Broken Covers – Helen MacInnes

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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More Harm Than Good by Andrew Grant

More Harm Than Good is Andrew Grant's return to his David Trevellyan spy series after a two year hiatus. His previous novels in the series, Even and Die Twice, were excellent entries into the spy genre. In his latest, gone are the chapter opening observations on spycraft or Trevellyan's past, which I quite enjoyed for …

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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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Which Literary Spy are you?

It's the ultimate question for any spy fan. If you were a spy which kind of spy would you be? I've seen a bunch of quizzes for the movies but I thought I'd throw together this one for all the book spy fans. Are you a Smiley, Lemas, Bond or someone else? Give it a …

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Bond in Motion – Exhibit Review

This is another in my posts on spy tourism. Read other posts in the series here. Located in London, I had marginal expectations for the London Film Museum’s Bond in Motion exhibit. I'm not any sort of huge car guy and as this is an exhibit looking at Bond vehicles, how much am I really …

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