Helen McInnes

Biography of Helen McInnes

Helen Clark MacInnes [married name Highet] (1907-1985)was a graduate of the University who became famous as the "Queen of Spy Writers".

Born in Glasgow, MacInnes studied at the University from 1925 until 1928, graduating MA in French and German. She played tennis for the University, was involved in Charities Week, and in 1928 began work in the University Library, cataloguing the Ferguson Collection. She was subsequently employed by the Dunbartonshire Education Authority to select books for its libraries, and in 1930 enrolled at University College, London, to study for a diploma in Librarianship, which she was awarded the following year. McInnes married another Glasgow graduate, Gilbert Highet, in 1932 and they moved to Oxford, where Highet was a don at St John's College. They moved to the USA in 1937 and became American citizens in 1952.

McInnes published her first novel, Above Suspicion, in 1941, and a film based on the book was released in 1943. She went on to write 21 novels, which were translated into 22 languages and sold 23 million copies.


Helen McInnes

Born 7 October 1907, Glasgow, Scotland.
Died 30 September 1985.
University Link: Alumnus
GU Degree: MA, 1928;
Occupation categories: novelists
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Record last updated: 18th Aug 2008

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus

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