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Agents of Treachery: Never Before Published Spy Fiction from Today's Most Exciting Writers

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3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  136 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
For the first time ever, legendary editor Otto Penzler has handpicked some of the most respected and bestselling thriller writers working today for a riveting collection of spy fiction. From first to last, this stellar collection signals mission accomplished.

Including:

* Lee Child with an incredible look at the formation of a special ops cell.
* James Grady writing about an
...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Joyce
Aug 05, 2016 Joyce added it
Shelves: discarded
Apparently there has never been a collection of purpose-written espionage short stories, and you can see why because the degree of difficulty here is immense. International thrillers take a buttload of mise-en-scene, tradecraft, atmosphere, sometimes historical exegesis, and especially character motivation -- a lot to cram into 30 pages or less. I think with only one exception none of these authors chose to use a series character, and that one barely appeared, so they really did all start from s ...more
Giovanni Gelati
Aug 16, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing
Fourteen short stories written by some of the thriller genre’s best authors: Gayle Lynds, Joseph Finder, Lee Child, David Morell, John Weisman….., are contained in this novel. I am not sure what it took to get this done, but every page is like gold. I have made a point on this in a previous post about the digital shorts, this is perfect: A very nice way to get a little fix of one of your authors before they put out the main course, their newest novel.
I read the printed version of the novel, but
...more
Sandra Riverol
Jul 23, 2016 Sandra Riverol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La reseña completa en:
https://unavidaentrepaginasyletras.bl...

Creo que algo que le voy a destacar a esta antología es que tira el estigma de que los libros que hablan de espías, policías y novelas negras se escriben exactamente igual o tienen el mismo cliché de "policía borracho, engreído, que se acuesta con señoras híper sensuales y se lleva a la rubia volando en su coche maravilla hacía el atardecer", así que:
¡Gracias Otto, gracias!

Como se narra en la sinopsis el libro nos presenta 14 relato
...more
Gary
Jun 21, 2014 Gary rated it it was ok
What a disappointment this book was! I've enjoyed the novels of several of the authors whose short stories are contained in this anthology, and was looking forward to taking pleasure in the stories of those whom I had not yet read. But mediocrity infused this collection through-and-through. It took me forever to finish the book, since none of the stories stoked my enthusiasm to go on to the next one. If there's one reason I'm glad I hung on, however, it's that Olen Steinhauer's contribution--the ...more
Rachel Cotterill
I picked this book up in the Kindle sale, and I think I'm glad I didn't pay full price. There were a couple of really good stories, and the collection as a whole was mildly diverting, but it was a real mix of quality and I was disappointed too many times. However it was an interesting taster of a genre I don't really read, and I may look for longer works by the writers of my favourite pieces.
Tom
Nov 08, 2010 Tom rated it it was amazing
This is great fun. Short stories about spies. From WWII thru the Cold War to modern Europe and Iraq. I've found them all very interesting in their way; only have a few left.
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
This is a collection of fourteen original short stories written by some of the best thriller writers in the business, including Lee Child, Joseph Finder, Charles McCarry, Olen Steinhauer and Stella Rimington. They span a range of timeframes and countries, from 1940s Switzerland to the current war in Iraq.

The standard is somewhat uneven. I thought a few of the stories were outstanding, some were just good and a few left me cold. I enjoyed the way that each one reflected the author's writing style
...more
Tuxlie
Aug 12, 2015 Tuxlie added it
Shelves: crime

For the first time ever, legendary editor Otto Penzler has handpicked some of the most respected and bestselling thriller writers working today for a riveting collection of spy fiction. From first to last, this stellar collection signals mission accomplished.

Including:

Lee Child with an incredible look at the formation of a special ops cell. James Grady writing about an Arab undercover FBI agent with an active cell. Joseph Finder riffing on a Boston architect who's convinced his Persian neighb
...more
Dan Downing
Jul 26, 2016 Dan Downing rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The volume I read has many things to recommend it beyond the stories: it is a beautifully bound, 3/4 marbled cover limited edition with a drop in the signature page before each story and from the editor. The paper is heavy; in lieu of a dust jacket is a heavy clear plastic protector.

This came about because Otto Penzler likes to edit unusual books. His idea here was to offer the first collection of espionage/international thriller stories by a variety of established authors. The seemingly simple
...more
Elli
Sep 01, 2011 Elli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book! The editor, Otto Penzler, offered a first rate sampling of chosen authors' short stories as well as a brief history of writings, related careers and such meaningful data to persons interested in espionage themes. And he used quite a number of situations where espionage can be a part...and methods used....and the actions and reactions of the many personalities involved in spy-type work. For instance, I never knew that Joseph Finder's first choice would have been as a spy ...more
Sirbriang2
Aug 30, 2016 Sirbriang2 rated it really liked it
According to the introduction, there are precious few short stories in the spy/espionage genre, and even fewer written by top talents in the field. That makes sense, given the complexity of most spy stories. It also makes this collection more impressive for achieving such high quality.

Not all of the stories were in my preferred styles, but they were all pretty good. My main complaint is that the stories I liked most tended toward cuteness or playing with the genre's tropes instead of telling a
...more
Angela
May 03, 2011 Angela rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysteries
I returned this one after reading 3/4 of it because I agree with a point that the editor concedes in the introduction--spy fiction doesn't lend itself to short fiction. It's too hard with this genre to develop the atmosphere, incorporate the twists and turns, craft the characters, etc. in a short story so, with two exceptions, I found these very unfulfilling. In all honesty I also prefer modern-day espionage (with a few exceptions) to WWI or WWII stuff and this was a blended collection.
Alice
Sep 13, 2013 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies
Although I call myself a fan of spy stories, I mostly mean tales of, and written during, the Cold War. This collection was a good way for me to find out what's going on in modern espionage fiction. A lot of terrorism, it turns out, and a lot of tales set in the deserts of the Middle East, as well as some historical settings. Some of these stories play the genre completely straight, others are humorous. A lot don't end well.
Mark
Oct 27, 2010 Mark rated it liked it
As with other anthologies, this is a mixed bag. I found some to be very good, others a bit lame. One surprise, however, was Lee Child's story. I am a big fan of Child's Jack reacher books and I've read hem all. His short story was a disappointment. I'm well aware that a short story and a novel are twio completely different animals, but I guess I expected more from Child.
Tom
Feb 14, 2011 Tom rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanne
Feb 17, 2014 Jeanne rated it it was ok
Short stories from several thriller/crime novelists. I'm discovering that I don't really care for short stories; I always feel like I came in in the middle and don't quite know what's going on. Also, spies are really paranoid and frequently depressed/suicidal. Doesn't seem like a good career field.....
VelveetaRanch
Nov 23, 2011 VelveetaRanch rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Short stories. What can I say? I'm not usually a fan, and this book did nothing to change that. But then it's always a lose/lose situation for me with the short story because the ones I enjoy end much too soon and the ones I don't care for seem to drag on forever. Few of the stories here ended too soon for me.
Lucas Johnson
Jan 30, 2016 Lucas Johnson rated it really liked it
Less than half of the stories in this collection are good, but those few are gorgeous. Some of the contributions (particularly from the female authors) seem little more than perfunctory, but overall this is an excellent way to spend a weekend. I will seek out other collections edited by Penzler, and I would recommend him to other readers as well.
Gary
Aug 23, 2011 Gary rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Short stories. What can I say? I'm not usually a fan, and this book did nothing to change that. But then it's always a lose/lose situation for me with the short story because the ones I enjoy end much too soon and the ones I don't care for seem to drag on forever. Few of the stories here ended too soon for me.
Angel Green
I picked this up randomly at the library to see if I cared for spy fiction (of which I haven't read much). I was completely drawn into the stories, and enjoyed them, but I don't think this genre is really for me.
Erik Dewey
Oct 05, 2010 Erik Dewey rated it it was ok
I didn't really enjoy the first five stories so I didn't finish the book. I didn't see a lot of character development in those stories and did not find them that compelling.

The stories weren't badly written, they just didn't seem very exciting to me.
Ted Magnuson
Quite a collection of cloak and dagger; The book consists of about 12 short stories. The ones I've read so far are set in modern times; overthrowing African dictators; tracking (sic) Islamofascists and the like. You've got to wonder about the research.
Diana H.
Apr 02, 2015 Diana H. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
An anthology of thriller writer's short stories. What a great idea!!!
Fans of the suspense/thriller genre can quickly get a 'fix' during lunch hour at work with this book. It's an easy way to satisfy the craving for more, more, more of your favorite authors.
Vaughn
May 06, 2012 Vaughn rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012


I found this collection of stories by various popular authors of the genre to be a mixed bag - some stories that had an unusual premise or unique plot line, others were predictable or not fully devolved. I listened to this in audio and wish I had about 40% of the time back.
Bob
May 13, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it
Spy fiction is to me, and I have not read anyone's novels in it.
But as a short form story line, this works quite well, and doesn't bog down in excessive details and subplots. Otto Penzler has once again assembled a very readable collection in yet another genre.
Rjames1999
Dec 17, 2010 Rjames1999 rated it liked it
Set of short stories. Good for filling in the gaps between other stuff. The Finder set is really good.
Jack
Jan 11, 2011 Jack rated it it was ok
Shelves: suspense
Actually, most of the stories were pretty goodl, some even great. Lee Child's and the last one in the book were total losses that were not even worth reading.
Rich Wagner
Oct 10, 2015 Rich Wagner rated it really liked it
A varied collection of short stories.While I didn't feel that these stories were really spy stories for the most part.Still overall the variety made it for a pretty good read that keeps you engaged.
Bob
Sep 14, 2011 Bob rated it really liked it
Shelves: spy-fi
Nice short story collection of thriller authors, most of whom take hundreds of pages to develop a story.
Great way to get a taste of quite a few authors.
Pete731
Mar 04, 2013 Pete731 rated it really liked it
Awesome collection of spy fiction. Some of these authors obviously aren't used to short fiction, but most of them make it work.
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Otto Penzler is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.

Otto Penzler founded The Mysteriour Press in 1975 and was the publisher of The Armchair Detective, the Edgar-winning quarterly journal devoted to the study of mystery and suspense fiction, for seventeen years.

Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for The Encycl
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More about Otto Penzler...

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