The Spy Who Inspired Me by Stephen Clarke

Published by pAf on 12 November 2020 as a Paperback Original at £7.99 and as an eBook

For legal reasons, The Spy Who Inspired Me does not mention J*mes B*nd.  Which is a shame, because it is a comedy based on the idea that I*n Fl*ming’s famously macho spy might have been inspired by a woman…

It is April 1944, and chic armchair naval officer Ian Lemming (sic) is accidentally beached in Nazi-occupied Normandy. With no access to a razor or clean underwear, and deprived of his cigarettes, Lemming just wants to go home. But he is stranded with a young, though hugely experienced, female agent called Margaux Lynd, who is on a perilous mission to unmask traitors in a French Resistance network.

So, as she bullies him across France, Lemming receives a painful crash course in spy craft, and starts to fantasize about a fictional agent – male of course – who would operate only in the most luxurious conditions, and lord it over totally subservient women. A world-famous spy is born …

Stephen Clarke said: ‘In World War Two there really were female undercover agents who were ten times tougher and braver than Ian Fleming. I thought it would be great fun to send him (or rather, someone very like him) on a dangerous mission with one of these women who would show him what real spies got up to.’

Stephen Clarke has combined his knowledge of French history with a fondness for Ian Fleming’s novels (despite their old-school machismo) to create The Spy Who Inspired Me, set in the complex background of real Occupied France.

About the Author

Stephen Clarke is the bestselling author of the Merde series of comedy novels (A Year in the Merde, Merde Actually, Dial M for Merde et al) which have been translated into more than 20 languages and sold more than a million copies worldwide. Stephen Clarke has also written several serious-yet-humorous books on Anglo-French history, such as 1000 Years of Annoying the French (a UK number-one bestseller in both hardback and paperback), How the French Won Waterloo (or Think They Did), and The French Revolution & What Went Wrong.  He lives in Paris. For more information about Stephen Clarke please visit

Praise for Stephen Clarke

‘Tremendously entertaining’

Sunday Times

‘Outrageously readable’

Daily Mail

‘Edgier than Bryson, hits harder than Mayle’

The Times

‘Wicked and witty’

Daily Express

‘Breezy, entertaining’

Sunday Express

‘Quintessentially English sense of humour’

Vogue homme

‘Truly rivals Bryson’

The Bookseller

‘Funny, outrageous, irreverent … not to be missed!’