This fascinating book contains probably the most expert stories of espionage ever written. For a period of time after it was first published, the book became official required reading for persons entering the British Secret Service.
During World War I, Maugham enlisted with an ambulance unit, but was soon shifted to the Intelligence Department. Although these stories were based on the author's own experiences as a British agent during the war, he emphasized that they were written purely as entertainment, at which, indeed, Ashenden succeeds. Maugham's clarity of style, the perfection of his form, the subtlety of his thought, veiled thinly behind a worldly cynicism, has made him an international figure.
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When once you have found a motive the chances are that you will hit upon
evidence that till then had escaped you . ... or had cheated or insulted you , then
a scrap of paper , a bit of string or a chance remark would be enough to hang you
Of course she denied everything , but the proofs were there , I assured her she
hadn ' t got a chance . I spent three hours with her . She went all to pieces and at
last she confessed everything . Then I told her that I ' d let her go scot - free if she
It flashed across his mind that Caypor had been summoned to Berne to see the
redoubtable head of the German secret service . When he had the chance he
said casually to the waitress : ' A little less work for you to do , Fräulein . I hear that