The Spy Across the Table By Barry Lancet: Review/Giveaway

Jun 24, 2017 | 2017 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sharon Tucker

by Sharon Tucker

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a signed copy of The Spy Across the Table, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

I could admire his skills, and be relieved when he was on my side in a fight. But for a rat to like the cat? That scenario ended only one way. With one dead rat. Maria V. Snyder, Poison Study

Barry Lancet’s Japantown (2016) introduced readers to Asian art dealer/Japanese detective agency owner Jim Brodie and both his divergent firms—one in San Francisco, the other in Tokyo—readily making available a cornucopia of possible plots that could occur in the US or Japan, or both, and by no means restricted to either locale. Lancet followed this intriguing debut with Tokyo Kill (2015), in which a veteran Japanese soldier comes to Brodie in Tokyo, certain that his friends and former unit are systematically being murdered, putting a WWII twist to the plot and making readers wonder to what degree Japanese culture still labors under the weight of that particular history.

bookIn Pacific Burn (2016) friends of Brodie’s, with one family member just murdered, find themselves under attack—Brodie included and here he encounters face to face a legendary, elusive assassin, never seen or traced before. Now in 2017, The Spy Across the Table puts Brodie back in a state of jeopardy from which it’s doubtful he can escape, let alone survive.

If you have read the previous three Jim Brodie novels by Barry Lancet, you will remember Zhou, the Chinese master spy from Lancet’s Tokyo Kill. I think that Zhou had so much potential as a ranking character, not utilizing him in The Spy Across the Table would have been a waste of material. Zhou strongly resembles the above mentioned cat in the ongoing cat-and-mouse game spies are continually embroiled in—to readers’ delight. Brodie is the canny mouse in this game who is pulled in to investigate a matter for which he is uniquely qualified.

A Kabuki performance in Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center begins The Spy Across the Table that with a double homicide propels Brodie into the apparent assassination of not one but two of his friends propelling Brodie into a personal mission. The deaths also engage the attention of the American government ranging from the White House to Homeland Security. (Come now, you had to know that Swelly from Homeland Security and Pacific Burn would show up again if for no other reason than his utter bull-headed loathsomeness.) As if Brodie needed added impetus to pursue this investigation, FLOTUS wastes little time contacting the most uniquely qualified investigator she knows, Brodie, to solve the case of their friends’ assassinations. As if the incident were not brutal and inexplicable enough, the daughter of one of the victims is kidnapped from one of the funerals turning the murders into an elaborate machination to ensnare the victim, a computer programmer essential to the NSA pet information gathering project. What remains is to find out what nation sponsored the incidents and where she has been taken.

Spy novels may not be your forte, but there’s more to this tale than the endless games spies play. The characters are strongly developed, the plot will keep you guessing, and although there’s not quite enough to learn about Asian art here as has been in the previous novels, it will engage you. Lancet’s writing style carries readers along all too quickly to a satisfying resolution.

To enter to win a signed copy of The Spy Across the Table, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “spy,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 1, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.


Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Sharon Tucker is former faculty at the University of Memphis in Memphis TN, and now enjoys evening supervising in that campus library. Having forsworn TV except for online viewing and her own movies, she reads an average of 3 to 4 books per week and has her first novel—a mystery, of course—well underway.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I’m so glad I saw this review! I’m going to find the first book and try this series. I’d like to be entered in the drawing, please.

    • If you enjoy fast paced international mysteries with an eye for art objects—especially Asian—this is the series for you, Tammi.
      Hope you enjoy it and good luck !

  2. I’m glad to have seen this and want to read it. Thanks for the chance.

    • Donamae, the series work well and several levels: interesting and attractive hero, suspense with a solution you won’t see coming, and education about customs not familiar to most of us.
      You are in for a treat!

  3. Sounds like an interesting series.

    • I think so—the main character (Jim Brodie) has much to commend him and is not the usual p.i. Asian culture plays a large part in all the story lines and I have always learned something new.
      Happy reading!

  4. Thanks for the review. I would love to have a copy of my own to read. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • My pleasure. The Brodie books are definitely good reads. I hope you like them.

  5. Anothet new author to me. Book sounds really interesting. Would enjoy reading.

    • Great to find out about authors new to you. Hope Brodie is your cup of tea.

  6. We have a winner!


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