Waterstones Book of the Month – Non-Fiction

Am hugely excited to say that the paperback edition of ‘M’, out yesterday, is Waterstones non-fiction Book of the Month!

The best thing about this is getting to see some of the different ‘M’ window displays in branches of Waterstones around London. It turns out that no two are the same. Each one is imaginative, detailed, expertly put together, and at the same time pulls on a particular thread of M’s character.

One display might bring out the naturalist side of his life; in the Trafalgar Square branch, it being near Whitehall, there’s more of an emphasis on MI6 and MI5, elsewhere they’ve gone for spying gadgets, in the Piccadilly branch there’s a cardboard Big Ben…

In fact if you see a display you like send me a photo as I might put together a post of the best ones.

I should also say that the paperback itself has been beautifully designed. Hats off to everyone at Arrow.

Really hope you enjoy it.





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Your Comments

  1. 1

    Dear Henry Hemming,
    Below are some notes relating to a family interest in Max Knight.
    My grandfather, Geoffrey Nicholson, was Cheif Constable of Surry, during the war. One of his daughters, my mother, Zita, Olivia Nicholson, got to know Max Knight very well.

    There is a bit more to this story, but I don’t want to bore you with too much text.
    I would, however, be most grateful for any links you might have found with Surrey Police force, and my Mother (she was a PC in the force).
    Yours sincerely,

    Chris Scotter

  2. 2

    Dear Henry,
    I just wanted to drop you a line to say how fantastic and informative reading “M” was. I literally just finished the final page and thought that I must write to you and say how much I enjoyed it.
    Thank you very much.
    Dominic Sennett


    • 3

      Many thanks for this, that’s really kind. So glad you enjoyed it and thank you for writing.

  3. 4

    This year our local natural History Museum in Haslemere Surrey celebrated 130 years in existence. Members and volunteers were asked to submit their stories, memories or experiences to be retained in a time capsule. I wrote about a visit local primary school children made in the late 1950’s (I was 8 or 9) to attend a lecture by one Maxwell Knight known to many as a TV & radio presenter and colleague of Peter Scott. Many kids brought along egg boxes of animal & bird skulls, birds eggs, snake skins and the like for identification, which to his credit Mr Knight spent much time with each child duly establishing provenance. Before submitting my piece I thought I had better check the time-line as it was 60 odd years ago. Imagine my surprise when googling one Maxwell Knight to find that his day job was that of spymaster! I will never forget his visit to our museum, if only we had known the impact his MI5 role had on our young lives. Subsequently reading the book has been fascinating, revealing and enlightening. Thank you.

    • 5

      I loved reading this, many thanks David. So glad you enjoyed the book.

  4. 6

    I just finished reading Agent M. I read a lot of 20th century military and political history. This is a great book. I couldn’t put it down. Well done.

  5. 7

    Hi I’ve only just come across your book but not read it yet. I’m not sure if this is of interest but one of my school friends Anne Knight was Maxwell’s niece they lived in Limpsfield and Maxwell brought Goldie to our school – the now defunct St Michaels school for girls. I was fascinated by him. He was probably the reason Anne’s dad kept peregrine falcon- and would hunt on horseback. Always fun riding with him – he looked like Henry V111 I can remember more but lost touch with Anne. Now to read the book

    • 8

      Fascinating! I love the Henry VIII comparison. Hope you enjoy the book

  6. 9

    Hi Henry
    I started reading your fascinating book about Maxwell Knight because we called to visit my brother-in-law and his wife who were staying in Withypool. When we were having a meal in the Royal Oak the MI5 connection came up in conversation and they mentioned the fact that my wife’s uncle, who was born in 1912, used to take his holidays in the Royal Oak.
    On page 77 you reveal M’s mysterious undeclared service to for King, I believe I may know what this may have been in connection with.
    Back in 2008 my mother-in-law asked me just who were my maternal grandfather’s family and challenged me to delve deeper. Over the last decade I have unearthed an amazing untold story involving our family’s connection to the Royal family.
    I am not a writer so I have created what I call a family hedge which contains about 3500 intermarried people spread over 38 generations on to which I can tell the story in a series of notes.
    I believe I have the basis of several books contained in these notes which are in the form of a .dwg drawing which can be best read on an iPad using the DWG FastViev App.
    Would you be interested in discussing this further?
    Obviously this comment would be best not added to the published comments and I am counting on your discretion.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Cheers for now,
    Btw, my email address has two underscores, one after the other.

    • 10

      Hi Tim, many thanks for this. I’ll drop you an email now. With best wishes, Henry

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