You may have noticed we have a rather wide-ranging Daedalus Books Forum going on now called Hidden in Plain Sight: Spies & Conspiracies. A posting I got from Very Short List on three "contemporary unsolved mysteries" seems quite relevant to the topic. The puzzles spotlighted include a dead man found on an Australian beach in 1948 bearing the code below; and a fragment hidden on his person reading "Tamám shud’ (Persian for "It is ended"), taken from a rare New Zealand edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. As a lengthy article in Smithsonian magazine reported
The dead man’s calf muscles were high and very well developed; although in his late 40s, he had the legs of an athlete. His toes, meanwhile, were oddly wedge-shaped. One expert who gave evidence at the inquest noted:I have not seen the tendency of calf muscle so pronounced as in this case…. His feet were rather striking, suggesting—this is my own assumption—that he had been in the habit of wearing high-heeled and pointed shoes.
Perhaps, another expert witness hazarded, the dead man had been a ballet dancer?
Jessie Hartland comes from her graphic bio Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child. Did you know that Child was a big ole spy? Yep, she and hubby Paul did their bit for democracy in World War II. You can read all about it in A Covert Affair, one of the many fascinating titles featured in the above-mentioned Forum.
Has anyone seen the BBC America series Spies of Warsaw? I'm thinking about giving it a whirl because Alan Furst, who wrote the book it's based on, is one of the authors we're featuring in the Forum, and I liked (and did a piece on) one of his other novels, Mission to Paris.