Inspired by my reading The Girl Who Fell From The Sky, the first espionage book I’ve read with a female protagonist, I did some research on books with female spies in them.
Literary star Ian McEwan weighs in with Sweet Tooth, probably the best known of the lot.
I learned a bit about this subject doing the research. Gayle Lynds was probably the first modern author to tackle this subject— she was early enough, this happened:
the woman president of a New York publishing house at first agreed to buy her debut spy thriller, “Masquerade” — only to change her mind the next day. “Her reason? ‘No woman could have written this novel.’”
It’s a collaborative list, so if you know of some I missed you can add them to the list yourself!