Collecting A Legacy of Spies

The biggest story of last year was the announcement that John le Carré had written a new Smiley novel. Fans of le Carré's all over the world were shocked. Le Carré had seemed to put a button on Smiley with The Secret Pilgrim so every fan is excited about the new novel. As a collector, …

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The List by Mick Herron

In anticipation of Mick Herron’s US release of London Rules, the fifth book in his Slough House series, I’m doing a re-read of the first four books. The short story The List appeared between Dead Lions and Real Tigers in 2015. Dieter was long retired from the world of spooks, but there were protocols to …

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Playing by Moscow Rules

There are a few different versions of the Moscow Rules, the term that refers to how a spy should handle themselves behind enemy lines. I like this version I found on a postcard in the International Spy Museum.

Dead Lions by Mick Herron

In anticipation of Mick Herron’s US release of London Rules, the fifth book in his Slough House series, I’m doing a re-read of the first four books. Second is Dead Lions from 2013. “Dead lions,” Molly said. “What about them?” “It’s a kids’ party game. You have to pretend to be dead. Lie still. Do …

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Chicago Spies – Part One

Although it is not the first place you would think of having a spy pedigree - Chicago, Illinois, smack dab in the middle of the United States, does have a few notable spy connections. Over a few posts I will discuss some of the real and fictional spies we’ve seen in Chicago. True spy stories …

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Broken Covers – John Creasey

Publishers are always looking to refresh the backlist of authors and sell more copies. In the 70’s the beautiful painted book covers went out of fashion and photo covers came into vogue. The UK publisher Fontana had paperback rights to many of the well known thriller writers of the time like Desmond Bagley, Alastair Maclean, …

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SafeHouse Chicago – A Review

In my recent quest to visit spy related locations I’ve found that there is nothing better than being immersed in your subject. Milwaukee institution the Safehouse has done just that for decades. Looking like an abandoned warehouse on the outside and with “secret” entrances and exits, spy themed food and memorabilia throughout, on my visit …

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