Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Operation Underpants ( Max & Olivia #1)” as Want to Read:
Operation Underpants ( Max & Olivia #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

Operation Underpants ( Max & Olivia #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  150 ratings  ·  36 reviews
An Uplifting Story – Humour, Action, Adventure and a little Quirky.

Operation Underpants celebrates the more venerable among us.
Max and Olivia met as teenagers on covert operations during WW2. After the war they married and under the guise of a doddering vicar and his wife, continued a life of secrets as cold war spies.

Now 87 years of age and confined to a nursing home
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by mbkbooks
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Operation Underpants, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Mark Biggs Hi Harriet - There is now a sequel, but at the time of writing Operation Underpants, that was not necessarily going to be the case. Because of the…moreHi Harriet - There is now a sequel, but at the time of writing Operation Underpants, that was not necessarily going to be the case. Because of the cost of postage & shipping, I did not want to exceed about 315 pages. But at the same time, I wanted a well-spaced, larger print book - making it easy to read. The result was I ended the story abruptly. You were not the only person to be a-little-less than impressed. On a positive note however, the feedback encouraged me to write a sequel. The sequel, Claudia, has been available for a few months now. It is still a fun book, but a little darker. I think you will find the ending is much better. I am now writing what will be the last book, in what has become, the Max and Olivia trilogy. The non-definitive title for the final book is - Operation OBE (over bloody eighty). Thank you very much for your comment & for reading the story. My apology in not responding earlier. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  150 ratings  ·  36 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Operation Underpants ( Max & Olivia #1)
Susan Swiderski
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cliffhanger
This book had a lot of potential, but for me, it came up short. I bought it in spite of its title, which I dislike intensely, because the idea of octogenarians as the stars of a spy thriller appealed to me.

The early going was good, and rather touching, as it did a spot-on job describing what it's like for senior citizens to be shuffled off to a nursing home "for their own good" by their controlling children.

Where it fell down for me? Lots of telling, and little showing, so even the scenes that
Eunice Korczak
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Operation Underpants

So, if you are looking for comedy, this isn't it. Oh, there is humor, and there are funny situations. There is the inherent humor of octogenarians on the run from - if you can even picture 80-somethings running anywhere - from nursing home administration, their children, police, Interpol, and the Russian mafia. Okay, so they don't actually run (but they skulk). Okay, so there is comedy (but not slapstick, at least not all of the time). BUT, there is a good mystery story with
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

Olivia and Max were endearing and I rooted for them all the way through. I would have preferred a little less exposition at the beginning but once the story got going it was a quick and enjoyable read. While the prologue provided good background info, I think it would have made more sense at the end. It gave me more information than I wanted going into the story. That said, I could have just skipped the prologue and read it after, so it's not that big
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-won
I received Operation Underpants as part of a Kindle giveaway. I gave it 4 stars in spite of the ending. I was left hanging as though the book didn't end. Up until the last page, the book was great. If not for the ending, the book deserved 5 stars. Max and Olivia were enchanting. I could just imagine any of the WW2 veterans and their wife's as having a dual life, one that's not known about until after they die or is re-erected only if necessary. My guess there are many people who served as spies ...more
Dianne P. Walker
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's more truth

In this about the capabilities of old people than most are willing to admit. Just because we have infirmities does not mean that we are no longer able to have purpose, courage and ability (though somewhat reduced). This started a little slow but I couldn't let it go and now I am hooked.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
My Elefants Publications
DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy in a Goodreads giveaway.

If I'd known it was a blasted cliffhanger, I would have NEVER even entered the giveaway!!
As it is, I'll never read another one - I don't trust this author to provide a real ending to his stories (that whole "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" thing).

And that's a shame because the story had potential.

It could have really used a good editor to trim the fat and tighten up the story. Waaaay too much info at the start
Don’t let the cutesy title fool you; this book is an intense spy thriller.
Max and Olivia, an adorable vicar and his wife, met as spies during World War II, married, had a family in Australia, and continued their spy missions over the years. Involved in a traffic accident in Europe during one of their recent missions, they are relegated to a nursing home by their greedy children.
Although they are octogenarians, they find life in the nursing home boring and unfulfilling. One morning, while reading
I received the Kindle version of this book from Although it had a lengthy introduction about Ebola which wasn’t really referenced ever again in the book I did enjoy the majority of the book. Max and Olivia are in an Australian nursing home when Max comes across a notation in a newspaper with a clue regarding work that they had done as covert operatives in World War II. Adventures of Max and Olivia are actually quite enjoyable but they seemed unmoved by the people that died helping ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elderly spies revive to carry out a new mission!

Max and Olivia are signaled to reactivate their earlier careers after being left in a nursing home by relatives. Their plans include disguises, clever get-a-ways in many relic cars and rerouting means to avoid being caught by officials who have learned of their escape from the home. It's an exciting story to read but expects the reader to believe the elderly pair can do it all without their meds which are soon left behind in one of their escapes!
May 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Love to see or read about spunky octogenarians! If you can make it past the slow beginning, the plot gets interesting, though a bit implausible. It wasn't as funny as I had hoped. (I was expecting to be roaring as much as I had while reading The 100-year-old Man who Walked Climbed out the Window & Disappeared.) 2 things perplexed me: 1) Why are official law-enforcement figures always portrayed as dolts books like this? 2) What's with the dénouement? I think those who have read it should ...more
Marion Campbell
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is in the vein of "The Old Man who Climbed Out ..." It is an amusing tale of spies who have never totally retired and are still living to be called upon once more. It is also a somewhat realistic tale of aging and how the elderly can be thought of and treated as less than they are. There are some of the things that one expects of a spy novel and others that one doesn't. I enjoyed it and hoping there will indeed be a 2nd book featuring this couple by Mark Biggs. I'll be waiting to join the ...more
Nancy L.
Not bad, worth reading. but a little too much action detail that dragged. Ends on an unfinished note, with follow-up in presumably the following book. Would have helped to have the explanation of ebola etc. later in the book rather than at the very beginning because all of a sudden, you are at a retirement home where Max and Olivia have been dumped—not explained until later. Also I was perplexed by the mention of the Janus Key with no explanation until later, wondered if it was supposed to be ...more
Sharon Samms
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Read!

I chose 5 stars although there was a slow start to the story, it picked up quickly and then I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next! Max and Olivia, 2 elderly former spies, end up in a nursing home after a serious accident. While reading the paper, Max finds a cryptic message in the obituaries that calls for him and Olivia to come out of retirement immediately. They break free from the nursing home and their adventure begins!
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Max and Olivia are the Grandparents everybody wishes they could have. They quickly destroy the expectation that the elderly are frail, helpless and humourless. Their adventures take a wild ride across the globe and span much of their 80 something years. They had me in stitches and suspense as they attempt to out wit their many opponents from their Zimmer frames. I challenge anyone not to enjoy this tale.
Tita Gee
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

This book ends but the story doesn't. It just closed in the middle of a someone tore the last page from the book. I only completed the book to see hour it ended. Had I followed my instinct, I would have thrown it away it like a used paper towel. The editing was awful and the back and forth between characters was worse. At one point the name of one of the major characters was incorrect. This is just the worst.....
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cracking good read!

What a hoot! I loved following Max & Olivia's travels. Not only across miles, but also across the years. Their backstory took awhile but made it all tie together.

Loved this book. What an adventure.

What I didn't like was the cliffhanger ending. I now need to purchase the next book in this series. A bit of a let down...I was hoping to have an ending to this adventure, then begin a new adventure.
Skye Blue ☆*~゚ლ(´ڡ`ლ)~*☆
Funny, timely, great read.

This book has a bit of everything. Spy's, intrique, ghosts from world war 2. Aging old couple with ungrateful money grubbing children. A true dating and live story! Some political carrying one past and present. Terror plots that are frightening. Well written . a good read. I sure hope there's another one!
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Who would think that a couple of octogenarian would be clandestine spies? That's just what Max and Olivia are. Their wild journey to recover the Janus Machine is chronicled here.

Mark A Biggs a a veritable genius for the story he has weaved here. My only complaint is an abrupt and kind of anticlimactic ending.
I loved this book from the beginning and didn't want to put it down. But, as all the other reviews have said, the ending was MADDENING because the last line is "you will have to wait and see". It is a cliff-hanger. I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and now I have to go look for the other 2 books in the series. ARGHH!! I would have given it a higher score if it had a satisfactory ending!!!
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suspense and Humor

Such Suspense! Following as Max and Olivia are basically robbed of their home and monies and stuck in a “retirement home”, then they get the secret signal and must escape to England and find something hidden since WW2. One way after another their progress is thwarted. Such a Fun and Suspenseful read!!
Jun 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Someone might find the main characters charming, I suppose. I didn't - at least not after the first scene or two.

Add to that a largely incoherent plot, oddly presented with waaaaay too much exposition and explanation.

I finished it out of a sense of duty (I've very rarely tossed a book aside without finishing it, though this time I came close) not pleasure.

Oh, and the title sucks.
Carol Carmichael
This was a fun read in a way, but hardly a page turner. It took me ages to finish when I usually finish a book in 2 or 3 days. But the ending, which wasn’t an ending left me cold. I despise books that leave you hanging so you have to read the next installment and the next. I was fooled by that once. Never again.
Robert W Buhrmann
Part one of a serial.

Liked the elderly protagonists. You have to read the next book Claudia to see what happens. The story ends with book 2 but a continuation of their adventures takes place in Operation OBE. All three need proof reading.
Susan H Garris
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Operation Underpants

Good book, gives a nostalgic run by two eighty seven year olds to retrieve a machine of miracles. Everything was going well until it ended as a cliff hanger. I refuse to read the next book.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly entertaining

Fascinating book, only hope I can do all the stuff they do when I am their age. Quite the adventure and Kept me interested, but kinda left with have to read the next book for resolution
Amy Ingalls
I on this book in a giveaway. The story itself was OK-- a little improbable at times, a lot of telling of information all at once. However, I love that the main characters were in their 80's. Older people are definitely underrepresented in literature.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Harriet A. Eaker
Catchy title, but that's all

Starts slowly, then picks up to quite a fast-paced interesting read. Ending is a total let-down. It actually is AWFUL!
Jean McDowell
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Really entertaining could hardly put it down .hoping there is a sequel!!! Olivia and max aRe a great interesting couple.

« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Operation Underpants 1 2 Jul 02, 2017 03:55AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Baskerville for the Bear (Thistlewood Star Mysteries #0.5)
  • The Star and the Shamrock
  • Partners In Crime (Hubbert & Lil, #1)
  • Murder in Cottage #6 (Liz Lucas Mystery #1)
  • Aunt Bessie Likes (Isle of Man #12)
  • Mildred in Disguise with Diamonds (Mildred Unchained #1)
  • Artifacts of Death (Manny Rivera, #1)
  • Holly Banks Full of Angst
  • The Gift (The Butterfly Effect #1)
  • The Curse (The Butterfly Effect #2)
  • Grave Mistake (Codex Blair, #1)
  • The Flower Show Murder (Monica Noble, #2)
  • The Grammarians
  • Muscle Meals: 15 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy (The Build Healthy Muscle Series)
  • Arson at the Art Gallery (Getaway Bay Cozy Mystery Series #1)
  • The Murder of Shakespeare's Ghost (Seaview Cottages Cozy Mystery, #2)
  • Saving Worms After the Rain: A Central Pennsylvania Novel of History and Mystery
  • Answers in the Attic (The Inn At Holiday Bay, #4)
See similar books…

Born in London, I moved to Australia when I was nine. After university I joined the Police Force and while there completed my studies to become a Psychologist. From the police I moved to the Department of Health and Human Services, first working in Child Protection and then later in Disability Services. I also held roles in both the Commonwealth and Local Governments.

On the side, I enjoy a