In Katja Kettu's novel The Midwife, the character Scarface first greets Wild-Eye with the mysterious question, "The mice squealing for you yet?". Wild-Eye initially assumes that the man was insane, but his companion explains that "He’s only asking what side of the war you’re on.”

Later we learn that this is a code word sequence issued by the SOE to identify their agents:

New code: Are the mice squealing yet?

Response code: Only in Siberia.

Giving added meaning to the phrase, Scarface then muses to himself "Dostoevsky said it’s only really cold when the mice begin to squeal." Is this a genuine quote from Dostoevsky? If so, in which of his works does it appear?


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