There’s nothing worse than when your favorite TV show gets canceled. You spend years invested in the characters and love stories, waiting for that happy ending you know is coming. But when the network decides to cancel the show prematurely, you’re left to wonder and speculate as you pray for that rare 10-years-from-now-wrap-up-movie (here’s looking at you, Veronica Mars).
It’s especially heartbreaking when it seems like another network might save it from cancelation, only to have your hopes dashed at the last minute. I recently had this experience with Agent Carter, which ABC canceled after just two seasons (sob, sob, sob). For a while it looked like Netflix might pick up the female-driven show, but as of August 2, they’ve decided to pass. I’ll refrain from too much graphic language, but trust me when I say they’re making a big mistake. HUGE.
Because seriously, Agent Carter is SO GOOD. Romantic, badass and filled with so much girl-power that I usually kickboxed/danced/flailed awkwardly around my living room after every episode. Officially part of the Marvel Universe, the show stars Hayley Atwell from the Captain America movies as Peggy Carter, a secret agent who works at the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve) in the late ‘40s.
Though originally a love interest for Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers, Peggy is forced to move on after his ‘death.’ The show follows her life a year later while Peggy solves crimes and saves humanity in a post-World War II world where women are often ignored and definitely not given the credit they deserve. Peggy has to prove herself over and over — and she does, trust me. Along the way, she also falls in love with one of her fellow agents (hellllooo Daniel Sousa), and their mutual respect and teamwork is a joy to watch. Plus, there are all kinds of fun tidbits about the origins of the Marvel Universe sprinkled into the plot. If you need even more convincing that Agent Carter is the best, check out the trailer for the second season:
With so few female-driven shows out there, my heart broke into a hundred pieces when I heard about Carter’s cancellation. While I’m still holding out hope that someone else might pick it up, that hope is starting to shrivel more than I would like.
So in order to distract myself from the pain, here are four Agent Carter-inspired books I plan on devouring as soon as the tears stop:
Double Down (Lois Lane), Gwenda Bond (Switch Press, May 1, 2016)
Part of the fun of Agent Carter is watching a perpetually underestimated woman save the day over and over. And no woman in the world of superheroes is underestimated quite like Lois Lane. Which is why I’m so drawn to Bond’s Young Adult series about the intrepid reporter. Bond imagines Lois as an independent, headstrong teenager who writes for her local paper, solves mysteries, and routinely connects online with a mysterious user called SmallvilleGuy. (I wonder who that could be??) In this sequel to last year’s Fallout, Lois finds herself caught up in a dangerous mystery that could threaten the new friendships she’s trying so hard to hold onto. Anyone missing Peggy’s tenacity will be drawn to Bond’s kickass series, which finally lets ‘the damsel in distress’ be the one to save the day.
The Darkness Knows, Cheryl Honigford (Sourcebooks Landmark, August 2, 2016)
Set in 1938, this is the first book in Honigford’s Viv and Charlie Mystery series, which deals with the glamorous world of radio. Everything from the time period to the teamwork to the fun mystery will remind you of Peggy Carter and her SSR crew. In The Darkness Knows, Vivian Witchell is an aspiring actress who lands a coveted role in a new detective serial. But then she finds the star of the program murdered, along with a note that targets her next. Torn between fear for her life and her desire to launch her acting career, Viv turns to P.I. Charlie Haverman to help keep her safe. The two banter and bicker, even as they fight their attraction to each other. Together they have to solve the mystery of who wants Viv dead, and the story sets up a unique partnership that will hopefully be the launch of a new series.
The Regional Office is Under Attack!: A Novel, Manuel Gonzales (Riverhead Books, April 12, 2016)
It’s all about girl power in Gonzales’ debut novel about a group of female assassins with special powers who protect the world while working out of a top-secret organization called the Regional Office. Based on the title, wanna take a guess as to what happens next? Led by Rose, a defector assassin, the Regional Office gets attacked in a fast-paced, stream-of-consciousness story that barely lets the reader take a breath. It’s up to assassin Sarah to save the day, especially since she’s so devoted to the organization that took her in after her mother’s death. Bouncing between the past, present and future, The Regional Office is Under Attack! is a modern superhero tale that you won’t be able to put down. And just like on Agent Carter, highly-trained and capable women are the only ones who can save the day this time.
The Forgotten Room: A Novel, Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig (NAL, January 19, 2016)
It’s not often that you get a book written by not one, but three bestselling authors. This writing team comes together to tell the story of three generations of women living in the Upper East Side Pratt mansion at different points in time. We meet Olive, a housemaid at the Pratt house in 1812; her daughter Lucy, a secretary in 1920; and Lucy’s daughter Kate, a doctor in 1945. At the heart of the story is a mystery that Kate uncovers when she cares for Captain Ravenel during WWII. The wounded captain has a portrait on him that looks suspiciously like Kate, sending her on a quest that will reveal lost family secrets and parts of the Pratt house that have been long forgotten. This female-driven story will definitely appeal to Agent Carter fans, particularly if you’re drawn to intriguing historical details.