Series: Spies and detectives
This book is all about keeping secrets. It shows you how to set up secret meeting places and a secret post office, and how to disguise your messages and maps and write secret codes and signals. On the first page you will meet the Black Hat Spy. Watch out for the tricks he plays in Spy Trick – these are things real spies have done. This book was even used in evidence at at a high court spy trial in 1993 when witness Oleg Gordievsky testified that the book gave away the KGB's tradecraft. The author, Falcon Travis, remains a mystery to this day. One of the first Usborne books to be published, reissued for the 40th anniversary of Usborne Publishing in 2013.
Read the following reviews or write one of your own.
“My favorite book!”
As far as I can remember, this is the first book I buy in a book school fair, in spanish in Mexico City. I loved it then, I love it now. Now I do cryptographic code for banks.
“The KnowHow Book of Spycraft”
I used to come to England in summer to visit my relatives in the '70s. And what an exiting moment when I bought this book and began to act like a real Spy! Along with the Spy Guidebook still in my shelf, which I've now passed on to my children. Wonderful books, really!
“It was practical to a degree that should probably have been illegal.”
“A fascinating book packed with hands-on projects for children to try out - and who isn't fascinated by spies, codes and secrets? ...this would be a brilliant book to use as a theme for a children's party.”
Parents in Touch
“The moment [the book] arrived and I turned to the first page I was hit by a wave of nostalgia... you could do a lot worse than buy a copy for your reluctant reader son or daughter, although don't be too surprised when they start acting furtive, go through your clothes in search of disguises and add an extra potato to your weekly shopping list so that they can make invisible ink.”
The Book Zone blog
“This book may well be the only work of children's non-fiction to have been used in evidence at an espionage trial.”
“A goldmine of secret tricks and disguises, the book contains messages in code throughout and is a must for any youngster who fancies trying out a spot of espionage!”
“...can inject an awful lot of excitement and intrigue into a rainy afternoon.”
Playing by the Book
“...a fascinating book that will delight younger and older readers alike.”
“As someone who had planned on a career in espionage from the age of nine or so, thanks to the Knowhow Book of Spycraft and its companion volume, the Official Spy’s Handbook – it is no exaggeration that, for years on end, these books were my life – my heart soared as the news that our secret services are being urged to recruit middle aged mothers.”
India Knight, The Sunday Times
“...the perfect book for boys or girls who revel in puzzles, code-cracking and brain-taxing stuff.... brilliant fun and Colin King's fantastic illustrations remind me why Usborne books have always been a cut above the rest when it comes to interesting content and fab subjects.”
Read It Daddy blog
“A great book full of good, clean, honest fun that will delight children and keep them entertained, both inside and out.”
Book a Poet
“This book places the focus very much on how much a child with a bit of imagination can do with a piece of paper and a furtive nod.”
“The ideal book for children with enquiring minds and a hint of mischief!”
“A feast of fun, facts and fiendish spycraft skulduggery!”
The Lancashire Evening Post
“This is one of THE books for budding spies. Jam packed with code machines, disguise tips and ideas for hidden hideyholes, this book explains it all.”
Booka Uhu’s Book Nook
“Hours of pleasure for little spies everywhere.”
Book Reviews for Mums