Inspiration for the Edward de Vere series

This appears on the website for information about the author:


Leslie McRae  is a word wallah. He uses words to build short stories, novellas, and novels.  Some of these tell stories about Edward de Vere who works for James River Associates which provides risk management for major corporations and high-net worth individuals.

Leslie McRae has an interest in British military history, the life and times of Winston S. Churchill, cryptology, and  music of the Baroque and Classic period.

Leslie McRae wants to thank Dahl Taylor for the excellent illustrations.

Email Address:   lesliemcrae at lesliemcrae dot com  (Change at to @ and dot to . )


The above potted version, as the Brits say, does not give the inspiration for the series about Edward de Vere. The inspiration lies in three series of paper-back novels which were first introduced in the early 1960’s. These were written by three different writers.

The first was the Travis McGee series by John D. McDonald. Every title in the series had a color in the title. Travis McGee’s profession was that he retrieved people’s lost property for a fee. Although most of the action took place in Florida, this profession allowed for the action to take place in locations such as New York City or Mexico.

The last book was published in 1984.

The second was the Matt Helm series by Donald Hamilton. The profession of Matt Helm was working as an assassin for an unnamed agency of the United States Government. He was tasked with various hits by his boss know as ‘Mac’. The action took place in the United States as well as abroad.

The last book was published in 1993.

The third and last series was the Parker series by Donald Westlake writing as Richard Stark. Parker’s profession is thief. His first name is never given. He robs and steals and kills if need be. This is not a pretty picture but so written that the reader is drawn into Parker’s world and hopes that Parker will not be caught.

The last book was published in 2008.

The above three series were the direct inspirations for the Edward de Vere series. However there was one book first published in 1928 which could be credited for being an inspiration. That book is “Ashenden: Or the British Agent” by W. Somerset Maugham This book is based on the experiences of the author as a member of British Intelligence during the The Great War.

Whether the Edward de Vere series will live up to these inspirations or will have a reversion to mediocrity only time will tell.