Amy Gray (Spygirl)

Created by Amy Gray

“You’re on boycott. I’m sending you a one-way ticket to disstown.”
— an old boyfriend dismisses Amy

In her best-selling 2003 roman à clef Spygirl, Big Apple writer Amy Gray relates her “True Adventures from My Life as a Private Eye.”

Gray was a twenty-something grunt toiling away in the New York publishing world, overworked and underpaid,  when she chucked it all and went to work for a Manhatten detective agency for three years. She nails the dreariness of modern day private investigation (she worked mostly on internet financial cases and mountains of paperwork), while offering a you-are-there take on being a young, hip New Yorker cut loose, with plenty of tales of her childhood and her social life (she goes to a lot of bars and sleeps with a lot of guys, despite assuring her parents in a humourous dedication that “the drugs and rock’n’roll are made up. And I’ve never had sex.”), and a huge cast of wonderfully oddball clients, suspects and coworkers.

The result is an entertaining mix of Sex in the City chick lit sauciness, TMI confession, riot grrl spunk and Raymond Chandler snark–alternately brash, funny and revealing.

But what really makes it all worthwhile is Gray’s willingness to call bullshit! on everyone around her — including (and perhaps especially) herself.

Evidently, the girl can’t help it. But it makes for a great juicy read.

So juicy, in fact, Warner Brothers even considered a TV show when the book first came out, but it never got off the ground.

Only question: Was she putting us on?


  • “A funny, clever, deftly-written romp through the world of a real-life Charlie’s angel.”
    — Molly Jong-Fast
  • “… the human desire for truth… results in some self-conscious insertions of social theory and overblown prose. But her voice is brash, smart, stylish, yearning, and very funny, and in anecdotes filled with revealing dialogue and sharp observation, she captures what it’s like to be young, talented, overly educated, underpaid, and single in New York.”
    Gillian Engberg (Booklist)




  • July 10, 2021
    THE BOTTOM LINE: Our first “true” detective, her bestselling SPYGIRL tells of her metamorphosis from 20-something publishing grunt to Big Apple eye. An entertaining mix of Sex in the City sauciness, TMI confession, riot grrl spunk & Raymond Chandler snark.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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