by She Treads Softly: The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen is a very highly recommended, excellent spy thriller and the first book in a new series featuring a group of retired CIA operatives living in Purity, Maine.

Maggie Bird, 60, retired from the CIA sixteen years ago and now considers herself a chicken farmer. She enjoys her quiet life on Blackberry Farm and the book club/martini club she attends with a group of long time friends who are also retired. When a mysterious woman who shows up asking about a former associate is later found dead in Maggie’s driveway, it’s clearly a message and threat. Maggie’s friends are quick to jump in to help her with their special skills. Acting police chief, Jo Thibodeau, however, is puzzled by this group of senior citizens who are competently conducting their own investigation.

The narrative alternates between the past and the present in Maggie’s life and told through the point-of-view of Maggie or Jo. Although the story moves around in time, it is very easy to follow and readers will know which character is the focus. The main story concerns Maggie and her life. Maggie is a fully realized, well-developed character and she will immediately garner your support and sympathy

Everything about The Spy Coast is excellent, the writing, plot, and characters, and represents the start of a wonderful new series that I will most definitely follow. The Martini Club is composed of likeable, skilled former CIA agents who may be retired seniors but are still intelligent and capable. The pages flew by in this entertaining, fast-paced, and engaging novel. The ending was a complete surprise.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.