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, I immediately began researching signed editions. Waterstones offered a signed UK edition that quickly sold out. Typically, le Carré has been kind enough to sign copies of his books at a bookstore close to his home in Cornwall. So if you missed Waterstones release, you might not be out of luck.

There was also a limited edition release by a small press that is signed. Both A Delicate Truth and The Pigeon Tunnel received this treatment, although you will pay a premium. Those editions were typically running anywhere from $250 to $600.

US editions have been slightly different. Although there were ample signed editions of A Delicate Truth, via tipped in pages, The Pigeon Tunnel was not released as a signed US edition. From what I heard, no one was willing to put up the money necessary to get signed US editions. That was particularly disappointing to someone like myself who has been able to collect the majority of his work in signed US editions.

I was happy to hear that wasn’t going to be the case with A Legacy of Spies. Last year I reached out to Viking and they confirmed that a limited number of tipped in signed US editions were made and that Barnes and Noble bookstore would be the place to look. But after daily check ins online and at their stores, yes I’m a nerd, I never saw them.

It was rather frustrating and a bit of a mystery. However, just this week for the first time I saw a signed copy pop up on eBay with the distinctive Barnes and Noble “Signed Copy” sticker.

This led me to the local Barnes and Noble where, lo and behold, I found signed copies on the shelves! It makes me wonder if these have been sitting in a warehouse somewhere. If I was Viking, and they are only just making these available I’d be rather unhappy.

Anyway, if you are interested in a signed edition, head to your Barnes and Noble store now and pick one up while they are still available. They aren’t on the Barnes and Noble website and the prices are jumping higher on eBay, but if you find one in the wild you can get it for a song!

Happy collecting!

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