Interviews, People, Scribblings, Special Events, The Features

Scribblings: Charlie Higson

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

This Saturday, Charlie Higson will be signing copies of his latest work in the Young James Bond series, By Royal Command. Higson collaborated with Ian Fleming (creator of the British superspy James Bond) to plant the seeds of how James went from being a regular schoolboy to the world-renown Agent 007 of Britain’s secret service.

Higson is a prolific British actor, comedian, and author. His television credits range from writing and performing in BBC comedies such as The Fast Show, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), and Swiss Toni. Before tackling the young Bond series, Higson wrote four other novels in the early to mid 1990s: King of the Ants, Happy Now, Full Whack, and Getting Rid of Mister Kitchen.

The Young Bond novels are aimed at younger readers, concentrating on James’ school days at Eton. There are currently five in the series; Silver Fin was released in the U.S. in April 2005, followed by Blood Fever, Double or Die, and Hurricane Gold. His latest, By Your Command, was released in hardcover in the U.K. in late 2008 and only recently arrived in the U.S. through Hyperion Press. He has since written The Enemy, a young adult horror novel, currently released in the U.K.

The International Spy Museum is hosting Charlie Higson for an author signing this Saturday from 2 – 4 p.m. The museum shared with WeLoveDC a recent interview they had with Higson about his latest Bond novel. Continue reading

Special Events, The Daily Feed

Spying a Halloween Festival at ISM

Photo courtesy of
‘Haunted Spy House’
courtesy of ‘Sister72′

The International Spy Museum is celebrating Halloween with a weekend full of events for special agents of all ages. Spend the scariest night of the year at the place where disguises aren’t just for Halloween!

Enjoy “Spy Fright,” a haunting twist on the standard Spy at Night event (on both Friday and Saturday evenings) complete with the specialty Vampagne cocktail, a disturbingly delicious combination of Prosecco, Black Vodka, and raspberry puree. Participants will enjoy a spine-chilling trip through the Museum’s immersive experience Operation Spy and other spy games, including the new CLUE: Secrets & Spies Edition and expert tradecraft demonstrations.

Families will have the unique opportunity to celebrate Halloween with Hasbro’s DC launch of their CLUE: Secrets & Spies Edition. Special Agents Scarlet, Mustard, Plum, and crew will be on hand to greet junior agents. Game demos and giveaways will also take place from 1pm – 9pm on Saturday, with special Halloween treats including pumpkin cookies, spiced cup cakes and fall cider available in the Spy Café.

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Interviews, People, Special Events, The Features

Scribblings: Matthew Alexander

Photo courtesy of
‘Polygraph Integrator’
courtesy of ‘pauldwaite’

Interrogation is the ultimate battle of wills; the most expert interrogators have an arsenal of tactics ready to go. Gauging their “target,” they must quickly assess which psychological strategies will work to gain the most reliable results. Matthew Alexander, who spent 14 years in the US Air Force and Air Force Reserves, is part of a small group of military interrogators who were sent to Iraq in 2006, trained to get information without using harsh methods. He sat face-to-face with hardened members of Al Qaeda and convinced them to talk. Alexander, author of How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq, will describe the true story of the critical interrogation he conducted that led to the targeted killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Alexander will share his riveting experiences and reveal what it takes to be an effective interrogator in a special event hosted by the International Spy Museum on Monday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Julia Child Spy Dinner

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Ghost_Bear’

It’s easy to think of Julia Child as being the proto-Martha Stewart. Her influence on mid-day programing for stay at home moms is pronounced, but to consider this the totality of her life is a mistake. Before she was a celebrity chef, Julia Child was a spy. Well, not a spy, per se, but she did work with the OSS (the WWII version of the CIA) in Ceylon and in China. To honor this portion of her life, and to promote the upcoming film Julie & Julia, the International Spy Museum and Chef Bryan Moscatello are throwing a dinner at Zola. The dinner will feature food made famous by Ms. Child as well as stories of her time in the OSS. The event will be held on August 20th. For tickets, call 202-654-0964.

Downtown, History, Media, Penn Quarter, People, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Why Spy?

Photo courtesy of handwrite
this is why i am a spy, courtesy of handwrite

The world today is as volatile a place as we’ve ever known. So how does the U.S. maintain its intelligence assets against the faceless enemy of terrorism and extremists? In his latest book Why Spy?, Frederick P. Hitz, former inspector general of the CIA, draws on his extensive experience to suggest how the U.S. can rise to the challenge. Hear from this insider’s perspective on the safety of America and why it depends on how well—and why—we spy. In this lunchtime conversation, he’ll discuss the pitfalls of the past and share suggestions for successful U.S. intelligence in the future.

Meet and greet the author at the International Spy Museum on Friday, 9/26 from noon – 1 p.m. This “debreifing” session is free and open to the public.