John Innes Mackintosh Stewart (30 September 1906 – 12 November 1994) was a Scottish novelist and academic. He is equally well known for the works of literary criticism and contemporary novels published under his real name and for the crime fiction published under the pseudonym of Michael Innes. Many devotees of the Innes books were unaware of his other “identity”, and vice versa.
Between 1936 and 1986, Stewart, writing under the pseudonym of Michael Innes, published nearly fifty crime novels and short story collections. The best-known of Innes’s detective creations is Sir John Appleby, who is introduced in Death at the President’s Lodging, in which he is a Detective Inspector at Scotland Yard. Appleby features in many of the later novels and short stories, in the course of which he rises to become Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Other novels feature portrait painter and Royal Academician, Charles Honeybath, an amateur but nonetheless effective sleuth.
Stewart attended Edinburgh Academy, where Robert Louis Stevenson had been a pupil for a short time, and later studied English literature at Oriel College, Oxford. It was here he was presented with the Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize and was named a Bishop Frazer’s scholar. In 1929 he went to Vienna to study psychoanalysis. He was lecturer in English at the University of Leeds from 1930 to 1935 and then became Jury Professor of English in the University of Adelaide, South Australia.
He returned to the United Kingdom to become Lecturer in English at the Queen’s University of Belfast from 1946 to 1948. In 1949 he became a Student (equivalent of Fellow in other Oxford colleges) of Christ Church, Oxford. By the time of his retirement in 1973, he was a professor of the university. He died at Coulsdon.