Secret Agent Gals by Richard Gid Powers
Livingston Press, February 2023
Called “the female version of a bromance,” Richard Gid Powers has created a world in which quick-witted Secret Agent Gals outwit bumbling Nazi assassins, boneheaded Communist spies, and slick Irish manure cart bombers, and must rescue dimwitted FBI Directors, fellow secret agents, crazy Presidents and First ladies from the dumb messes they get themselves into. Peggy Guggenheim and Baroness Hilla Rebay, both famous art collector/museum directors, are recruited by the FBI to plow through the painters the two women have been helping escape the Nazis, to see if there are any spies. That’s their start as counterspies, and how the story begins. In the end, they win the war and have lots of laughs doing it. They go through Special Agent basic training, bond with each other against their drill sergeant, learn to march, tie knots, practice jabs and jiu-jitsu, shoot John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd targets, work their Secret Decoder rings and get fitted for designer G-girl suits. The plot starts to get complicated à la Indian uprisings, revolts in the Japanese-American internment camps, and Irish terrorists. The Nazis kidnap General Eisenhower’s girlfriend, and Ike refuses to invade France until he gets her back. The G-Girls are sent to England, where they meet James Bond’s dad, Jonquil “Junk” Bond. Ike’s girlfriend is also a secret agent, in fact almost everyone in the book is a secret agent, and she has a plan to rub hair remover on Hitler’s moustache and steal his mojo. There is a supervillain, who is, by turns, a rogue FBI agent, an atomic spy, a Nazi traitor, an agitator at the Japanese-American internment camps, and finally head of a terrorist campaign by rebel FBI agents disguised as Irish manure cart bombers to kill Hoover and take over the Bureau. These Gals have seriously got their hands full, which makes for a rollicking read!