Tom Straw—the writer behind the bestselling real-life versions of TV character Richard Castle’s mystery novels—is kicking off a thrilling new espionage series with The Accidental Joe. Rockstar chef Sebastian Pike’s cooking travel show is the perfect cover for a covert CIA mission, even if Sebastian himself is less than thrilled with the idea. At least he can flirt with his handler, Cammie Nova, as a bonus. As the show travels through France, the danger and romance heat up to dangerous levels.
The Accidental Joe will hit shelves on May 14, 2024 and is available for preorders now. The thriller will be published by Regalo Press, an imprint distributed by Simon & Schuster that donates proceeds from every title to a charity of the author’s choice. Fittingly, Tom Straw has selected José Ramón Andrés’ World Central Kitchen.
Read on for the official summary of the book and its striking cover!
A maverick celebrity chef reluctantly agrees to let the CIA use his hugely popular international food, culture, and travel TV series as cover for a dangerous espionage mission.
When the CIA approaches celebrity chef Sebastian Pike about using his award-winning food and culture travel show as cover for espionage, the outspoken bad-boy host says no. When they point out how roaming the globe interviewing foodies, heads of state, rock stars, journalists-in-exile, poets, subversives, supermodels—even the pope—gives him perfect cover, Pike smiles and says, “F@#! no.”
They push. Promising it’s only one mission. Vowing he won’t be in danger. Calling him the MVB: Most Valuable Bystander. They’d embed their top agent in his crew to do the spy work.
It’s still no. But when they hit him with the patriotism card, he weakens. And when romantic sparks crackle between him and the female agent, Pike’s all in, kicking off a romantic spy thriller in which the globetrotting celebrity chef uses his TV series to help sneak Putin’s accountant out of Russia before he’s exposed as a mole for US intelligence.
The high-stakes mission quickly puts Pike in harm’s way. So much for MVB. There’s danger, there’s double dealing, there’s torture, there’s shooting with real bullets. Plus, a minefield of complications from the hot romance that grows between Pike and his gutsy CIA handler-producer, Cammie Nova.
From Paris to Provence, this chef is no bystander. Beyond their attraction, Pike and Nova become an operational team, not only to survive the perils they face but to pull off an operation fraught with one twist after another, capped by a shocking, emotional climax.