"Irresistible...Filled with surprise, poignancy, and excitement, this is a surefire winner." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A brilliant and witty drama about two brave female World War II veterans who survived the unthinkable without ever losing their killer instinct…or their joie de vivre.
Meet the Williamson sisters, Britain’s most treasured World War II veterans. Now in their late nineties, Josephine and Penny are in huge demand, popping up at commemorative events and history festivals all over the country. Despite their age, they’re still in great form—perfectly put together, sprightly and sparky, and always in search of their next “excitement.”
This time it’s a trip to Paris to receive the Légion d’honneur for their part in the liberation of France. And as always, they will be accompanied by their devoted great-nephew, Archie.
Keen historian Archie has always been given to understand that his great aunts had relatively minor roles in the Women’s Royal Navy and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, but that’s only half the story. Both sisters are hiding far more than the usual “official secrets”. There’s a reason sweet Auntie Penny can dispatch a would-be mugger with an umbrella.
This trip to Paris is not what it seems either. Scandal and crime have always quietly trailed the Williamson sisters, even in the decades after the war. Now armed with new information about an old adversary, these much decorated (but admittedly ancient) veterans variously intend to settle scores, avenge lost friends, and pull off one last, daring heist before the curtain finally comes down on their illustrious careers.
CJ Wray is the pseudonym of Christine Manby, a Sunday Times bestselling author with more than forty books to her name. Raised in the west of England, she studied psychology before embarking on an entertaining and wide-ranging career that has seen her selling kitchens, editing erotica, interviewing an armed robber, and impersonating a princess.
"A richly-detailed caper that effortlessly blends historical fiction, mystery and romance. Readers will be particularly charmed by the high jinks of the senior sisters, whose joie de vivre makes this book memorable." — Washington Post Book World
"Irresistible...Filled with surprise, poignancy, and excitement, this is a surefire winner."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Utterly charming and engrossing." — Jenny Colgan, New York Times bestselling novelist
"An absolute treat of a novel—a glorious, rip-roaring adventure, so funny and charming, yet laced with unexpected moments of real tenderness and reflection. Penny and Josephine are heroines in every sense of the word, being both ordinary and extraordinary, and their personalities leap off the page so energetically that I missed them the moment I finished the final line." — Lucy Dillon, Sunday Times bestseller of Unexpected Lessons in Love
"The Excitements is a rip-roaring adventure that is both tremendously intriguing and wonderfully engaging. In Penny and Josephine, CJ Wray has created two marvelously endearing and daring National Treasures in waiting. Not all heroes wear capes, some wear M&S cardigans! A triumph!" — Mike Gayle, author of All the Lonely People
“Funny, thrilling and brilliantly researched. From the SOE to dodgy knees, its heartwarming description of the adventures of the redoubtable Penny and Josephine, past and present, made me want them, absolutely, as great aunts of my own.” — SJ Bennett, bestselling author of The Windsor Knot
“A joy from beginning to end. I loved the jovial adventures of two fearless female nonagenarian war veterans set alongside their intriguing and often thrilling wartime experiences. It’s utterly wonderful.” — Annie Lyons, author of The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett
“I’m a huge fan of Richard Osman’s books, but after reading this all I can say is, ‘Move over Richard Osman, The Excitements are in town!’ It’s just so good—funny, heartwarming, wise and just so incredibly well-researched.” — Alexandra Potter, author of Don’t You Forget About Me