Secret Agent Girl


Bebe Bennett, 1960s executive secretary extraordinaire, follows her boss and secret crush Bradley Williams to his third job in as many books, corporate manager of Merryweather’s Toy Shoppe. For those keeping count, he was previously a record executive and head of a modeling agency. In this outing, he’s been charged with reviving a toy store where employees dress as princesses, Raggedy Anns, and cowboys, and the store mascot is Mr. Skidoo, a blackmailing clown—literally. What secret of Bebe’s has he ferreted out? Her secret love for Bradley. Apparently, love is more dumb than blind in her case because when she discovers the clown with a knife in his chest, she pulls it out, thinking he’s playing a prank, and then lies to the police when confronted in front of Bradley as to what secret she’s been keeping. In her first two adventures, Bebe was naïve but plucky and ingenious. After having a hand in solving two murders, she’s suddenly lost her senses.

As with the previous books, Martin captures the more innocent time of the 1960s, pre-Summer of Love, with fab miniskirts, groovy go-go boots, and backcombed hair. Bebe and Bradley continue their “will they or won’t they” dance, which is finally resolved, but I don’t know if I have the patience to see what Bradley’s fourth job will be.

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12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award






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