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His Quiet Agent

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

His Quiet Agent (2017) Ada Maria Soto (The Agency)

His Quiet AgentIt hasn’t been that long since I read this, but I really wanted to revisit it, and it was actually better than I had remembered, since I picked up more details the second time through.

Arthur Drams is an analyst for The Agency. He may have wanted to be a secret agent at some point, but there is nothing exciting about his work–aside from the secrecy, and the fact he has to tell everyone he works in insurance.

One of the things I particularly liked is how little things kept popping up through the story. Like the super bowl pool.

“Tomorrow, report to Agent Collins on the fifth floor and… I don’t know, volunteer to run the Super Bowl pool.”

“I don’t know anything about football.”

“You don’t need to.”

A silence hung in the air as Arthur waited to be dismissed. “Do you have anyone running a Super Bowl pool up here?” Arthur hated football but he couldn’t handle another sideways promotion, even if that meant sticking his head up.

“Agent Sims used to do it, but he bashed a fax machine to death with a three-hole punch, then quit. So, that’s an open position, as it were.”

“That’s good to know.”

That bit about the fax machine cracks me up every time I read it.

I also adore Carol, the first friend he makes on the fifth floor.

“Hi, could I-”

“Lesbian.” The woman didn’t even look up from her yogurt.

“What?”

“You’ve spent the last two weeks flashing a charming smile and looking over everyone here. Lesbian, you don’t stand a chance, so don’t bother.”

Arthur blinked at her. He was pretty sure he’d never been called charming by anyone ever and it never remotely occurred to him that what he was doing might be coming across as anything other than awkwardly friendly. He blinked a few more times then took a deep breath and held out his hand.

“Hi, Arthur Drams, level two analyst, trying, badly apparently, to make friends because I’m really tired of getting promoted sideways because my own supervisors forget I exist.”

The woman looked him up and down, then briefly shook his hand.

“Carol. Sit.”

And then there’s Martin.

Arthur held out his hand as he sat. “Arthur-”

“Drams. Twenty-Nine, Analyst Level Two. Three illegitimate half-sisters. Bachelors in Social Anthropology, Masters in World Economies. Conversational Spanish, French and Vietnamese, though heavily accented and the French is dated as to be useless to the Agency. Certificate in Portuguese, both European and Brazilian varieties.”

Arthur blinked once. The Gray Suited Man was obviously not a fellow level two analyst if he had access to Arthur’s personnel file. Then there was the fact that he’d looked it up and memorized the salient points. That was an impressive step in the ‘I’m Weird so don’t bother acknowledging my existence’ game.

“I also enjoy classic Film Noir and have read every Robert Asprin book. Even the bad ones where he was phoning it in.”

A couple of things about this story. You will learn a lot about Arthur.

But you’ll learn almost nothing about Martin except through his interactions with Arthur–and he doesn’t speak much in those.

Regardless of never learning many details, I still fell in love with Martin just as Arthur did, and was just as distressed as Arthur when The Thing happens to Martin.

This is an Ace romance, and there is no boinking and no kissing, but it’s a very good story and I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Rookery Publishing
Rating: 9/10

Categories: 9/10, Ace, LGBT, Re-Read, Romance     Comments (0)    



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