The Bibliophile's Adventurers Club

Exemplars of bookish delight

That's Madeleine Brent to you

MaryAnn recommended a book called Moonraker's Bride by Madeleine Brent. Seeing how I'm always up for a good foo-foo book, I decided to do a bit of sleuthing. WELL, let me tell you , Ms. Madeleine Brent is no lady. No sir, she is not; Madeleine Brent is a nom de plume for Peter O'Donnell; so she, you see, is actually him.

Apparently Mr. O'Donnell's publisher asked him to write a gothic romance. As you might imagine, O'Donnell was not so very keen on the idea. But a funny thing about publishers – they can be very convincing. So he wrote four chapters, under the name of Madeleine

Brent, hoping that would be the end of it. Not so much. An American publisher was very much interested; the rest, as they say, is history. Moonraker's Bride – Brent's second novel – won second prize for the Best Romantic Novel of the year; his/her fourth novel – Merlin's Keep – won the top honor.

For many years, the true identity of Madeleine Brent remained a mystery. To keep up the intrigue, O'Donnell's wife signed fan mail correspondence and Ms. Brent never accepted any of her awards in person.

Gives whole new meaning to “getting in touch with your feminine side” does it not?

So mysterious – and I'm just now learning about it. How can this be? Even worse, I've only just discovered Modesty Blaise, the character for whom Peter O'Donnell is most known. She sounds simply intriguing.

There's a slight possibility that my first graphic novel is on the horizon…



  1. I read the condensed version of Moonraker's Bride. I wasn't super impressed, but maybe the condensation had something to do with that.

    What's this about a graphic novel?

    • amelia

      17 February 2010 at 8:50 am

      I don’t think the Madeleine Brent novels are intended to be impressive. They’re just lighthearted reads, with a strong female protagonist – quite formulaic from what I understand, but popular. As for the gothic novel … Modesty Blaise had her beginnings in a comic strip, you see. She sounds like a great character, so I think I must …

  2. The Modesty Blaise novels are simply fantastic. One of the best female characters done by a male writer (in fact, possibly one of the best female characters ever). I envy you getting to read them for the first time ever!

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