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CIA Fall Guy: A Spy Thriller [Kindle Edition]

Phyllis Zimbler Miller
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1997: A woman is called to CIA headquarters to identify someone from 25 years earlier when she lived in Germany. When what she is told doesn’t add up, she fears she may become a fall guy for the CIA and sets off on her own to discover what is really going on. Her quest takes her to Europe and back again to the U.S., and pairs her with the man who may have been responsible for her husband’s death.

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

The backstory of CIA FALL GUY:

The seed for the romantic suspense spy story CIA FALL GUY came from my experiences living in Europe when my husband and I were stationed with the U.S. Army in Munich, Germany, from September 1970 to May 1972.

My husband Mitch was a military intelligence officer with the 18th MI Battalion, and I eventually got my own security clearance and a low-level GS job with the 66th MI Group. A copy of the reports I typed went to the CIA station in Munich.

The bombing of the Frankfurt Officers Club actually occurred in May 1972 only a few hours after my husband and I arrived in Frankfurt by train from Munich and then immediately flew back to the United States on a U.S. Army-chartered plane. I subsequently read about the bombing in the front-page news items of The Wall Street Journal.

The CIA and me:

The CIA recruited at Wharton when I was an M.B.A. student. During winter vacation of 1979-1980 I typed endless application forms on a typewriter. A couple of months later I got a phone call with an offer to come to Langley for two days of interviews.

At the moment I got the call I was not in a position to accept this visit offer -- something I have always regretted.

Years later in 1994 I thought I had arranged an invitation to visit the CIA when I would be in D.C. for another reason. Unfortunately, that was the week that the mole in the agency -- Aldrich Ames -- was discovered and the CIA was in lock-down mode.

I still have hopes of someday visiting Langley.

About the Author

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE.

She is also the co-founder of the online marketing company Miller Mosaic LLC and often blogs about book publishing and marketing.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4059 KB
  • Print Length: 139 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Miller Mosaic LLC (June 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00895AKMQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,368 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spies, Double Agents, Intrigue, Murder June 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The story commences eight years after the fall of the Berlin wall when CIA agent David Ward was in Germany to look into events in the past. At the same time German Hans Wermer, who twenty-five years earlier having fed reports to the CIA about Communist workers in East Germany, filed a requisition with the CIA for payment for his services, but no one knew what he looked like to substantiate his claim.

George MacIntosh, CIA head of this department at Langley, needed someone to physically identify Wermer. The only one alive who might be able to was Beth Parsons, widow of Lt. Stephen Parson, who was killed at the Officers Club in Munich when a bomb exploded. Beth had been working temporarily as a secretary for the U.S. military Intelligence Group and she had never recovered from her husband's death, which left her aloof from any further romances. At that time in Munich, one night Beth had been with her boss, Jack Lockheim, when a drunken German bumped into their table and offered them a drink. Beth only glanced at him and now from the CIA she learned that he was a contact with her boss Jack. She was expected to remember what he looked like and identify him?

Kathleen Walker, an African American, a member of MacIntosh's team, was to take Beth to see this Wermer at an isolated cabin, but upon entering it there lay a shot dead man on the floor, but not Wermer. Beth identified him as the driver who picked her up at the airport that morning in D.C. Due to these unseen circumstances, Kathleen was requested to house Beth. Kathleen took Beth to her apartment, but had to leave and locked Beth in. Furious Beth quickly packed a backpack of a few essentials. She climbed out through the bathroom window, down a rose trellis to the ground floor and escaped.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning and middle, more work needed on the end February 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed the book. The plot kept me interested, and it was complicated with lots of twists and turns. I tried to figure out who was 'bad' and who was 'good,' and what each character's agenda was, as each person had more going on than what the first impression revealed. I also had a hard time putting it down. The problem came at the end. The book really should have been longer to develop the story more so that you didn't need the Q and A at the end as much to wrap up all the loose ends. The romantic relationship really needed more development as well. Really? She completely did a 180 in a short drive?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Draws the reader right in! July 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The opening paragraphs of Phyllis Zimbler Miller's "CIA. Fall Guy" paint a vivid scene - at Headquarters of the State Security Police (Stasi) in Berlin, Germany - in 1997, quickly engaging the reader.

I discovered the writing of this author's writing via, "Mrs. Lieutenant: A Sharon Gold Novel." I intimately knew her storyline and characters were absolutely on target for young military wives of the Vietnam era. I appreciated her attention to detail, so became a fan. While I am no expert on the CIA or the world of espionage, I believe Zimbler Miller incorporated the same type of accuracy in this book that she employed in her first novel.

For this reader, having a strong female protagonist like Beth Parsons and good plot twists are pluses in any genre. "CIA Fall Guy" does not disappoint in either aspect.

Bonnie Bartel Latino
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs work August 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I struggled to get though this book. It was replete with typos, misspellings, poor grammar and improper use of words. The editor must have been asleep on this one! The plot didn't really become evident until the book was almost at its end. The two main characters were less-than-believable and the rest seemed difficult to keep track of.

The author needs to branch out a bit in the use of expletives. A character that shows frustration by constantly thinking/mumbling "shit! shit! shit!" is not someone I'm drawn to.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong, well written book in 113 pages August 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I am not a fan of CIA thrillers. A bit too "guyish" for me. However, I enjoyed this book by Ms. Miller though. I would call this a CIA book for female readers.

I might be a bit biased, but the author, a Wharton MBA, has written this book in such a clear and concise manner (which is my favorite type of writing) without going overboard in either the romance dance or emotional baggage being attached to the pages, yet doesn't have it so technical that it loses appeal for women. It is really an excellent balance.

I think that this is the type of book that would meet the reading desires of numerous genres of female readers, but it is not so girlish though that there wouldn't be guys who would enjoy it, as well!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spies, Eastern Bloc, Cold War, it's all here. May 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From the first page, this thriller grabs you and takes you on a whirlwind journey of trying to guess who's working for them, us, the CIA ,or for themselves. Plot twists galore. A fast paced espionage package with a little romance thrown in. You won't be disappointed. Told with flashbacks to explain the connection of the main characters, this is a page turner extraordinaire. You'll be guessing until the last few pages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced yet thorough mystery June 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
CIA Fall Guy brought me into an experience laced with history & contemporary intrigue. Miller reflects a solid knowledge of 20th century political & social issues that serve as a colorful backdrop to the veiled stories in the CIA. Believable characters that I want to meet again! A great weekend escape.
Karen Fox
Purchased on amazon for IPad Kindle
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 3 months ago by Carol J. Knighten
3.0 out of 5 stars free book
It was free what can I say I read it
Published 6 months ago by Travis
3.0 out of 5 stars Action packed
This book has a lot of action. The end was pretty ok. The conspiracy was as intriguing as I anticipated.
Published 6 months ago by james E
3.0 out of 5 stars this was an easy read but....
Nothing was what it seemed but it still did not have that "I gotta know happens next" flair. I can't exactly say why but a lot of the action seemed nonsensical. Read more
Published 10 months ago by wbjudge
3.0 out of 5 stars CIA Fall Guy
A different type of spy story with a woman as the main character. Beth trained in karate but never was in her plans to be an undercover agent. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Norberta C. Muniz
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
The effort is there but the end result feels amateurish and rushed.
Published 10 months ago by Meijie Chen
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Could not get into this one.
Published 10 months ago by jlt246
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoyed the book. I like to read mysteries and spy novels so I was a little skeptical at first about this book but it turned ot to hold my interest almost from the beginning and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by azlee
5.0 out of 5 stars Ok
This was a great read and the plot was good. Enjoyed the story lime and would recommend this book,, enjoy it
Published 14 months ago by Steamer
3.0 out of 5 stars just ok
Just ok very criss cross narations . Could be a more suspended details to make it a complete thriller story
Published 14 months ago by KRISHNAMACHARI
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More About the Author


(See her non-fiction books by Phyllis Z. Miller on Amazon at and her YA fiction book PINKY SWEAR by P. Z. Miller on Amazon at

Phyllis Zimbler Miller was raised in Elgin, Illinois, and majored in journalism at Michigan State University, where she met her future husband, Army ROTC cadet Mitchell R. Miller, on the State News editorial staff.

In May of 1970 Mitch went on active duty at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, and Phyllis tagged along with him. Her women's friendship novel MRS. LIEUTENANT is inspired by the nine weeks they spent at Ft. Knox.

From September 1970 to May 1972 Phyllis and Mitch were stationed in Munich, Germany, where Mitch served with the 18th Military Intelligence Battalion.

Phyllis eventually got a security clearance and worked as a civilian with the 66th MI Group. Her romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY is partially based on knowledge she learned on this job (reports she typed went to the Munich office of the CIA).

After Mitch's military service, while living in Philadelphia, Phyllis was an editor and reporter for the Jewish Exponent before earning an M.B.A. at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Her Wharton experience is the starting point for her Los Angeles-based cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE.

(Two short stories in TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE feature Rebecca Stone, the same protagonist as in CAST THE FIRST STONE. Both books include kosher recipes from Phyllis' 1992 Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION written with Rabbi Karen L. Fox.)

Phyllis and Mitch moved to Los Angeles in 1980, and Phyllis held positions at TigerAir and Max Factor. She then worked as a marketing consultant while their two daughters were young, and she was the founding president of the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

In 2008 Phyllis co-founded an online marketing company at the same time she self-published her novel MRS. LIEUTENANT, which was selected as a 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist. Phyllis dove into the world of blogging, social media, and online book marketing.

Phyllis and Mitch have maintained an interest in military intelligence, and Mitch is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and the U.S. Naval Institute while Phyllis is a member of the Military Writers Society of America. Together Phyllis and Mitch wrote the military thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS.

Phyllis frequently blogs about PTSD to help spread information about this. Her short story SOLOMON'S JUSTICE was inspired by her visit to the Los Angeles County Veterans Court.

Phyllis is experimenting with writing a novel entirely on the site Wattpad. You can read for free the chapters of THE MOTHER SIEGE: A DYSTOPIAN THRILLER by clicking the dropdown table of contents at

Phyllis and Mitch now live in Beverly Hills, where Mitch has been a tax lawyer for many years and Phyllis is busy working with online marketing clients as well as writing more books and blogging about author topics at

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