Published by HarperCollins Genres: Comedy, Family Life
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Winner of the 2020 Comedy Women in Print PrizeVicky Turnbull has never regretted giving up her career for family life in the suburbs. And apart from being outstandingly good at paintball, no one would ever know that in a past life she was an undercover spy and has been trained to kill a man with her bare hands. Not even her husband, and certainly not the other mums at the school gate.
But beneath the school runs and bake sales, Vicky had never quite said goodbye to the past. So, when a newcomer on the PTA sets alarms bells ringing and MI5 comes calling, she’s determined to prove that despite her expanding waistline and love of pink gin, she’s still every bit the cold-eyed special operative.
When the assignment gets uncomfortably close to home, Vicky must decide if she has got what the job takes after all, and if home is really where her heart is…
I’ve been a stressed ‘school mum’ for 23 years now and I’ve got several more years to go! So you can bet I am excited to share with you an extract from Tinker, Tailor, Schoolmum, Spy the debut novel from award-winning Faye Brann.
Be sure to check out other stops on the tour for reviews of the novel published on September 2nd.
Victoria Turnbull ran up the hill, panting with effort, willing her body to keep moving. Shots
echoed around her as she sprinted towards the shelter of woodland ahead. Only a few
metres stood between her and the sanctuary of the trees, but if they got a lucky shot she’d
She dodged one way and then the other, blazing a kami- kaze trail that even a trained
marksman would have difficulty keeping up with, squinting into the trees to try and spot any
sign of an ambush. Nothing obvious. She dived into the foliage, landing badly and rolling to a
crumpled stop at the foot of a tree. The noise of gunfire was behind her; she was safe, for
She stood up slowly, taking stock of the situation and trying to control her breathing. The
combat trousers she wore gripped her thighs like sausage casings; love handles spilt
through the gap between her top and bottoms. She wasn’t as fit as she once had been; the
years had taken a toll and she was regretting any number of lifestyle choices as sweat
leaked into every crease and crevice. She leant against the tree trunk for support, legs
shaking, and checked her weapon.
She needed to get to her team. She’d tried to tell them to spread out, to divide and conquer,
but they hadn’t taken her seriously and had ended up cornered. Such were the perils of
working with amateurs. Her eyes flickered with annoyance. Currently, as far as she could
tell, she was the only person from Yellow squad who was still operational. Even so, her
ankle was hurting from that badly timed roll. She tested the weight; she could still run on it,
although not as fast as she would have liked. With a bit of luck, her attackers would assume
she was already down, though, and she would be able to circle around and make her way
back to her team without the need to sprint there. She listened hard and scanned the woods.
Everything was still. Except—
She cocked her gun. There was a small movement deep in the trees and she thought for a
moment she had seen something. But after a few minutes of intense staring there was no
more movement and she relaxed her finger off the trigger. A squirrel, probably.
A battle cry came from the clearing in the small valley below. She took a deep breath and
began making her way out of the cover of the trees. As she approached the brow of the hill,
a hulking figure of a man ran up and over, towards her. Not an ally. She fired straight at him
without hesitating. He staggered backwards, a look of surprise on his face, before falling
away. She jogged on, not stopping. It was only a bit of paint. He would live.