In Quiller novels, I am eternally amazed at how selective are the subjects about which the Bureau can obtain detailed intelligence. About the most routine things in the field they can be completely at sea, and yet about some of the most unexpected or exotic subjects, they seem nearly omniscient.
A prime example of this occurs in TSS. Q's been captured and he's in the interrogation room, a room about which he seems to have a wealth of knowledge:
"This wasn't his office we were sitting in; it was one of the interrogation rooms. There are photographs of them in London, overprinted to show where the microphone is, and giving all the dimensions: floor area, height of the small barred window, width of the door, so forth. The furniture is also featured: table, two upright chairs, single overhead lamp, nothing else. The lamp is angled rather more on the face of the man being interrogated, but this one wasn't blinding or even uncomfortable..." [8:60]
Now, how on earth would the Bureau have known all that? It probably wouldn't have come through through detailed memories of individual agents who've escaped, since Q nixes that possibility himself: "The London photographs are not meant to help us plan some kind of escape: things aren't so boyish inside Lubyanka." [8:60] Was it perhaps a defector with detailed knowledge and a (really) good memory? A more romantic notion, one I find both appealing and logical, is that the room description is a mosaic assembled from the fragments of the tortured memories of people who've made it out, people like North in TMC or Shapiro who've enabled Bureau analysts to construct a description that will make the next man in feel a little bit safer. After all: just think of all the useful information Q will be able to provide during *his* debriefing on the Scorpion mission.