This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for October 7, 2017: Elegy

October 7, 2017: birthday: Helen Clark MacInnes

It’s the birthday of Scottish-American suspense novelist Helen Clark MacInnes (books by this author), born in Glasgow (1907). She was married to an Oxford classicist, Gilbert Highet, whose wartime work for British intelligence inspired her first novel, Above Suspicion (1941), about a husband and wife who are recruited to locate a missing British agent. It was the first of more than 20 novels of espionage and suspense that she wrote over the next 40 years, including Decision at Delphi (1960) and The Salzburg Connection (1968). She wrote: “In my stories, suspense is not achieved by hiding things from the reader. The question is, when is the event going to take place and how can you stop it? A reader may know everything, but still be scared stiff by the situation.”