Ida Cook was born on 1904 at 37 Croft Avenue, Sunderland, England. With her eldest sister Mary Louise Cook (1901), she attending the Duchess' School in Alnwick. Later the sisters took civil service jobs in London, and developed a passionate interest in opera. The sisters helped 29 jews to escape from the Nazis, funded mainly by Ida's writing. In 1965, the Cook sisters were honored as Righteous Gentiles by the Yad Vashem Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority in Israel.

As Mary Burchell, she published more than 125 romance novels by Mills & Boon since 1936. She also wrote some western novels as James Keene in collaboration with the author Will Cook (aka Frank Peace). In 1950, Ida Cook wrote her autobiography: "We followed our stars". She helped to found the Romantic Novelists' Association, and was its president from 1966 to her death on December 22, 1986.

Book List in Order:1 titles

  • Gala opera evenings. Sudden wealth and fame. Dangerous undercover missions into the heart of Nazi Germany. Standing up to the perils of the Blitz. No one would have predicted such glamorous and daring lives for Ida and Louise Cook--two decidedly ordi...