The best fantasy novels that prove secret agencies often mess things up, and we need a hero

The Books I Picked & Why

Secret Agent Mom

By Martha Carr, Michael Anderle

Book cover of Secret Agent Mom

Why this book?

As a mom of six, I must say that I’m in a constant state of balancing motherly duties with other obligations—so Lucy Heron has my sympathy as a fellow native of Los Angeles, who juggles her kids, a bakery, and apparently her job as “Agent 485,” fighting supernatural crime.

Lucy works for a secret organization that wants to keep magic in the realm of myth and humanity none the wiser to its existence. Well, that will be tough as a tribe of ancient witches gets thrown into the mix, some unscrupulous magical beings, and the fact that this mom of three has to get this all done in time for dinner. This is definitely a fun read to check out!

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Monster Hunter International

By Larry Correia

Book cover of Monster Hunter International

Why this book?

Owen Pitt probably thought he’d be arrested for pushing his boss out of a fourteenth-story window; instead, he wakes up in the hospital five days later and learns that monsters are not mere legend—they are real. In comes a job offer from Monster International, which eradicates magical threats lurking in the shadows. 

As a kid, I always loved fantastical stories that weaved in the “what if?” questions with my imagination. This enjoyable series opens up that wondrous world in a unique way.

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The Brimstone Deception

By Lisa Shearin

Book cover of The Brimstone Deception

Why this book?

I have to admit, if I had the ability to see vamps, that would be both fascinating and scary. And apparently, SPI (Supernatural Protection and Investigation) feels the same way.

Makenna Fraser is a supernatural detective for SPI who is tasked with discovering who’s behind a magic-infused drug that allows humans to see vamps, monsters, and other creatures. The clock is ticking, and the city of New York’s—and the entire world’s fate rest in her hands.

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Witch Hunt: An Urban Fantasy Mystery

By S.M. Reine

Book cover of Witch Hunt: An Urban Fantasy Mystery

Why this book?

Who’s ever been blamed at work for something they didn’t do?  Well, the Office of Preternatural Affairs takes it to a whole new level when they suspect one of their agents, Cèsar Hawke, of murdering a woman. I mean, she was found dead in his home…but he claims he’s innocent. And he’s going to hunt down a shaman who can speak to the dead to prove it.

This wickedly fun story takes the urban fantasy detective trope and infuses it with humor, danger, and twists & turns.

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The Rook

By Daniel O'Malley

Book cover of The Rook

Why this book?

My husband, a sci-fi/fantasy geek and storyboard artist for The Simpsons TV show shoved this book toward me and told me I had to read it. Seriously, it was a fantastic read and I’m glad he suggested it.

The Checquy is a secret British organization dedicated to dealing with the paranormal—unfortunately, Myfanwy Thomas has been betrayed by someone with in the organization and wakes up randomly in a park with a simple note: "The body you are wearing used to be mine." That alone is intriguing, and as you delve into this world of espionage, magic, and the seemingly impossible, you’ll find The Rook hard to put down.

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