With the news that MI5 is looking for a Chief Scientific Adviser, spy novelist Jeremy Duns reveals his ten favourite real espionage inventions
1. Poison-tipped umbrella
Probably the most infamous real-life spy gadget is the umbrella used by the Bulgarian secret services – with KGB help – to kill dissident writer and broadcaster Georgi Markov. KGB technicians converted the tip of an ordinary umbrella into a silenced gun that could fire a pellet containing a lethal dose of ricin. On September 7 1978, Markov felt himself being jabbed in the thigh as he walked across Waterloo Bridge. A man behind him apologised and stepped into a taxi. Markov died four days later. No arrests have ever been made.
- Jeremy Duns writing for Times Online
Read the rest of the article here, which includes the merits of the dart gun, microphone in an olive, and exploding rats.