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The Accidental Spy

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Harvey is an emotionally scarred and unworldly history professor who’s lost his job, his wife and his self-respect.
In desperation, he takes a high-tech job for which he’s hilariously unqualified.
So, he outsources it to India.
What could possibly go wrong?
It turns out that Russia owns the outsourcing company and plans to use Harvey to sabotage the U.S. oil industry.
He tries to quit, but the FBI won’t let him. Instead, they force him to risk his life spying on the Russians.
To make matters even worse, Harvey falls in love with the beautiful woman from New Delhi to whom he’s outsourced his job.
And who might be a Russian spy.

274 pages, Paperback

Published November 2, 2022

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About the author

David Gardner

3 books154 followers
David Gardner grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm, served in Army Special Forces and earned a Ph.D. in French from the University of Wisconsin. He has taught college, worked as a reporter and sold women’s shoes.

He coauthored three programming books for Prentice Hall, wrote dozens of travel articles as well as too many mind-numbing computer manuals.

He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Nancy, also a writer. He hikes, bikes, messes with astrophotography and plays the keyboard with no discernible talent whatsoever.

His current novel is a whimsical thriller: 'The Journalist: A Paranormal Thriller' (Encircle Publications).

'The Last Speaker of Skalwegian' will be published in September, 2021 (Encircle Publications).

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for "Avonna.
1,099 reviews296 followers
January 18, 2023
Check out all my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com

THE ACCIDENTAL SPY by David Gardner is a satire of a spy thriller novel with a bumbling college professor who loses his job, marriage and life savings and yet manages to outwit Russian spies, foil their plot and win the girl. This standalone is a humorous story with moments of suspense, moments of heroism and moments of “Really?”.

Harvey Hudson is a fifty-six-year-old man who begins this story down and out with little self-esteem left after the college he taught at closes and his wife divorces him after running through his life savings. He is left with a pity job from an old high school flame as a technical writer by day and a pizza delivery man by night. When he “outsources” his day job on the sly to India, he meets Amaya. But there is more to this chance pairing then meets the eye and Harvey is about to learn more than he ever wanted to about Russian spies, FBI handlers and international espionage.

Harvey is an anti-hero you come to care for over the course of this life-changing adventure. The plot is unique and while it only occasionally feels fast paced with action and suspense, this is more Harvey’s story of transition and triumph over his past even with all the crazy espionage antics. I was sucked into Harvey’s story and pleasantly surprised at the unique twists, his wry wit and my hope for his ultimate triumph all along the way.
Profile Image for Joan.
3,548 reviews62 followers
January 10, 2023
What an unusual yet entertaining and enjoyable spy thriller. I chuckled and groaned and appreciated a truly unbelievable character used by the FBI. Mild mannered academic becomes a bumbling spy yet manages to get the job done. The plot is truly fun. I enjoyed reading about Harvey doing the impossible, stumbling into the right place at the right time and avoiding the bullets in the process. He is a likable character.

This spy novel does have a little suspense but is mostly an adventure in watching an inept spy win the day and the girl. This is the first novel I have read by Gardner. I really appreciate his clever and humorous writing. This novel is a nice break from the intense FBI thrillers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.
Profile Image for Karen Siddall.
Author 1 book48 followers
January 24, 2023
The Accidental Spy is one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in forever!

I was hooked! At the start of the book, the main character Professor Harvey Hudson is trapped in the depression trifecta: he’s lost his job, wife, and self-respect. But wait! There’s more. He’s secretly paying the mortgage on his widowed mother’s home while living in a dump over a poultry butcher shop, and the job at his old girlfriend’s software company is kicking his butt. I could completely relate to Harvey’s job security woes and his discomfort with his much younger coworkers. The fact that he knows absolutely nothing about the work at T&M exacerbates the problem and his deepening loss of self-worth. All in all, Harvey is a decent and lovable guy. The premise that he outsources his job to India absolutely sold me on picking this book up, and I was wholly behind Harvey’s strategy proving to be a successful move. And it really did work like a charm until it didn’t.

I was also completely caught up in Amaya’s backstory and involvement in the Russian cyberattack plan. She’s gentle and a total lady but feisty when she feels she’s been wronged. I rooted for these two to click and find their HEA.

The author’s writing style was easy to read and deliciously witty. This was definitely a book I didn’t want to put down; it was a five-star read for me from the start. However, there was at least one sentence (if not more) where I wanted to round that up to “11.” (“Because I stole his wallet.”)

With its outstandingly clever plot, witty, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and sympathetic main characters, I highly recommend THE ACCIDENTAL SPY to readers who enjoy spy thrillers and would like a lighter, less-than-serious take on the genre.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Profile Image for Melissa Ammons.
277 reviews13 followers
February 2, 2023
I received a gifted copy and am providing a review.
Harvey Hudson finds himself unemployed due to the college he taught at closing. As luck would have it, one day he bumped into a long-ago girlfriend of his who co-owned her own company. She hired him to be a technical writer, but what did Harvey know about being a technical writer? Nothing. He knew it was a pity hire, but he took the job anyway. He also found himself delivering candy and balloons until his a-ha moment and sent an order of balloons into the sky. Then, he goes on to pizza delivery, which, he discovered, wasn’t all bad … and it gave him time to think about his What-Ifs. Harvey is also an aspiring author.
Harvey decided to answer a random email one day … since he knew squat about technical writing he decided why not? And … he outsourced his job. Enter Amaya, the lady on the other end of the email. Enter a random happenstance involving the FBI. Enter some really burly dudes … Igor, Boris, and the like. Enter a world Harvey knew nothing about, thus the title “Accidental Spy.” Harvey definitely goes on some adventures through this tale … adventures he never thought a random fellow like himself would be involved in. There is also a bit of romance … some unresolved feelings from years past.
I have to say that I was quite entertained by some of the antics portrayed in this tale. If you’re looking for a light read about an average guy going about his business and stumbling across a world he was less than qualified to be involved in, give this one a read. I’m sure you’ll find yourself chuckling and shaking your head just a bit.
Profile Image for Wall-to-wall books - wendy.
933 reviews22 followers
January 26, 2023

This book was such an enjoyable read! I absolutely loved it from beginning to end. It was fun, quirky, witty, edgy, and brilliantly written. Not a dull moment on any page.

The character development was excellent. I loved Harvey and got quite attached to him. He was like this bumbling, loveable, super hero. The FBI agents were... well just like FBI agents should be. I don't know any personally, but I imagine that's what they would be like. Amaya, The Russian spy/love interest, was also a great character but I never really warmed up to her. I was always skeptical. Which is strange because it is usually the male characters I can't warm up to. I think that is because of the way the author wrote his character - he was very likeable.

This story was crazy at times, just like a spy movie. But also heartfelt and relatable at other times. It was really the perfect mix. It kept me giggling and intrigued all throughout. I am not normally a "spy novel" type person. So, If I loved it, that's saying something!

This was my first one by David Gardner, but now I really think I need to go back and read the others. This is definitely an author to watch.

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Partners in Crime Tours - Thank You!!
Profile Image for Susan.
Author 1 book28 followers
February 1, 2023
When unemployed Harvey Hudson accepts a job as a technical writer for which he has neither the skills nor the interest, he decides to outsource his work to India. That lands him in a world of trouble when his actions capture the attention of international intelligence agencies, and he’s swept up in a covert operation to prevent a Russian cyberattack on the U.S. petroleum industry. The situation is further complicated by Harvey falling in love with the woman who’s doing the work he’s being paid to do, and who just might be a Russian agent as well.

The elements of cybercrime are set within competing realms of family, politics, and national security; the result is a rich, fast-paced plot that will keep you engaged from start to finish. Unexpected twists and turns in the action create a framework for well-developed characters whose unique personalities add shape and meaning to Harvey’s world. And when the situation turns deadly serious, Harvey must find a way to save himself and those he loves from the consequences of his decisions.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Debbie Rozier.
667 reviews31 followers
January 20, 2023
I love an unlikely and unconventional hero and the main character in this one, Harvey Hudson, is just that.

Harvey is an ex-history professor now working full time as a technical writer and part time as a pizza delivery driver.

Harvey outsources his full time job (so he can focus on writing his novel about Big History) to a company in India and his contact person is Amaya.

Harvey finds out that his dream girl, Amaya, is really a Russian spy named Igor who is using Harvey to gain access to cyberattack the US petroleum industry and cause a recession.

Harvey becomes an accidental spy once the FBI enlists his help to just do nothing and let the Russians think their plans are still on track.

But when Amaya actually shows up from New Deli, Harvey isn’t sure what to do. His dream girl is probably working for the enemy.

This one has intrigue, action, romance and drama. It is quirky and has some really amusing characters. It was just an enjoyable read!
Profile Image for Irene Allison.
Author 1 book10 followers
February 2, 2023
Guaranteed to make you laugh!

A friend sent me this book as a gift and all I can say is that if you’re looking for a light read that will put a smile on your face and a chuckle in your heart, look no further, The Accidental Spy, is waiting to take you hostage.

Written in clear, concise language with laugh-out-loud moments, this is a novel that plays with the tropes of an unlikely love-lost hero tossed unexpectedly into the world of espionage. Equal parts quick pace and silliness, wrapped in a double-dose of fun, this is a story sure to please readers of the genre. And, as a bonus, those working in the field of technical writing are bound to enjoy the shenanigans of an underdog plucked from their midst. After all, who could have guessed that lurking in office cubicles lies so much danger!
Profile Image for Katreader.
688 reviews25 followers
January 14, 2023
Job prospects for middle aged history professors are not very good, so when Harvey Hudson runs into his old high school sweetheart he embellishes his qualifications and begins work as a technical writer for the company she co-owns. Soon realizing how woefully inadequate he actually is, he outsources his job to India. With his official work settled he can spend his days in the office working on his own book and fantasizing about the woman in New Delhi who's actually doing his job. That is until the FBI get involved...and Russian agents...and the fact that the woman he's falling in love with may be a spy.

A fantasy come true could be a nightmare or a new start in AN ACCIDENTAL SPY. I really enjoyed this fun story with its uniquely different characters in a world that's frighteningly relatable. Harvey could be considered somewhat pathetic, but he's likable, fun, and smart. He reminds us, even when we're down on our luck things can get better, although they usually get worse first.

Midlife ennui turns to adventure in THE ACCIDENTAL SPY as espionage, inner demons, and love collide in this fun and funny thriller.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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