My first ever nickname was Smiler, coz I squinted in the blazing Swaziland sun. But I digress, and so early.

"The greatest spy author", or words to that effect have been bouncing around my feeds for a while now. I finally popped over to Wikipedia and discovered that there were a number of Smiley books written by John le Carré (as his pen name has it).

"But they're tedious, and slow, and about olden days and the Cold War", I thought as I borrowed the first one, Call For The Dead (1961) from the Wellington City Library - god I love Libby!

Well bugger me with a bestseller it's bloody good, I was hooked by 'page' 3 and can't stop reading it now. A classic whodunnit with a massive dollop of whydunnit as le Carré takes me on an all enveloping journey with his incredible writing.

I s'pose all those awards and opinions weren't built on nothing after all.

I'll let you know who and why dunnit later, once I've read all the books 😜

In the meantime, enjoy this line, 1961 remember:

He liked Smiley's car. He liked the fussy way it had been maintained, the sensible extras, wing mirrors and reversing light.


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