It was the cover that made me pick this book up at the library. Bright red, looking like a spy novel and then the tagline: "Mother. Wife. Assassin. She's not playing games....."

As a mother myself, it appealed. I mean, all mothers dream of murder at times right? Or is that just me...

I know I certainly, as a new mother, in the midst of the sleepless nights, the incessant crying (baby and me), the endless cycle of laundry and glitter glue, I sometimes wondered what had happened to me - the person I was before the babies, the working person. And as the babies got older, and I edged back into the world of work, only now as a working mum, I did question just how I was going to be able to do both - be a mum and be an employee.

Which is exactly what Asia Mackay's fiercely imagined Lex Tyler tries to juggle in this book. Being a mum to an adorable toddler, Gigi, while also working full time.


So I can relate the lead character. Well, sort of.

While we might both juggle work and children, my job doesn't generally include guns, assassins or plots to murder high-level Chinese diplomats.

As you follow Lex through her adventure-packed life, as she juggles attending nursery open days and catching overseas assassins, it is impossible not to find yourself nodding in agreement with some of the observations about life as a working mum.

It is also impossible not to find yourself cheering Lex and her team on as they race against the clock to find who is leaking secret information, causing missions to fail and agents to die. The clock is ticking as they try and find the informant within, before diplomatic relations with China are ruined forever, and before it's time to pick up Lex's daughter from childcare.

It's not a heavy read, it's a light, sit on the beach and laugh out loud type of read, but that doesn't stop it from touching on important issues for mothers all over the place, spies or not.

Dealing with children biting at kindy, building friendships with other mums, keeping a marriage alive when date nights have been swapped for watching Peppa Pig, and juggling a career with having children and being the best mum possible.

A few times in the book, previous events were referenced that made me feel they could have filled a book themselves. Eventually I looked the author up and discovered they had! This book is actually the second about Lex Tyler, but it was perfectly readable as a stand-alone book. I would recommend reading the first one before. You don't need to for the plot, but why not double the fun, and have two great books to read this summer.

Having read the first two out of order, I am now going to keep an eye out for a third in the series, as I feel Lex Tyler has plenty of adventures still to come and Asia Mackay is the perfect person to create them.


This regular column showcases some of the books available to borrow from the Stratford or South Taranaki book catalogues. The books are chosen by our editorial team.

As well as borrowing books from the Stratford Library, Stratford library card holders can also borrow books from the South Taranaki book catalogue at no extra cost.

This shared service is very popular, with over 300 books moving between the libraries each week. Library users can reserve books online regardless of which library they belong to and can also return issued books to the Stratford Library or any of the seven South Taranaki libraries.

Reserving items is free. Library members are notified by email or a phone call when reserved items are ready to collect.

All of the books reviewed in this column are available to borrow through the library system.