Ross Thomas rarities – Brown Paper and Some String and Spies, Thumbsuckers, Etc.

In addition to spies, I'm very much a political junkie. For those who are aware of his work that should make it no surprise that the writer Ross Thomas is one of my favorite authors. Although he rose to prominence with a spy story - his first book The Cold War Swap which he banged …

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Sarrett Circus Commencement Address

I'm always on the hunt for new bits of history or trivia about the Circus. I've made a new find and I think you'll find it to be quite the treat. I was digging through some archives at the library and found one of Control's commencement addresses to the graduates of the Sarrett training camp. …

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His Secret Sharer: The Hidden Truths of John le Carré – Episode 1

In this episode I provide an introduction to the world's most famous spy writer. John le Carré began writing novels as a way to relieve the boredom of his duties as an upper-class raised British diplomat. That was what the world was told. The reality was that he wrote under a pseudonym; in truth he was a spy for MI6. His ability to live two lives at once was what made him both a successful spy as well as one of the most famous espionage novelists of all time. Much of the research came from Adam Sisman's essential biography of le Carré.
James Olson's book Fair Play was also quite helpful along with the collection of le Carré interviews called Conversations with John le Carré edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli and Judith S. Baughman.


Joe Country by Mick Herron – First Impressions Review

In the history of spy novels, Mick Herron’s Slough House is becoming as memorable a location as le Carré’s spy headquarters the Circus. Compared to London Rules, which took off like an out of control car, Joe Country is a more sedate affair. In a narrative shift from previous books, the first pages reveal that not all of our slow horses will be returning to the stable, leaving a sense of impending doom hanging over all the characters.