About

Quest. Jeff Quest. Huge fan of spy novels.

Spy Write is dedicated to spy fiction and nonfiction in all forms – movies, tv and books, new and old, especially collectible signed fiction. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments below. Thanks for visiting!

20 thoughts on “About

  1. Henry Meyer

    I have completed all of the Slow Horses series and loved them all. Mick has combined action, suspense and humor, a deadly combo. Lamb is without a doubt just below Smiley(ever since retiring I cannot polish my glasses with my tie) in my appreciation, dissimilar, though endearing.
    As an American(no I did vote for him)I lost many UK words and slang, though the context helped. So thank you Mick.

  2. David Derbes

    Hi, Jeff. I’m in Hyde Park, Chicago.

    I am grateful to you for all the Slough House posts. I bought Spook Street on a whim (its title reminded me of William Gibson’s Spook Country) and liked it very much, and have read most of them since.

    I don’t know if you’ve found the novels of Ross Thomas, but I think you’d like them. A few are spy stories, but not all. Maybe his best is Chinaman’s Chance. I gather that Amazon or someone has just made a tv series out of another Thomas, Briarpatch.

    It’s very weird to me that Gary Oldman is going to play Jackson Lamb in an Apple tv series, as he played Smiley in the most recent version of Tinker, Tailor. There was a rumor that they were going to remake Smiley’s People, but that seems to not be happening. A real pity.

    1. David, Hi!
      Great to hear there’s another Slough House fan in Chicagoland. I’m actually reading Briarpatch right now and I love Ross Thomas. His The Money Harvest and The Fools in Town are on our Side.
      Yes, I’m also curious how Oldman will do as Lamb and disappointed we’ll never see Smiley’s People.

      1. David Derbes

        Hi, Jeff.

        I’m friendly with the folks at The Seminary Co-Op and am headed over there to see about having them put a few Slough House novels up for display. I stumbled onto Spook Street there and was immediately hooked, but they don’t seem to know much about him. So I’m passing on your web site and some other information. Did you see the terrific article in the Atlantic?

        https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/10/broken-spies-for-a-broken-england/596650/

        Glad you’re enjoying Ross Thomas. USA is doing a streamable version of Briarpatch now with Dill being changed in gender and race, I believe. Haven’t seen it:

        https://www.usanetwork.com/briarpatch/videos/first-time-in-saint-disgrace

        The McCorkle-Padilla novels are excellent (particularly the last, Twilight at Mac’s Place) but my favorites are the Artie Wu-Quincy Durant books, Chinaman’s Chance, Out on the Rim, Voodoo, Ltd. The first is by far the best.

        David

      2. Ah, the Co-OP’s a great bookstore. Glad to hear you’re being Slough House to their attention!
        Yes, that was quite a good article on Herron. I’m still waiting for him to have a book tour take him through Chicago! Maybe in awhile once the new Slow Horses TV series premieres.
        I’ve read a bunch of Thomas but still need to get to the Wu and Durant books.
        You might enjoy the Spybrary podcast. Lots of Herron talk in the episodes and I snuck in a great Ross Thomas story in the episode coming out this week.
        Jeff

      3. David Derbes

        Good story! The Eighth Dwarf is not bad, but Chinaman’s Chance is my favorite. Here’s a link you might not have seen, which I swiped from the Wikipedia page on Ross Thomas:

        https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/are-the-fools-in-town-still-on-our-side-a-ross-thomas-retrospective

        With respect to Thomas’s having been a correspondent overseas, this was a common cover for Company folks during the Cold War. When that came out twenty or thirty years ago, people got a little grumpy. I suspect he was at least a stringer for CIA, maybe more.

  3. John Hargreaves

    I have just finished reading, To Die in Vienna published in 2018 ,the author Kevin Wignall. Must admit I have never read this author before despite his backlog of at least 8/9 other novels. But really enjoyed this spy novel, It was tense exciting and absorbing. I will be searching for some of his earlier books. Comparable to books by the more well known Charles Cumming

  4. John Hargreaves

    For information – I have seen that Soho Crime have published in the US this month a De Luxe softcover 10th anniversary edition of Slow Horses It is said to contain a new forward from the author, discussion questions for book clubs and a NEW exclusive slow horses short story.

    1. Thanks John! Yes, I noticed that as well. It comes out next week and I placed my order awhile back. Once I see what this new material is I’ll be sure to post about it. My guess is the short story is actually the one that appeared in the Waterstones edition of Joe Country, The Last Dead Letter since it’s yet to have been released in the US. However I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised if it’s a new story!

  5. David Derbes

    Jeff,

    There’s a very good obit of Le Carré in the New York Times, and several remembrances in the Guardian. The Times obit has one howler and one dubious, which occasions my writing. The howler is the labeling of Tinker, Tailor as the second in the Karla Trilogy. Oops. Also, the obit writer credits “joe” for agent to Le Carré. I don’t recall that usage (but admittedly I am far more familiar with the earlier Le Carré novels than the later ones). I think this is Mick Herron, but you will know for sure. Thanks in advance!

  6. Jason DeFord

    Jeff,

    Thanks for this website.

    I recently found Herron’s “Slow Horses” series and have been enjoying them very much. A question I have about the series is, “Why is MI5’s HQ called “Regency Park in the series?” Thames House as your website and public record so clearly points out is MI5 HQ. Is it because rendezvous in the Park are part of Herron’s schtick?

    Thanks again for your efforts.

    1. Thanks for reading Jason! I think Herron was trying to make his “own” MI5 and decided to put it in a building off of Regent’s Park as it was a location he was familiar with. If I talk with him again, I’ll ask if he had a specific reason!

  7. MARK

    I happened on this today on Amazon (the U.S. version). Apparently Slough House Book 8 is “Bad Actors” and will be available on Feb. 1, 2022. Cheers from Atlanta.

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