One book on her list:
Elizabeth's SpymasterRead about another book on Rimington's list.
By Robert Hutchinson
St. Martin's/Thomas Dunne, 2007
In 1570, when Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth for refusing to return England to the Roman Catholic fold, conditions ripe for intrigue soon developed. Elizabeth's Catholic subjects were feeling conflicted loyalties; the pope's action had made attacks on England by Catholic countries more likely; and some co-religionists of Elizabeth's Catholic cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, were conspiring to put her on the throne. As Robert Hutchinson relates in "Elizabeth's Spymaster," the English queen countered with Francis Walsingham, who for two decades operated what was effectively England's first counter-intelligence service, with tentacles stretching across Europe and agents throughout England. He ensnared Mary and forced her execution, and later provided intelligence that helped defeat the Spanish Armada. Walsingham was ruthless -- but as a spymaster deadly effective, smashing several conspiracies. He and his team were adept in the arts still essential to counter-intelligence: code breaking, surveillance, message interception and the "turning" of hostile agents.
Stella Rimington's latest novel, Illegal Action, is out this month from Knopf.