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In the novel N or M?, Sheila Perenna is the daughter of Mrs Perenna. Her father was named Patrick Maguire.

Sheila is described as having a "vivid, handsome face". According to Major Bletchley, she is "a queer girl", and gets "odd sullen fits when she will hardly speak to anyone". Tommy feels that she has a "tumultuous life in her", and a "kind of compelling power". He thinks that she is the kind of girl over whom a man might easily lose his head. Tuppence feels that Sheila is "beautiful with a queer breathtaking beauty".

Sheila tells Tommy that she hates the war because of the smugness and the patriotism. She asks why one's country should mean anything at all, and says that the idea of dying for one's country is stupid, because nothing is worth dying for.

Sheila tells Tommy that her father had been a follower of Casement in the last war, and was shot as a traitor. She says that he was a martyr to some and a traitor to others, but to her he was just stupid.

Sheila also tells Tommy that her mother changed her name, and they had lived in Spain for some years. She tells Tommy that she and her mother always tell lies wherever they go, and have been all over the Continent. However, she feels that starting Sans Souci is the most hateful thing they have done.

Sheila is in love with Carl von Deinim. When he is arrested, she asks Tuppence for help. However, Tuppence tells her that nothing can be done.

At the end of the novel, Sheila attends a party hosted by Tommy and Tuppence. She says that she does not want to dance, as she loathes dancing. However, she changes her mind when Carl arrives, and they dance together.