First lines – Mick Herron

I highlighted the first lines from Eric Ambler and John le Carré novels awhile back and I thought it would be interesting to do something similar for Mick Herron. Will we see any changes or discover heretofore undiscovered trends? Hard as it was, I tried to stick with just the first sentence, although I couldn’t …

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Spy Games – A Spy for a Spy

Every so often I'll be highlighting some of the spy games I've picked up from various second hand stores over the years. I haven't played most of these yet, as finding willing spy game participants can be tricky, but I'm hoping to road test some of these as the kids get older. A game that …

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Reconstruction – Mick Herron

In anticipation of Mick Herron’s US release of London Rules, the fifth book in his Slough House series, I did a re-read of his Slough House related work. Reconstruction came out in 2008 and is in many ways the proto-Slough House novel. Read more I've written on Herron and other Slough House books here. For as …

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SafeHouse Milwaukee – A Review

I wrote last year about the Chicago outpost of the SafeHouse, the Milwaukee institution that has been in existence since 1966. Overall I greatly enjoyed it. Recently I had the opportunity for a return visit to the Milwaukee original, this time bringing my family along for the ride. We visited in the midst of a …

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A Spy Valentine

Spies and romance. They go together like hand to fingerprint disguising glove. But how do we rank some of fictions greatest spies in the romance department? Well, if you’re looking to romance a spy, buyer beware. Let’s take a closer look - James Bond - Pros - Frequently wears a tuxedo. Dines in the best …

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Broken Covers – Andrew Garve

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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The Spy Who oddities- Part 4.5

It's been over two years but I've laid hands on yet another abridged version of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. We've seen two previous abridged versions, one in a magazine called True and the next in Reader's Digest. Over three issues of Show - The Magazine of the Arts, October through December …

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