He ate my toast and drank my beer. But that seemed sufficient to put him at his ease and get him talking (good cop routine). And it was a lot of fun. Charles Cumming has managed to craft a very successful career as a spy novelist out of the failure to enter SIS/MI6 after their initial approach.

He has garnered all kinds of plaudits and prizes: for example, the Observer has said he is “the best of the new generation of British spy writers who are taking over where John le Carré and Len Deighton left off”.

Q Conv - Charlie

The Trinity Six (reviewed here) was named by The Washington Post as “one of the notable books of 2011”, while for the most recent, A Foreign Country (reviewed here) won the first Scottish Crime Book of the Year at the inaugural Bloody Scotland Festival in Stirling in September 2012, and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller of 2012. So he’s not going unnoticed.

Having not seen him for years, we linked up through the wonders of social media, only to find myself drawn in by the relentless power of his tractor-beam-like publicity machine and thus interview him. Well that’s a little unfair – I simply asked him round for a chat while I kept a microphone on (and yes, he did know it was on).

So here it is: the next Q Conversation with Charles Cumming is now live.

For what it’s worth, if you’re not sure where to start on his books, then my favourite is definitely Trinity Six, followed closely by A Foreign Country.

Cumming 1 - Spy by Nature Cumming 2 - Hidden Man Cumming 3 - Spanish Game Cumming 4 - Typhoon Cumming 5 - Trinity Six Cumming 6 - A foreign country

My Ko-fi button

Will you support my work? You can simply BUY me a COFFEE!

Share this...

Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on pocket
Share on whatsapp

You might also like...

20th Century

“O Tempora! O Mores Evangelicii!” 10. A milestone and a decision

Something Hugh said at that meeting in Sheffield has been etched on my memory every since. I’d only been in ordained ministry perhaps 2 or 3 years and we were having our normal post-Summer catchup and planning session.

We would habitually begin with a short devotional, but that day, Hugh was in reflective mood. Only a few weeks before, he’d celebrated his 50th birthday, and now he openly described how affecting that milestone had been. If memory serves, it was on the lines of “I now realize that I have more years of formal ministry behind me than ahead of me.” 

Read More »
20th Century

“O Tempora! O Mores Evangelicii!” 9. Believing the propaganda

You will know of Godwin’s law, I’m sure, whereby the longer an internet discussion countinues, “the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” So, I’m afraid, the time has come.

One of the most gripping if chilling works of history that I’ve read is one that I find myself returning to a lot these days, despite the fact that it is well over 10 years since I first encountered it (in early research for Wilderness of Mirrors). Sir Ian Kershaw has spent a lifetime researching 20th Century German history and has brought all kinds of profound insights to the anglophone world (including through his mammoth two-volume biography of Hitler).

Read More »

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Lizzie

    So far I have only read A Foreign Country, and as soon as I finished it I started reading it again. Really enjoyed it. I will make a note of the others and look out for them now.

  2. Nancy Heeb

    What a privilege to hear this interview. Thank you SO much

Please leave a comment...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.