J(ohn) I(nnes) M(ackintosh) Stewart 1906–
(Also writes under pseudonym of Michael Innes) English novelist, short story writer, critic, essayist, and biographer.
Stewart is best known as the prolific author of intricately plotted detective novels written under the pseudonym of Michael Innes. Through their academic settings and intellectual themes, these works reflect Stewart's status as a retired Oxford don. The main character in most of these novels is John Appleby, a gentleman-detective who solves his cases through a combination of skill and intuition. The series has followed Appleby from inspector to knighted chief of police and into retirement.
Stewart's fiction published under his own name has much in common with the John Appleby series, including scholarly settings and themes, humorous elements, and an interest in the world of art. However, rather than concentrating on art as their subject, as in the detective novels, these works deal with the artist's creative process and his role in society.
Critics admire Stewart's ability to be both suspenseful and insightful in all his fiction. Among the later John Appleby novels are Sharks and Adders (1982) and Appleby and Honeybath (1983); under his own name Stewart has recently published The Bridge at Arta and Other Stories (1982) and A Villa in France (1982).
(See also CLC, Vols. 7, 14 and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 85-88.)