Friday, June 3, 2011

Favorite Author: Helen MacInnes

Helen MacInnes (1907 - 1985) was born and educated in Scotland, and moved to America with her husband in 1937. She started writing spy novels in WWII and is best known for her Cold War thrillers, usually involving reluctant amateurs caught up in international adventures.

I love them because the protagonists are always smart, competent, and classy. The heroes are gentlemen, usually with an intellectual bent, and the women are all very intelligent, but can outrun bad guys even in high heels.

Those I have read are in red; those on my TBR shelf are in blue.

Almost all are out of print, but readily available. In publication order:

Above Suspicion (1939)

Assignment in Brittany (1942)

While Still We Live (aka The Unconquerable) (1944)

Horizon (1945)

Friends and Lovers (1947)

Rest and be Thankful (1949)

Neither Five Nor Three (1951)

I and My True Love (1953)

Pray for a Brave Heart (1955)

North from Rome (1958)

Decision at Delphi (1960)

The Venetian Affair (1963)

The Double Image (1965)

The Salzburg Connection (1968)

Message from Malaga (1971)

The Snare of the Hunter (1974)

Agent in Place (1976)

Prelude to Terror (1978)

The Hidden Target (1980)

Cloak of Darkness (1982)

Ride a Pale Horse (1984)


Last updated on January 3, 2013.


  1. Never heard of her but for a women to write in spy genre at the time she did was wonderful I may pick on up if I see one secondhand ,all the best stu

  2. Yes -- new to me as well but I'm going to have to keep an eye out for her books -- she sounds right up my alley!

  3. I read several of her books YEARS ago. Two of my favorite were Rest and Be Thankful and Neither Five Nor Three. Thanks for reminding me of her!

  4. I have always seen her books in the library. Never have read one. Thanx for putting books in order.

  5. Try to get your hands on a copy of Neither Five Nor Three--it's really kitschy and deals with the infiltration of the publishing world by Communists.

  6. I was so pleased to find out that Titan Press has republished her books:


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