Women Spy Writers!

Ian Fleming’s James Bond; John Le Carre’s George Smiley; Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne: the espionage shelves are packed with male spies by male writers. Which makes the following gripping titles and series penned by women a welcome change of pace.

Who is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht.
A different sort of spy story full of anticipation with an almost sultry atmosphere as we wait along with Vera Kelly.  Set in 1960’s Buenos Aires, Knecht captures the classic Cold War struggle between the CIA and revolutionary, nationalist communists that personified an entire era. Interwoven within the story is how Vera Kelly found herself as a lone spy observing a dangerous coup.  An utterly compelling read that is hard to put down.

Above Suspicion by Helen MacInnes.
Richard and Frances Myles are preparing for their annual European summer vacation in 1939. Their old friend Peter Galt visits and asks them to perform a simple job. But it soon becomes apparent that they are being followed by shadowy figures as no one is above suspicion in this suspenseful tale which follows Richard and Frances as they race across a tense pre-war Europe to fulfill their duty.  MacInnes captures the intense unease and increasing paranoia of a Europe on the brink of disaster.

The Intelligencer by Leslie Silbert.
Two spy stories, one modern and one Elizabethan, following the fate of a long-lost book of secrets.  As the story unfolds, between each time period, both are seeking an elusive manuscript full of damning secrets which could be potentially damaging during each timeline.  Charting the movements of modern day spy, Kate Morgan, and the Elizabethan spy-playwright Christopher Marlowe, this tightly spun spy tale is fun, humorous and erudite combined with plenty of action.  A fast-paced, truly enjoyable read.

At Risk by Stella Rimington.
One of the most authentic spy novels I have ever read!  Taut and suspenseful, the characters feel absolutely real.  You feel the difficulty of solving an opaque puzzle, the long hours and fatigue involved in trying to foil a terrorist plot. Stella Rimington not only worked for MI5 for over 30 years, she was its first female director.  Even better, this is the first in her series of Liz Carlyle thrillers so there are plenty more to read.  Smart and engaging.

Who are some of your favorite women spies?

    – Posted by Tricia R.

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