Blog Tour – Tinker, Tailor, Schoolmum, Spy by Faye Brann

Thank you to Anne @RandomTTours for my place on the tour and to the author and @HarperFiction for my gifted paperback. All opinions are honest and my own.


Vicky 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…

My Review

Don’t be fooled by the cover thinking this is a sweet comedy, while it is not without some incredibly funny moments, it’s an astutely observed and acerbic look at life for the middle aged mum. How the average woman after a certain age becomes invisible, which is a good skill to have as a spy. But juggling the PTA, school runs and getting dinner on the table while taking on arms dealing Russians after years off the job could be pushing it.

Vicky is a woman after my own heart, I adore my kids but when they were small it was mind numbingly boring and toddlers have conversational skills the equivalent of someone high on LSD. Like Vicky I didn’t just want to go back to work, I needed to for my own sanity if nothing else.

Vicky is funny, sassy, an absolute boss at paintball and a major embarrassment to her kids. She was everything I wanted in a character. She has the “being in your forties” muffin tops and can’t quite handle alcohol like she used to, sangria and bush a mix that is fairly common past a certain age. She left JOPS (Joint Operations Intelligence Service) after an incident with the Russians led to a fellow spies death and her involvement made her a liability. Relegated to desk duty she turned her back on that life and settled down instead. Now they want her back and it looks like someone in her friends group is up to no good, bringing the action too close to home. Can she have both a career as a spy and keep her family safe?

I have to say it was genuinely nice to read a book with a pleasant husband for a change. Rather than the secret keeping, lying cheaters I normally read about, Chris was supportive and an all round nice bloke. Her friends were a great bunch too, you can’t help but want to be part of their inner circle, so it felt like a real mission trying to work out who was up to dodgy deeds.

I imagine comedy is very hard, as sense of humour is such a personal thing. Some like dry and sarcastic while others like fart jokes. But Faye has kept it mostly observational which most people will get and I’m pretty sure she has funny bones as it is done so naturally it strikes the perfect chord. I’m hoping there is many more books to come!

About the author

Faye grew up in Essex before running away to drama school. She worked in the West End as a stage carpenter but decided to get a ‘proper job’, for reasons which are still unclear but may have been influenced by Rachel from Friends. After a decade working her way to the heady heights of middle management, Faye met her husband and moved to Dubai where she ditched corporate life for good in favour of having a baby, performing improvised comedy, and gaining an MA from Falmouth University.
Now back in London with her family, Faye divides her time between performing in musicals with her local theatre company and working as a freelance copyeditor, but her real passion is for writing novels about (and for) kick-ass middle aged women. Her first novel, Tinker, Tailor, Schoolmum, Spy, won the Comedy Women in Print Unpublished Prize in 2020.
Keep in touch with Faye on Twitter and Instagram @writerfaye

Link to buy

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogger’s thoughts on the tour. Happy reading!

Published by

Melanie’s reads

Book reader and tea drinker. Lover of psychological thrillers and original stories that are thought provoking. Open to review requests please email

2 thoughts on “Blog Tour – Tinker, Tailor, Schoolmum, Spy by Faye Brann”

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