Top Ten Tuesday: A Freebie -Spy Thrillers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For the rules see her blog. The topic this week is a Freebie so my ten this week are Spy Thrillers. I’ve read all of these, except for An Officer and a Spy, which is one of my to-be-read books:

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré set in the 1960s. Alex Leamas, an aging British intelligence agent, who has beenout in the cold’ for years, spying in the shadow of the Berlin Wall for his British masters, is ordered to discredit an East German official. 

They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie – set in 1950 this is a story about international espionage and conspiracy. No Miss Marple of Poirot, just Victoria Jones, a short-hand typist, a courageous girl with a tendency to tell lies. She gets involved in a plot to sabotage a secret summit of superpowers is to be held in Baghdad.

The Spy by Paul Coelho, a fictionalised biography of Mata Hari, who was an exotic dancer, executed as a spy during the First World War in October 1917.

Tamburlaine Must Die by Louise Welsh, set in May 1593, this a tense, dramatic story of the last days of Christopher Marlowe, playwright, poet and spy. 

The English Spy by Donald Smith tells the story of how Daniel Defoe was sent to Scotland in 1707 under secret instructions from the English government to persuade the Scots to give up their independence. 

The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan, a spy thriller, set in 1914 just before the outbreak of the First World War, in which Richard Hannay finds Scudder, a spy, murdered in his London flat. Fearing for his own life he goes on the run, chased by villains in a series of exciting episodes, culminating in the discovery of the location of the ‘thirty-nine steps’.

Winter in Madrid by C J Sansom -an action packed thrilling war/spy story and also a moving love story and historical drama all rolled into this tense and gripping novel. Harry Brett, traumatised by his injuries at Dunkirk is sent to Spain to spy for the British Secret Service. 

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris, a fictionalised account of the Dreyfus affair. Dreyfus was a French military officer convicted of spying for the Germans in 1895. He is sentenced to a lifetime of solitary confinement on Devil’s Island.

Corpus by Rory Clements a spy thriller set in the 1936. I was immersed in the mysteries, with spies, communists and Nazis, Spanish Gold, Soviet conspirators, politicians and academics all intricately woven into the plot.

Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War II by Ben Macintyre about the Allies’ deception plan codenamed Operation Mincemeat in 1943, which underpinned the invasion of Sicily. It was framed around a man who never was.

15 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: A Freebie -Spy Thrillers

  1. I thought They Came to Baghdad was excellent. I’ve just got a book about the Cambridge Five out of the library. Michael Portillo was talking about them in a visit to Cambridge in his railway series and my interest was piqued. I don’t really consider myself a reader of spy fiction but that could change. I read things these days that I would never have dreamt of picking up years ago.

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    1. I thoroughly enjoyed They Came to Baghdad too. I missed Michael Portillo’s visit Cambridge! That’s a shame – I’ve watched some of the series, but not that one.


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