15 Intriguing Spy Novels Written by Women Featuring Female Spies

Posted on March 4, 2019

by April S

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we pulled together a wonderful sampling of spy novels written by women featuring female spies. The stories are full of intrigue, espionage and thrilling edge of your seat storytelling at its best. Enjoy!

Women Spies in Fiction

The Moscow Sleepers by Stella Rimington

Series: Liz Carlyle, book 10.

Liz Carlyle and Peggy Kinsolving uncover a Russian plot to undermine the German government and travel from Montreal to Moscow in order to stop them.

Descriptors: Atmospheric, plot-driven and richly detailed

The Moscow Sleepers by Stella Rimington
Fox Hunter by Zoe Sharp

Fox Hunter by Zoe Sharp

Series: Charlie Fox, book 11.

Unable to forget the men who brutally ended her military career, former special forces soldier Charlie Fox finds herself on a mission to the Iraqi countryside amid suspicions that her boss may be pursuing a twisted vendetta on her behalf.

Descriptors: Action-packed, compelling, fast-paced, intricately plotted and richly detailed

The Intelligencer by Leslie Silbert

Novice private investigator Kate Morgan teams up with a European financier who is investigating a centuries-old manuscript that documents the final days of an Elizabethan-era murder victim.

Descriptors: Parallel narratives and Adult books for young adults

The Intelligencer by Leslie Silbert
An Eye for Murder by Libby Fischer Hellmann

An Eye for Murder by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Series: Ellie Foreman mysteries, book 1.

“When her name and telephone number are found in the pocket of an elderly man who died in a small Chicago boarding house, single mother Ellie Foreman tries to find out what her connection is with the deceased, an investigation that leads deep into the heart of a mystery with roots more than fifty years in the past and to secrets hidden in the heart of Chicago’s Jewish community.” ~ Description from Novelist

Descriptors: Suspenseful and compelling

Who is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht

After being recruited by the CIA to work undercover in Argentina, radio host Vera Kelly becomes close to a group of student activists, but, after a betrayal, she is left stranded and must take extreme measures to escape.

Descriptors: Suspenseful and compelling

Who is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht
The Chemist : a novel by Stephenie Meyer

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

An ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

Descriptors: Suspenseful and Intriguing

The Prisoner in the Castle by Susan Elia MacNeal

Series: Maggie Hope mysteries, book 8.

Exiled on a remote Scottish island with other SOE agents, World War II codebreaker Maggie Hope searches for a killer among her fellow spies when they begin to drop off one by one.

Descriptors: Historical mysteries, atmospheric, fast-paced, richly detailed and suspenseful

The Prisoner in the Castle : A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

In 1947, pregnant Charlie St. Clair, an American college girl banished from her family, arrives in London to find out what happened to her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, and meets a former spy who, torn apart by betrayal, agrees to help her on her mission.

Descriptors: Parallel narratives, authentic/flawed characters, compelling, descriptive and witty

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

A remarkable story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female secret agents during World War II.

Descriptors: Fast-paced, gripping and suspenseful

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
Intelligence: a novel of the CIA by Susan Hasler

Intelligence: A Novel of the CIA by Susan Hasler

Intelligence agent Maddie James and her colleagues unsuccessfully convey an impending terrorist threat to an election-minded administration focused on stressing its victories and wrongly blaming an adversarial nation.

Descriptors: Fast-paced, darkly humorous, plot-driven and suspenseful

The Spymistress : a novel by Jennifer Chiaverini

Pledging her loyalty to the North at the risk of her life when her native Virginia secedes, Quaker-educated aristocrat Elizabeth Van Lew uses her innate skills for gathering military intelligence to help construct the Richmond underground and orchestrate escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison.

Descriptors: Atmospheric, dramatic and richly detailed

The Spymistress : a novel by Jennifer Chiaverini
A Hope Divided : a novel of the Civil War by Alyssa Cole

A Hope Divided : A Novel of the Civil War by Alyssa Cole

The Civil War has turned neighbor against neighbor–but for one scientist spy and her philosopher soldier, war could bind them together.

Descriptors: Historical romance, compelling, richly detailed and steamy

Crowned and Dangerous : A Royal Spyness Mystery by Rhys Bowen

Series: Royal Spyness mysteries, book 10.

Nothing is simple when you’re thirty-fifth in line for the British crown, least of all marriage. But with love on their side, and plans to elope, Lady Georgiana Rannoch and her beau Darcy O’Mara hope to bypass a few royal rules.

Descriptors: Historical mysteries, first person narratives and richly detailed

Crowned and dangerous : a royal spyness mystery / Rhys Bowen
Gun Metal Heart by Dana Haynes

Gun Metal Heart by Dana Haynes

Hiding out in rural Italy while recuperating from a violent case, freelance agent Daria Gibron helps a former colleague who is being targeted by a Serbian mercenary group only to find her efforts complicated by a vengeful band of disgraced CIA agents.

Descriptors: Action-packed, compelling fast-paced and suspenseful

Red Joan by Jennie Rooney

A historical novel questions the black-and-white morality of wartime society and is inspired by the true story of Melita Norwood, an 87-year-old woman who was unmasked in 1999 as the KGB’s longest serving spy in Britain.

Descriptors: Character-driven and suspenseful

Red Joan by Jennie Rooney

This is part of a series of blog posts designed to help our readers find that next great read.

Looking for More Great Reads?

Try Give 3 Get 3! We’ll provide you with personalized reading, listening and/or viewing recommendations based on a short questionnaire.

Or check out our other great blog posts featuring spies.

Further Reading

Spy Fiction: Where Are All The Women Authors?

The Women of Historical Crime Fiction

Where are the Female Spies in Fiction?

Looking for more related content?

Here are a few selections just for you!

  • Beach vacations can be a blast. Unless you're a character in a book, in which case maybe you should just stay home.

  • Celebrate the late Tim Sale with some of his greatest comics.

  • If you find parades and crowds overwhelming, there are still a lot of ways to celebrate Pride! Here are some great ideas for quiet gays (or introverts in general).