Thursday, January 16, 2020

ROGUE FLASH – Gayle Lynds in the London "Guardian"

Scottish American author Helen MacInnes

Exciting news!  British female authors are making in-roads in the male-dominated field of spy fiction. They’re publishing first-rate novels across the pond that are winning awards and making best-seller lists.  In fact, as Guardian writer Alison Flood announces in Nobody in Tesco buys spy books by women, the Brit “boys' club is having its cover blown.”

How bad has it been?  “Wikipedia lists 127 notable writers of spy fiction, dead and living, and only seven of them are women,” Flood explains.  “Helen MacInnes, the Scottish-born American author of 21 spy novels that have sold more than 25m copies in the US alone, will make it on to some lists, if she’s lucky. So will U.S. writer Gayle Lynds;
both receive the soubriquet of  
the ‘queen of spy fiction’.”
American author Gayle Lynds
“Back in 1995, though, Lynds sent her debut spy thriller Masquerade to a New York publishing house. Its president, she told the Wall Street Journal, at first agreed to buy it, but changed her mind the following day.

‘Her reason? “No woman could have written this novel’.”  She went to another publisher, and it became a bestseller.”...

Hooray for the Brits!
And hooray for the Yanks, too, because more and more women over here are cracking their code books and contributing 
impressive novels 
to the important 
field of espionage 

These top spy writers include Rogues:
Robin Burcell
Chris Goff
KJ Howe
Karna Small Bodman
Jamie Freveletti

and former Rogues
Francine Mathews
Sonja Stone

Click on their names.  Legunt verum: You'll enjoy their books!

Do you have favorite female spy novelists?  If it's not classified, please tell....


  1. Great stuff, thanks for the post - i'm so glad female espionage writers are being acknowledged, though i am sad that Helen MacInnes does not get the kudos she deserves, loved her books in mtg teenage years, for people who've not read her work, this link will tell you more > BEST REGARDS, Ali

    1. I love her work, too, Ali, and each time her name is mentioned, I'm thrilled. Over the years, I've given several talks about her and her works, and also written essays, and each time I'm reminded that she was a giant. What's amusing now ... and Dickens faced this, too ... is that going back and reading contemporary reviews, one sees how many times her work gets knocked. Today, I doubt they'd see it that way. Thanks for your comment, and hope you're reviewing lots of terrific female spy thriller writers!

    2. Just so thrilled to see Helen MacInnes and Gayle Lynds feted as the greats they are! Thanks for the link, Ali.

  2. It's so great that our Rogue, Gayle Lynds, was highlighted in that GUARDIAN article and that their writer reminded readers that she indeed is known as the Queen of Spy Fiction!!!

  3. Thank you, Karna, and kudos on your own spy novels!

  4. Gayle, you have earned the kudos and the title. Thank you, your highness, for the shout out.

    1. You are such a remarkable writer, Chris. I ❤️ your thrillers. I can't wait to read your next one!!!!