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Secret Lip Services – The honor John le Carré doesn’t want you to know about

Rarely am I shocked while reading a book, but this was the exception. As I perused my latest purchase, a binded transcript of a speech John le Carré gave at John Hopkins University in 1986 titled The Clandestine Muse, I had a shocking revelation. John le Carré had won Blistex lip balm’s 1985 “Most Beautiful …

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Quiller and Agents of Influence Podcasts

My regular posts have been a bit more sporadic of late as I've been working on a couple of special projects. First was hosting a two part podcast panel on Spybrary looking at Adam Hall's famous spy creation - Quiller. This resulted in a fair bit of research as I reread a bunch of the …

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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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Interview with Toby Manning on John le Carré and the Cold War – Part Two

We conclude our interview with Toby Manning on his book John le Carré and the Cold War. Find part one here. When you’re done reading my interview listen to the Spybrary podcast interview with Toby Manning. Spy Write: It seems that le Carré's post-Cold War work may have been what muddied the waters regarding the “otherness” …

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The Fake le Carré Blurb Scandal

Finding books that John le Carré has recommended, contributed to or written introductions/forewords to has become something of a passion project for me. In the process of doing this research I came upon its flip side - the fake le Carré blurb scandal. Back in 1991 a writer named Derek Van Arman was involved in a …

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Le Carré Recommends – Part 3

I"m back with another addition to my growing list of books le Carré has recommended or blurbed. Catch up with my previous posts - Part one Part two Here are the new additions - The Reason Why by Cecil Woodham-Smith - JlC review - "I’m not sure why I returned to this classic account of one …

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Best of 2017

Last year I put together a short list of some of my favorite things from the past year. I’ve done it again and here they are in no particular order - A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming - This one is a little selfish. I won a auction to have my name appear in the …

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The International Spy Museum – A Review

This past summer I was able to take a road trip to Washington D.C. and while there visited the International Spy Museum. Open since 2002, it's one of the few museums dedicated to espionage. It's set to move to a new, bigger location in early 2018 so this is a last look at the museum's …

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Spy Tours of London

If you are a spy fan and you are in London, odds are you will want to take a spy tour. I was able to take advantage of many of the ones I found during my recent trip there and wanted to offer a list of the various options. I didn't take a bad one, …

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