer, an organisation enigmatically known as “Bureau 8”, sharp-minded Margaret discovers that she’s actually working for a secret government intelligence department, and soon finds herself embroiled in their mission to thwart a group of anarchists.

I adored Margaret’s resourcefulness and the novel’s period charm, from the “boyish gallantry” of her new colleagues, to the evocations of Edwardian London. Fuelled by the heroine’s immense appeal, and the flawless plotting, this is an engrossing read, with many funny moments, and I rather hope this gifted debut novelist dishes up more detective delights in the very near future. ~ Joanne Owen

Click here to read a Q&A with Jane Menczer.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Pauline Braisher - 'I've read a lot of very good books over the years and this is one of the best of them...The reader is hooked from the first page and the plot is excellent, with plenty of twists and turns.'
  • Alfred Nobile - 'This was my first foray into historical fiction and this book was populated with a vast cast of characters. I found myself enjoying the story and the escapades of the characters immensely.'
  • Bev Farningham - 'A very well written novel with a great mix of characters that seem to jump off the pages at you.'

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We have 4 tickets (2 pairs) to give away to one lucky winner to attend two Walter Scott Prize events taking place at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival on Saturday 17 June 2017. One pair of tickets is for a panel event with shortlisted authors, and the other is for the Prize event in which the winner is announced and presented. Click here to find out more about the Borders Book Festival.

Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on 2 May 2017. The winner will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 14 May 2017.

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 02/05/2017

Synopsis

An Unlikely Agent by Jane Menczer

London, 1905. Margaret Trant lives with her ailing, irascible mother in a dreary boarding house in St John's Wood. The pair have fallen on hard times, with only Margaret's meagre salary from a ramshackle import-export company keeping them afloat.When a stranger on the tram hands her a newspaper open at the recruitment page, Margaret spots an advertisement that promises to 'open new horizons beyond your wildest dreams!'. After a gruelling interview, she finds herself in a new position as a secretary in a dingy backstreet shop.But all is not as it seems; she is in fact working for a highly secret branch of the intelligence service, Bureau 8, whose mission is to track down and neutralise a ruthless band of anarchists known as the Scorpions. Margaret's guilty love of detective fiction scarcely prepares her for the reality of true criminality, and her journey of self-discovery forms the heart of this remarkable novel, as she discovers in herself resourcefulness, courage, independence and the first stirrings of love.

Reviews

'Fuelled by the heroine's immense appeal, and the flawless plotting, this is an engrossing read, with many funny moments, and I rather hope this gifted debut novelist dishes up more detective delights in the very near future' - Joanne Owen, LoveReading'


About the Author

Jane Menczer

Jane Menczer was born in Winchester and now lives in Cambridge. She has worked in a West End theatre, as a nanny, as a waitress, and as a bookseller. Working with Germaine Greer on her dissertation awakened an interest in all the talented and heroic woman from other eras who have been overlooked or forgotten, and directly influenced the creation of the character of Miss Trant. Jane currently teaches drama at a comprehensive school near Cambridge. An Unlikely Agent is her first novel.

Click here to read a Q&A with this author.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th May 2017

Author

Jane Menczer

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Publisher

Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General

Format

Paperback
400 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
Debuts of the Month
Exclusive Pre-Publication
Literary Fiction
Romantic Fiction

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Crime & mystery
Espionage & spy thriller

ISBN

9781846973802

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