Magicians and spies have one very important thing in common: they both practice the art of deception. Making your “audience” look one way while you do something else has been practiced in venues ranging from an uncle pulling a coin out of a child’s ear all the way up to the invasion of Normandy in World War II.
It was inevitable that magicians and spies would eventually work together and share techniques. During the Cold War, the CIA had a top secret program called MK-ULTRA
where various techniques for behavioral engineering — mind control — found intelligence operatives working with magicians and hypnotists. This was one of the inspirations for the SMOKE & DAGGER series.