Title:                      The Secret Vanguard

Author:                 Michael Innes

Innes, Michael (1941) [pseud. for John Innes MacKintosh Stewart]. The Secret Vanguard. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company

LCCN:    41001360

PZ3.S85166 Se2


Date Posted:      January 19, 2017


This comes closer to the pattern and standard set by the late John Buchan in his Richard Hannay stories than any other writer today who deals with secret intelligence. A good, fast-paced yarn, sometimes a trifle blurred through multiplicity of characters, but tightly plotted and entertaining reading. Scottish background.

From the New York Times[2]

LONDON, Nov. 15— J. I. M. Stewart, an Oxford don who wrote 49 mysteries under the pseudonym Michael Innes, died on Saturday in Surrey in southern England. He was 88.

His agent, A. P. Watt, did not give a cause of death.

Mr. Stewart, a fellow of Christ Church College at Oxford University and a professor of English literature, became one of Britain’s leading mystery writers and maintained his dual career through most of his life, starting in 1936 with the publication of the first Michael Innes mystery, Death at the President’s Lodging.”

The novel, set—as were many of his succeeding mysteries—in Oxford, introduced Inspector John Appleby. Over the years, the inspector aged along with his creator, marrying, rising through the ranks to commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, receiving a knighthood and eventually retiring.

Mr. Stewart, whose full name was John Innes Mackintosh Stewart, was born in Edinburgh on Sept. 30, 1906. He received a degree in English literature and language at Oriel College at Oxford, and began writing his first Innes mystery on board ship to Australia, where he taught at Adelaide University from 1935 to 1945. He became an Oxford fellow in 1949.

In his books, he concerned himself more with style and humor than with realism, and his work was widely admired. His best-known mysteries include Appleby’s End (1945), The Journeying Boy (1949)[3] and Operation Pax (1951).

In addition to the Innes stories, Mr. Stewart wrote scholarly books on Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, and Rudyard Kipling under his real name, and was the author of Eight Modern Writers (1963), the final volume of The Oxford History of English Literature. In 1954, he began to write novels under his own name, including a quintet called A Staircase in Surrey.

He and Margaret Hardwick were married in 1932. They had three sons and two daughters. Mrs. Stewart died in 1979.

[1] Kirkus, downloaded January 19, 2017

[2] The New York Times (November 16, 1994). “J. I. M. Stewart, 49; Wrote Mysteries As Michael Innes,” downloaded January 19, 2017

[3] Innes, Michael (1949) [pseud. for John Innes MacKintosh Stewart]. The Case of The Journeying Boy. New York: Dodd, Mead


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