Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spy novels by spies

by Stacey

I'm not personally a huge fan of spy fiction, but I came across this incredible list in the Seattle Times and felt it was worth sharing with our readers. You don't often hear about the need for credentials to write fiction (even if it's imperative to write nonfiction), but in this case, it certainly helps for credibility and presumably storytelling purposes as well to have worked in the intriguing and mysterious world of spies. If you have any interest at all in this category, this list seems a great starting point for novels across the category. I'll start my reading with le Carré's George Smiley trilogy. Enjoy, and let us know if you have any favorites that Mary Ann Gwinn might have missed in her comprehensive roundup.


  1. le Carré's George Smiley is a favorite. Ian Fleming's books were a staple on my shelf growing up. Of the current crop, Dame Rimington (some say the reason for changing M to a female in the current 007 movie franchise) and David Stone are both interesting reads.

  2. I'm also not a big spy fiction reader, but I loved Le Carre's The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. It felt very character driven to me, and I loved the great/horrible way it ends.

  3. She left out Graham Greene (The Human Factor).

  4. I used to take Robert Ludlum to bed with me, er, his books that is. Don't think he was a spy per se, just a darn good researcher and storyteller.

  5. Author Barry Eisler is former CIA.

  6. Don't forget E. Howard Hunt of Watergate fame. He wrote many spy novels using an aka.


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