John Smith

Created by Jimmy Sangster

Former spy JOHN SMITH now toils as a private investigator right in the midst of swinging London in the sixties, but don’t expect some Carnaby Street Rock God, or anything.

John’s about as bland as his name–he’s middle-aged, fat, and losing his hair, and his one-man agency is going down the drain. So he jumps at a job offer from his former handler: to go to Moscow and facilitate a prisoner exchange.

An exquisite series launch. A tight and often violent tale of intrigue. Spy fiction fans will revel in this dark, witty story.” Publishers Weekly

Ex-British spy John Smith is nearly broke, has bad teeth, is lousy in bed, and drinks too much. But he’s no fool. He’s a man who knows his own limitations and works within them. He blackmailed his way out of the secret service years ago and is barely making a living as a London private eye when his ex-wife comes calling and asks him to follow her philandering husband. But that sleazy, all-too-common job leads to some uncommon trouble…and Smith is thrown like a chunk of raw meat into a lion’s den of international espionage, betrayal, and killing. His only hope of surviving is to outwit his clever and brutal adversaries at their own deadly game.

“Very astutely plotted, with many surprising twists and a sharp biteThe New York Times

“There’s nothing ordinary about this adventure. It’s big league intrigue.Kirkus Reviews

“A deadly, cold, serious drama of counter-espionage.” Atlanta Constitution

“A witty spy story in the anti-James Bond tradition.” The Cedar Falls Courier

This novel was originally published under the title private I and was adapted into a feature film The Spy Killer starring Robert Horton, Jill St. John and Sebastian Cabot.

The second book in the thrilling ‘John Smith’ espionage series that Publishers Weekly hails as “exquisite…spy fiction fans will revel in this dark, witty story.”

Ex-British spy John Smith blackmailed his way out of the secret service years ago and is content barely scraping by as a private eye. But then his manipulative and totally untrustworthy ex-spy master offers him a lucrative payday to participate in high-risk operation on the other side of the Iron Curtain…or face involuntary commitment to an insane asylum if he refuses. His mission: go to Russia as a spy and get himself captured so he can pass bad intelligence to the enemy. The trick will be getting back alive when there’s absolutely nobody he can trust, especially his boss. He takes the assignment, a deadly decision that soon confirms that he not only would have been better off in the asylum…but that perhaps he truly deserved to be there.

“Breathlessly paced, wickedly funny, with a naughty, but hilarious climax.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Consistently funny.” Kirkus Reviews

“”With sexy foreplay & an intriguing plot, FOREIGN EXCHANGE is one of the best kept secrets of the spy genre.” Paperback Warrior

“Sangster’s light-hearted approach gives the novel sprightly animation. The startling twist in the very last sentence is as ironic as it is unexpected.” The Pittsburgh Press

“Humorous, exciting, and unpredictable. A well-written adventure.” The Delaware Morning News

“Well-written and good fun.” The Sydney Morning Herald



  • Starring Robert Horton, Jill St. John, Sebastien Cabot
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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