The best spy/detective books with strong female characters

Martin Schiller Author Of Our Man Adelaide: The Faceless Man
By Martin Schiller

The Books I Picked & Why

A Curious Beginning

By Deanna Raybourn

Book cover of A Curious Beginning

Why this book?

In my opinion, this is a wonderful example of the Lady Detective genre. I found the chemistry between the main character, and her male partner, to be both charming and engaging. Moreover, the world building was excellent, and the author does a great job of presenting the mystery itself while leaving me wanting more once it was solved. It was from books like this, and the classic TV show, The Avengers, that my own series had its genesis.


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The Mystic Arts of the Ninja

By Stephen Hayes

Book cover of The Mystic Arts of the Ninja

Why this book?

Every good book requires research, and in the case of my book, I feel that the best source for information concerning the legendary Ninja of Japan, and their shadowy Art, comes to us by way of Stephen K. Hayes, who introduced this subject to the West through his many books. The Mystic Arts of the Ninja not only showcases the weapons and the martial arts of the Ninja (which was vital in building my character, Ms. Adelaide DeMarcy) but provides a valuable insight into their mystical practices.


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Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service

By Michael Bar-Zohar, Nissim Mishal

Book cover of Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service

Why this book?

Again, research is everything when it comes to creating a believable series, and while this book focuses solely on Israel, and its clandestine battles with its many enemies, it still manages to capture the overall tone of international intrigue, and the wars fought in the shadows by unknown warriors. Accordingly, it served as a template for the adventures of my characters.


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Red Sparrow: A Novel Volume 1

By Jason Matthews

Book cover of Red Sparrow: A Novel Volume 1

Why this book?

Talented and clever, Dominika is compelled to become a Sparrow and use her body to serve Mother Russia. Justifiably angry, she becomes a double agent for the CIA—and in the process, finds love. Red Sparrow is an excellent example of the Lady Spy genre and Cold War espionage from the Russian side of things. More importantly, it highlights a woman’s struggle to matter in a world that doesn’t care about anything more than her gender. Red Sparrow served as a guide for creating Ms. Adelaide DeMarcy. Like Dominika, she is a talented agent and a formidable fighter but lives in a time and a place where many men ignore her talents and refuse to believe that she even deserves the right to vote, or drive a car.


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Druid Twilight: The Loom of Destiny: Book One

By Gerry C Starnes

Book cover of Druid Twilight: The Loom of Destiny: Book One

Why this book?

Another research source for my book, this series lent me a valuable insight into Celtic mysticism--on steroids, and it gave me an insight into what was possible with my male character, Sir Thomas Blackthorne (although I chose to take things in a radically different direction). I heartily recommend the audio version of this book, as narrated by the talented Rebecca McKernan.


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