Critical Acclaim


Some 60 years ago, Desmond Cory wrote the first of a series of thrillers that helped spawn one of Britain's most popular fictional genres - the 20th Century "Spy Novel".

Sometimes referred to as "Brit Grit", this phenomenon comprised several well-known characters such as Ian Fleming's James Bond, and Len Deighton's Harry Palmer. At its peak, the genre sold several million books across the world, and was watched by even greater numbers on the Big Screen, due to the immense popularity of James Bond, as incarnated by the incomparable Sean Connery. Preceding the now legendary 007 was Desmond Cory's Johnny Fedora, "the thinking man's James Bond".

This Web site is dedicated to Shaun McCarthy (aka Desmond Cory) - the author, the characters he created, the novels he wrote, and his other literary achievements..




 The new Johnny Fedora website is live!
It's great to see the success of the Johnny Fedora novels followed up with a dedicted website. It looks great with lots of information about the creaive genious behind the series, and how wth series works so well in the 21st Century as it did in the 1950s when first published. Anyone who loves the classic espionage novels before the age of computers and gadgets will love it! Visit te site at:


 New Desmond Cory novel - first publication of On The Gulf on Kindle.

The long awaited return of the Lindy Grey detective series is over. The first novel "Begin Murderer" is now available on Amazon Kindle. Get your copy

Ostara Publishing Desmond Cory's Lindy Grey novels now available on Amazon Kindle.

The long awaited return of the Lindy Grey detective series is over. The first novel "Begin Murderer" is now available on Amazon Kindle. Get your copy

Ostara Publishing Ostara Publishing publish new interview with Desmond Cory.

A hitherto unpublished interview with Desmond Cory has been released with the new pubication of Undertow by Ostara Publishing. In the interview, Cory reveals where he got his pen-name from, and who inspired him during his early years as a novelist. View the full interview.

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The man behind the books

Desmond Cory's accomplishments include:

  • over 45 thriller /detective novels published in over 10 languages (winning accolades such as the Sunday Times' Best Crime novel of the year, and Crime Critics' choice of the year.
    - "Deadfall" was made into a film by 20th Century Fox, starring Michael Caine
    - "The Circe Complex" was televised in a 6 part series by Thames Television
  • screen-plays for the movie adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel "England Made Me".
  • radio scripts for the BBC
  • small number of children's books
  • interviews with well known British actors such as Michael York
  • As a Professor of English Literature, he wrote academic papers on modern English literature, and taught at a number of international Universities.

Desmond Cory was born in Lancing, Sussex on February 16th 1928. He was educated at Steyning Grammar School, and after serving as a commando in the Royal Marines immediately after World War II, he studied English literature at St Peter's College, Oxford, graduating with Honours in 1951. He pursued an academic and literary career for the next forty-five years, and in 1976 was awarded a Ph. D. from the University of Cardiff, Wales.

Starting as a freelance writer, he moved in 1953 to Cordoba, Spain, where he served as a technical translator and began teaching for the Academia Britanica. In Spain he married Blanca Rosa Poyatos, and became father to 4 boys.

Cory taught throughout most of his life, first at the University of Cardiff, and then enjoyed a series of associate professorships of English Literature in Arabic-speaking countries such as Qatar, Bahrain, and Yemen. He then became an advisor to the Ministry of Education in Salalah, Oman before leaving the Arabian Gulf in 1990 to take up a university position in Famagusta, Cyprus. In 1996 he retired with Blanca Rosa to their home in the province of Malaga in Southern Spain.

Despite his very busy professional life as an academic, Cory was a prolific writer whose work evolved and matured throughout the years, culminating in "The Dobie trilogy" published between 1991 and 1993. At the time of his death in January 2001, he left several unfinished manuscripts.

The Archives  

Cory worked with many legends in his career - including John Barry, the famous film score composer. John Barry wrote the theme score for Cory's novel Deadfall. Listen to Deadfall theme music

Shirley Bassey, like Cory, lived in the Cardiff area. They met a number of times, and Shirlie Bassie sang one of the main songs in one of Cory's filmed novels. Listen to "My love has two faces" and the 5 minutes of the film DeadFall.

Cory has been attributed for inventing British Intelligence's first "licenced to kill" agent. First written in 1951, Johnny Fedora is making a welcome comeback in the modern electronic world of e-books. Fedora's first assignment

The film trailer to Desmond Cory's novel, Deadfall, which featured Michael Caine and Eric Portman. View trailer



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