Your mission, if you choose to accept it . . .

Top-Secret

. . . Read one of these great novels on spies and espionage.

Main Floor Fiction

eye of the needleThe Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett

Goodreads Summary:

One enemy spy knows the secret to the Allies’ greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin — code name: “The Needle” — who holds the key to ultimate Nazi victory.

Only one person stands in his way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is beginning to love the killer who has mysteriously entered her life.

All will come to a terrifying conclusion in Ken Follett’s unsurpassed and unforgettable masterwork of suspense, intrigue, and the dangerous machinations of the human heart.

charm schoolThe Charm School by Nelson DeMille

Goodreads Summary:

Something very strange—and sinister—is going on in the Russian woods at Borodino. In a place called Mrs. Ivanova’s Charm School, young KGB agents are being taught by American POWs how to be model citizens of the USA. The Soviet goal—to infiltrate the United States undetected. When an unsuspecting American tourist stumbles upon this secret, he sets in motion a CIA investigation that will reveal horrifying police state savagery and superpower treachery.

unlikely spyThe Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva

Goodreads Summary:

In wartime,” Winston Churchill wrote, “truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” For Britain’s counterintelligence operations, this meant finding the unlikeliest agent imaginable-a history professor named Alfred Vicary, handpicked by Churchill himself to expose a highly dangerous, but unknown, traitor. The Nazis, however, have also chosen an unlikely agent: Catherine Blake, a beautiful widow of a war hero, a hospital volunteer-and a Nazi spy under direct orders from Hitler to uncover the Allied plans for D-Day…

bourneThe Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (Jason Bourne #1)

Goodreads Summary:

Who is Jason Bourne? Is he an assassin, a terrorist, a thief? Why has he got four million dollars in a Swiss bank account? Why has someone tried to murder him?…

Jason Bourne does not know the answer to any of these questions. Suffering from amnesia, he does not even know that he is Jason Bourne. What manner of man is he? What are his secrets? Who has he killed?

the spy whoThe Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John le Carre (George Smiley #3)

Goodreads Summary:

With unsurpassed knowledge culled from his years in British Intelligence, le Carre brings to light the shadowy dealings of international espionage in the tale of a British agent who longs to end his career but undertakes one final, bone-chilling assignment. When the last agent under his command is killed and Alec Leamas is called back to London, he hopes to come in from the cold for good. His spymaster, Control, however, has other plans. Determined to bring down the head of East German Intelligence and topple his organization, Control once more sends Leamas into the fray — this time to play the part of the dishonored spy and lure the enemy to his ultimate defeat.

royal spynessHer Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Goodreads Summary:

Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth in line for the throne, she has been taught only a few things, among them, the perfect curtsey. But when her brother cuts off her allowance, she leaves Scotland, and her fiancé Fish-Face, for London, where she has:

a) worked behind a cosmetics counter-and gotten sacked after five hours
b) started to fall for a quite unsuitable minor royal
c) made some money housekeeping (incognita, of course), and
d) been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son.

Then an arrogant Frenchman, who wants her family’s 800-year-old estate for himself, winds up dead in her bathtub. Now her most important job is to clear her very long family name.

by orderBy Order of the President by W.E.B. Griffin (Presidential Agent #1)

Goodreads Summary:

At an airfield in Angola, two men board a leased Boeing 727; then, once it is in the air, slit the pilot’s throat and fly to parts unknown. The consternation is immediate, as the CIA, FBI, FAA, and other agencies race to find out what has happened, in the process elbowing each other in the sides a little too vigorously.

Fed up, the President of the United States turns to an outside investigator to determine the truth, an Army intelligence officer serving as special assistant to the Director of Homeland Security. Major Carlos Guillermo Castillo, known as Charley, is the son of a German mother and a Tex-Mex father, a Medal of Honor winner who died in Vietnam. A pilot, West Point graduate, and veteran of Desert Storm and the Special Forces, Castillo has a sharp eye for the facts-and the reality behind the facts. Traveling undercover, he flies to Africa, and there, helped and hindered by unexpected allies and determined enemies, begins to untangle a story of frightening dimensions-a story that, unless he can do something about it, will end very, very badly.

Teens

verityCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Goodreads Summary:

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York TimesCode Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

maid of secretsMaid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan (Maids of Honor #1)

Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril.

For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.

A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…

i'd tell youI’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls #1)

Goodreads Summary:

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

dancerDancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem

Goodreads Summary:

Marina is born of privilege. Her mother, Sveta, is the Soviet Union’s prima ballerina: an international star handpicked by the regime. But Sveta is afflicted with a mysterious second sight and becomes obsessed with exposing a horrific state secret. Then she disappears.

Fearing for their lives, Marina and her father defect to Brooklyn. Marina struggles to reestablish herself as a dancer at Juilliard. But her enigmatic partner, Sergei, makes concentration almost impossible, as does the fact that Marina shares her mother’s “gift,” and has a vision of her father’s murder at the hands of the Russian crooks and con artists she thought they’d left behind.

Now Marina must navigate the web of intrigue surrounding her mother’s disappearance, her ability, and exactly whom she can—and can’t—trust.

etiquetteEtiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger  (Finishing School #1)

Goodreads Summary:

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped.  At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything.  Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

stormbreakerStormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider #1)

Goodreads Summary:

They told him his uncle died in a car accident. Fourteen-year-old Alex knows that’s a lie, and the bullet holes in his uncle’s windshield confirm his suspicions. But nothing prepares him for the news that the uncle he always thought he knew was really a spy for MI6–Britain’s top secret intelligence agency. Recruited to find his uncle’s killers and complete his final mission, Alex suddenly finds himself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Youth Services

silverfinSilverfin: a James Bond Adventure by Charlie Higson

Goodreads Summary:

What does it take to become the greatest secret agent the world has ever known? In this thrilling prequel to the adventure of James Bond, 007, readers meet a young boy whose inquisitive mind and determination set him on a path that will someday take him across the globe, in pursuit of the most dangerous criminals of all time

spy schoolSpy School by Stuart Gibbs

Goodreads Summary:

Can a normal, average kid become a superstar secret agent? Maybe not, but it’ll be fun to watch him try!

Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he’s already pegged his dream job: C.I.A. or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn’t exactly scream “secret agent.” In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate math skills, Ben isn’t surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science—but he’s entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior C.I.A. academy. Could the C.I.A. really want him?

Actually, no. There’s been a case of mistaken identity—but that doesn’t stop Ben from trying to morph into a supercool undercover agent, the kind that always gets the girl. And through a series of hilarious misadventures, Ben realizes he might actually be a halfway decent spy…if he can survive all the attempts being made on his life!

double visionDouble Vision by F.T. Bradley

Goodreads Summary:

In the trilogy opener, twelve-year-old Lincoln Baker finds himself in a world of trouble! First, Linc’s seemingly harmless prank on a school field trip ends in expulsion and a lawsuit. Then two mysterious figures from a secret government agency called Pandora show up at Linc’s house with a proposition for him.

Turns out Linc looks exactly like one of Pandora’s top kid agents, Benjamin Green, who vanished while on a critical spy mission in Paris. If Linc agrees to take his place, they’ll get him back in school and make that costly lawsuit disappear.

But the mission is a lot more complicated than it seems. A highly valuable copy of the Mona Lisa has gone missing and now Linc must make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Too bad Linc isn’t a black belt math genius who can run a four-minute mile like his double, Ben, because he’ll need those skills to make it out alive. . . .

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