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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... New Zealand Penguin Books Ltd , Registered Offices : Harmondsworth ,
Middlesex , England The Complete Short Stories first published in three volumes
in Great Britain by William Heinemann Ltd 1951 Published in four volumes in
PREFACE In this , the third volume of my collected stories , I have made a
somewhat different arrangement from that which I have made in the others . In
those I put the stories I wrote in which the scene was laid in Malaya . These are
so long ...
Detective stories ? ' ' No . ' " Why not ? They are the only ones I read . If I were a
writer I should write detective stories . ' * They are very difficult . You need an
incredible amount of invention . I devised a murder story once , but the murder