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

Who am I?

I’m an avid fantasy reader and enjoy stories filled with magic, danger, and a mix of humor and romance thrown in. When I’m not writing my own fantasy novels, you might catch me tucked away in a corner, reading a book, and fueling my imagination. Since my own book, The Wayward Wizard, features a secret organization trying to intercept the supernatural, I knew similar stories would make a perfect list to share with fellow fantasy readers.


I wrote...

The Wayward Wizard

By Alesha Escobar,

Book cover of The Wayward Wizard

What is my book about?

Jack Crowley is the last person a secret government agency wants to call for help.

He spends his days selling New Age trinkets to humans and his nights drinking with a street-hustling alchemist. Not exactly the law and order type. But when monsters from our childhood nightmares become flesh and blood, snatching people from the streets, he’s one of the few wizards alive who can uncover who’s behind it.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

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!

Secret Agent Mom

By Martha Carr, Michael Anderle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secret Agent Mom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lucy Heron is a mom with three kids, and a baker with a happy marriage in sunny Echo Park. She’s also Silver Griffins Agent 485.

The suburbs will never be the same.

Fighting supernatural crime from a minivan while keeping the magical world a secret is a fulltime job. Then there’s the PTA bake sale and the neighborhood barbecue.

Hard to balance even with a wand.

And now, a monstrous loan shark is spreading his shadowy empire from a hidden kemana. Mix in a tribe of ancient witches and tunnel-dwelling magical misfits.

Turns out, Los Angeles is hiding a lot…


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.

Monster Hunter International

By Larry Correia,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Monster Hunter International as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Monster Hunter International".


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.

The Brimstone Deception

By Lisa Shearin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Brimstone Deception as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Men in Black meets Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum in the new urban fantasy novel starring seer Makenna Fraser and her fellow agents at Supernatural Protection & Investigation.

The agents of Supernatural Protection & Investigations (SPI) know that fighting evil is a full-time job, especially when a new designer drug—with mind-blowing side effects—hits the streets...
 
It’s called Brimstone. And after the first few hits, you’ll see every supernatural beast sharing the sidewalk, train, or office with you. After that, you’ll start seeing the really scary stuff.
 
I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for the SPI. And the collateral damage caused by Brimstone is…


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.

Witch Hunt: An Urban Fantasy Mystery

By S.M. Reine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Witch Hunt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are scratches on Cèsar Hawke’s arms, a discharged Glock on his coffee table, and a dead woman in his bathtub. Yeah, maybe he brought the waitress home for some fun—he was too drunk to remember it—but he knows for a fact that he didn’t kill her. He’s an agent with the Office of Preternatural Affairs. He doesn’t hurt people. He saves them. The cops disagree. Now Cèsar is running. Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead. She brings closure to the bereaved and heals broken hearts. But when she talks to the wrong spirit, the OPA puts a bounty on…


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.

The Rook

By Daniel O'Malley,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Rook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The body you are wearing used to be mine.' So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her. She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in witchcraft, good and evil, and legendary creatures?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about witchcraft, good and evil, and legendary creatures.

Witchcraft Explore 231 books about witchcraft
Good And Evil Explore 90 books about good and evil
Legendary Creatures Explore 40 books about legendary creatures

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Gideon the Ninth, Skinwalker, and The Goblin Emperor if you like this list.