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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Reading recommendations for spies – Quiller

Ian Fleming didn't leave to the reader's imagination what James Bond liked to read. As written by Edward Biddulph on the excellent James Bond site - Artistic License Renewed - we can see some of the books Bond perused while off duty. We're not as lucky with other famous fictional spies. That's the idea behind …

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The Spies who Never were – Update

I wrote at the end of last year about lost spy novels by famous authors. Recently a new book came to light that I am extremely excited for and wanted to make sure readers knew about. Donald Westlake Westlake was a prolific author and has the distinction of creating two iconic crime fiction characters. The …

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Le Carré’s first lines

For more on John le Carré click here. I highlighted the first lines from Eric Ambler's novels a few weeks back and in honor of John le Carré's newest release, The Pigeon Tunnel, I thought it would be interesting to look at his first lines and whether any changes or trends could be discovered. Hard …

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Collecting Spy Fiction

Abel Uribe/Chicago TribuneLinking here to a short profile that appeared in the Chicago Tribune book supplement Printers Row a couple years back. They have a weekly feature on various local book lovers and their collection. The story was written by Laura Pearson, @tislaurapearson, and the pictures below are by a great Tribune photographer Abel Uribe. …

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Intelligence: a novel of the CIA – Susan Hasler

When the word “spy” is used in popular culture, it conjures up images of James Bond and ice-cold assassins. The reality is that the majority of  modern intelligence work is done in an office cubicle. Hasler, with 20 plus years of experience in the CIA, mines that untapped area with a very funny book that …

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