Melville_Susan1 Melville_Susan2 Melville_Susan3 Melville_Susan4
Full Name: Susan Melville
Nationality: American
Organization: Unnamed Secret Agency
Occupation Agent

Creator: Evelyn E. Smith
Time Span: 1986 - 1991


Susan Melville is a freelance assassin.

Poor Susan! Her wealthy upbringing, with its beautiful home and antique furniture and great artwork and few worries, collapsed when her father absconded to South America one step ahead of the authorities, taking most of the wealth with him. A product of an excellent education with learning in all the finer aspects of life proved to be somewhat less than useful when it came to finding a job.

She eventually found something she felt fit her new station and which she enjoyed - that of an art teacher at the small girls' school. Now, after many years of barely making due with the small salary they paid and well into middle age, she learned that institution was closing and she was left with practically nothing.

Her only true love was Peter, an anthropologist who spent most of the year in an unknown location studying an aboriginal tribe no one had heard of. To make ends meet, barely, she resorted to crashing social functions for the barely decent food and for the company.

What she would do was dress in her finest clothes befitting whatever bash she was going to sneak into, name-drop or schmooze or berate her way into the festivities, and then consume above average amounts of whatever food was being provided. This would include taking a oversized handbag to hold tomorrow's repast as well.

The last straw for her, though, came when she was told that the rent-controlled apartment she had lived in for decades is turning condo and she must buy or get out. Appealing to the landlord, an old would-be suitor, did no good. Her meager life has just hit the bottom.

That's when she decided to end it all. And a good place to do that is the charity affair the landlord was hosting. However, when it came time to slip off to a side room, pull out the little gun and shoot herself in the middle of his boring speech, she had a change of heart. She shot him instead.

Feeling rather pleased with her choice, Miss Melville left. But she had been seen by some one else, namely a man who had been sent to kill the landlord himself. Seeing a kindred spirit and appreciating the way she did it, the way she got away with it, and the way she had no remorse about it at all, he decided he had found a colleague

And thus began the new, strange career of Susan Melville, paid assassin.

Note: There was a fifth book written but the publishing of it is not certain. It was said to be reprinted by Penguin Books in December, 2010, but as yet no word has been found. The book was Miss Melville Runs For Cover.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1986
Last Appearance:1991

1 Miss Melville Regrets Miss Melville Regrets
Written by Evelyn E. Smith
Copyright: 1986

Melville wants to end her life at a banquet honoring the landlord who is putting her out on the street when she has a change of heart and ends HIS life. She learns immediately he was the target of another assassin who recognizes talents and soon Melville has a new profession.

2 Miss Melville Returns Miss Melville Returns
Written by Evelyn E. Smith
Copyright: 1987

Now wanting to leave her homicidal profession behind, she decides to investigate the collapse of an artist at his first exhibition. It isn't long before she is in the middle of drugs smuggling and other underhanded activity. Luckily, she is well aware of how to take care of herself.

3 Miss Melville's Revenge Miss Melville's Revenge
Written by Evelyn E. Smith
Copyright: 1989

Learning through some friends at the U.N. how her father had been murdered many years before, Melville decides to put her homicidal talents to good use in taking out the murdering South American dictator.

4 Miss Melville Rides A Tiger Miss Melville Rides A Tiger
Written by Evelyn E. Smith
Copyright: 1991

While considering whether to accept the request by her government to take out a power hungry leader of a small country, Melville is also wondering what is going on at a new school she is considering teaching at.


I can imagine, and would probably agree largely with, someone claiming the Melville adventures are not true spy novels. I would argue she does work on occasion for the government, making it worth of being considered here.

I would also point out, strongly and with great glee, that these books are hoots. They are so full of wry humor and wonderful observations on life and civilization that they belong in anyone's reading list.

While I couldn't say for sure if Melville would like me as much as I like her, I definitely can say that I wouldn't want her disliking me. Not a bit.


My Grade: B


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