Hot Novels about the Cold War by Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn

October 3, 2019 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , , with 0 and 0
Home > Columns > Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger > Hot Novels about the Cold War by Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn

The genre of novels that seems to endure are the spy thrillers and stories of behind-the-scenes government scandals. Here are some very interesting and I’d even say, “watershed” novels about the cold war that have colored our vision of the past and the future. After researching some, I’ve made a list of just a few of the more influential titles and included a short synopsis of each:


Our Man in Havana (1958) by Graham Greene

First published in 1958, Our Man in Havana is an espionage thriller, a penetrating character study, and a political satire that still resonates to this day. Conceived as one of Graham Greene’s ‘entertainments,’ it tells of MI6’s man in Havana, Wormold, a former vacuum-cleaner salesman turned reluctant secret agent out of economic necessity. To keep his job, he files bogus reports based on Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare and dreams up military installations from vacuum-cleaner designs. Then his stories start coming disturbingly true.  (Goodreads)


The Ugly American (1958) by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick

A piercing exposé of American incompetence and corruption in Southeast Asia, The Ugly American captivated the nation when it was first published in 1958. The book introduces readers to an unlikely hero in the titular “ugly American”—and to the ignorant politicians and arrogant ambassadors who ignore his empathetic and commonsense advice. In linked stories and vignettes set in the fictional nation of Sarkhan, William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick draw an incisive portrait of American foreign policy gone dangerously wrong—and how it might be fixed.  The Ugly American reminds us that “today, as the battle for hearts and minds has shifted to the Middle East, we still can’t speak Sarkhanese” (New York Times).


The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963) by John le Carré

In this classic, John le Carre’s third novel and the first to earn him international acclaim, he created a world unlike any previously experienced in suspense fiction. With unsurpassed knowledge culled from his years in British Intelligence, le Carre brings to light the shadowy dealings of international espionage in the tale of a British agent who longs to end his career but undertakes one final, bone-chilling assignment. When the last agent under his command is killed and Alec Leamas is called back to London, he hopes to come in from the cold for good. His spymaster, Control, however, has other plans. Determined to bring down the head of East German Intelligence and topple his organization, Control once more sends Leamas into the fray—this time to play the part of the dishonored spy and lure the enemy to his ultimate defeat. (Goodreads)


It is interesting to note that each of these novels was later made into a motion picture. Our Man in Havana with Alec Guinness (1959), The Ugly American with Marlon Brando (1963),
and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold with Richard Burton (1965).

As is the case with most things a writer encounters, great fiction will always be thrilling but many times the reality is scarier and more strange than we could ever write.


Some other novels set in the 50s

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

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GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

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SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS

Author Details
Author Details
Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
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    @JanetLynn4
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  • Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger Featured Authors

    Partners in Crime, Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger write the Skylar Drake Mysteries, hard-boiled detective stories set in the 1950s.

    @JanetLynn4
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  • Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger Featured Authors

    Partners in Crime, Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger write the Skylar Drake Mysteries, hard-boiled detective stories set in the 1950s.

    @JanetLynn4
    @Will_Zeilinger

  • Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger Featured Authors

    Partners in Crime, Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger write the Skylar Drake Mysteries, hard-boiled detective stories set in the 1950s.

    @JanetLynn4
    @Will_Zeilinger

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DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS
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Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.

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