Author photo. Courtesy of the <a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?497019">NYPL Digital Gallery</a> (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

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Helen MacInnes was a Scottish-born author of espionage novels. She graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in French and German. Working as a librarian in 1932, she met and married classics professor Gilbert Highet, and they moved to New York in 1937.  She became a naturalized USA citizen in 1951. Although best known for her Cold War settings, MacInnes actually started writing spy novels during World War II. Her novels often feature some type of romance and a central character who is an innocent bystander -- such as a reporter, writer, artist or architect -- until they get drawn into dangerous spy games and must use their wits to survive. Several of her books were adapted as films.
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