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Spy Stories

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By: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Kim by Rudyard Kipling Kim

Present day readers live in a world that's emerged from the Cold War and the endless rivalry of the Super Powers but this book goes back and traces the origins of the conflict and mutual antagonism between nations. Kim by Rudyard Kipling is set against the background of the Great Game as it was called the tug-of-war between Britain and Russia for the control of Central Asia. The novel's action takes place during the Anglo-Afghan Wars of 1839-42. The novel's sweeping narrative, the depth of character and the sheer historical scale make it a first rate story...

By: G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

The Man Who was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton The Man Who was Thursday

Two poets in a London park at sunset, debating on the attributes of poetry and whether it's really a metaphor for anarchy. A group that meets in secret, planning to overthrow the world order. Disguises and deceptions, ideals and ideology. A medley of themes and genres makes this a great read for anyone who's a fan of Chesterton and his iconic Father Brown. The Man Who Was Thursday includes Chesterton's favorite theme of Christianity with touches of delightful humor to enliven the twists and turns that abound throughout the book...

By: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad The Secret Agent

In this world of modern day spying, Joseph Conrad's spy story, The Secret Agent, is very pertinent. It deals with the over reaching influence of politics in everyday life, the sordid underbelly that lies beneath our civilization's sophisticated veneer, the strange persuasive power of anarchy, unbridled capitalism and its tragic consequences and the scourge of terrorism, exploitation and espionage. In an uncannily prophetic plot, The Secret Agent portrays a sinister scheme to bomb the famous Greenwich Observatory in London...

Book cover Under Western Eyes

Under Western Eyes (1911) is a novel by Joseph Conrad. The novel takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Geneva, Switzerland, and is viewed as Conrad's response to the themes explored in Crime and Punishment, Conrad being reputed to have detested Dostoevsky. It is also, some say, Conrad's response to his own early life; his father was a famous revolutionary imprisoned by the Russians, but, instead of following in his father's footsteps, at the age of sixteen Conrad left his native land forever...

By: Emma Orczy (1865-1947)

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel narrates the story of a rich English baronet who rescues French aristocrats facing the guillotine. He also taunted his enemies after each rescue by leaving behind a card that has a small flower on it – the scarlet pimpernel. It is a brilliant adventure story set at the time of the French Revolution. The plot is fantastic and rarely lets the readers pause for breath as it oscillates between London society and the dark night in Coastal France. The story follows a beautiful Countess who escapes from Paris as a committee there was making arrangements to send her to the guillotine...

By: James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

The Spy by James Fenimore Cooper The Spy

Between 1865-73 the tumultuous American Revolution rages on in different battlefields. The air is thick with hatred and suspicion as the Continental and British armies clash in bloody warfare. In Westchester County, New York, an area is considered a neutral ground for both forces, Harvey Birch plies his dangerous mission. An innocuous peddler by day, he is in fact an American spy, though he does nothing to correct anyone who assumes he is a British spy. In a magnificent country mansion, The Locusts, live the wealthy Whartons...

By: Maurice Leblanc (1864-1941)

The Blonde Lady by Maurice Leblanc The Blonde Lady

In “The Blonde Lady, being a record of the duel of wits between Arsène Lupin and the English detective” – original title “Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmes” – the gentleman-burglar once more meets his enemy, the English detective Herlock Sholmes. If in the last story of “Arsène Lupin, gentleman-burglar” Sherlock Holmes arrives too late (the name was at a later date changed to Herlock Sholmes in reply to complaints and threats by Conan Doyle regarding copyrights), in the two stories that compose “The Blonde Lady” these two great intellects are bound in opposite directions...

By: John Buchan (1875-1940)

The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan The Thirty-nine Steps

The typical action hero with a stiff upper lip whose actions speak louder than his words, a mysterious American who lives in dread of being killed, an anarchist plot to destabilize Greece, a deadly German spy network, a notebook entirely written in code, and all this set in the weeks preceding the outbreak of World War I. The Thirty-nine Steps, by John Buchan is a spy classic entirely worthy of its genre and will delight modern day readers with its complicated plot. It is also notable for being the literary progenitor of the spook novel that typically features the secret operative on the run, determined to unravel a world domination plot...

Greenmantle by John Buchan Greenmantle

Greenmantle is the second of five Richard Hannay novels by John Buchan, first published in 1916 by Hodder & Stoughton, London. It is one of two Hannay novels set during the First World War, the other being Mr Standfast (1919); Hannay’s first and best-known adventure, The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), is set in the period immediately before the war started. – Hannay is called in to investigate rumours of an uprising in the Muslim world, and undertakes a perilous journey through enemy territory to meet up with his friend Sandy in Constantinople. Once there, he and his friends must thwart the Germans’ plans to use religion to help them win the war, climaxing at the battle of Erzurum.

By: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

Book cover 100%: The Story of a Patriot

"100%:The Story of a Patriot" dramatically recounts the adventures of a poor uneducated young man who lives by his wits and guile, as he becomes politicized during his involvement in the sometimes violent struggle between American “patriots” and “Reds”. The author wrote in the Appendix, which is not included in this recording: "Everything that has social significance is truth.... Practically all the characters in "100%" are real persons." This exciting, polemical novel was published in 1920...

By: Meredith Nicholson (1866-1947)

The Port of Missing Men by Meredith Nicholson The Port of Missing Men

Shirley Claiborne is fascinated by the tall handsome man named John Armitage who seemed to follow her and her brother, Captain Claiborne, as they traveled around Europe. Count von Stroebel had urged Armitage to do something for Austria. Now von Stroebel was dead – cut down by an assassin’s bullet – and Jules Chauvenet is one step closer to seeing the corrupt and worthless Francis ascend to the throne. When Shirley and Captain Claiborne sail for their home in Washington D.C., Armitage follows them. Monsieur Chauvenet also follows, but is he following Shirley or the mysterious John Armitage? And just who is John Armitage? (Introduction by MaryAnn)

By: Grace Livingston Hill (1865-1947)

Book cover The Best Man

Cyril Gordon, a young and handsome secret service agent is running from pursuers who desperately want the information he holds. He hides out from them in a church, and then finds himself married to a woman he’s never seen before. A sweet and sometimes, funny, romance, with several exciting chases.

By: Mark Phillips (Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer)

Brain Twister by Mark Phillips (Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer) Brain Twister

“Mark Phillips” is, or are, two writers: Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer. Their joint pen-name, derived from their middle names (Philip and Mark), was coined soon after their original meeting, at a science-fiction convention. Both men were drunk at the time, which explains a good deal, and only one has ever sobered up. A matter for constant contention between the collaborators is which one. Originally published as That Sweet Little Old Lady, Brain Twister follows the adventures of FBI agent Kenneth J...

By: Erskine Childers (1870-1922)

The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers The Riddle of the Sands

Containing many realistic details based on Childers’ own sailing trips along the German North Sea coast, the book is the retelling of a yachting expedition in the early 20th century combined with an adventurous spy story. It was one of the early invasion novels which predicted war with Germany and called for British preparedness. The plot involves the uncovering of secret German preparations for an invasion of the United Kingdom. It is often called the first modern spy novel, although others are as well, it was certainly very influential in the genre and for its time...

By: William Le Queux (1864-1927)

The Czar's Spy by William Le Queux The Czar's Spy

William Le Queux was a British novelist and prolific writer of mysteries. Indeed, mystery surrounds the author himself as to whether he was a spy or rather just a self-promoter. Regardless of which is true, Le Queux brings us a story of intrigue and espionage that travels across Europe in the true spirit of a good mystery. There are shootings, burglaries, romances, escapes from prisons, and intricate conspiracies that may surprise and leave you scratching your head as you try to solve this “whodunit”. In the best tradition of a good mystery however, you may need to wait for the final chapters to discover the truth.

By: Randall Garrett (1927-1987)

Book cover That Sweet Little Old Lady

Randall Garrett had this story first published in Astounding Science Fiction September and October of 1959. His twisted sense of humor and gift for the bizarre situation with believable characters shines here. In the not too distant future, Ken Malone, young but promising FBI agent , is given the most important and difficult assignment of his career: find a spy who is stealing information from the Ultra Top Absolute Secret project to develop a non-rocket space ship at Yucca Flats Labs in Nevada. But this is not a normal spy, this spy laughs at the FBI and all attempts to find him or her because they use an unknown new method to steal the information directly from the minds of the scientists.

By: Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)

Book cover Men of Zanzibar

This is the story of Hemingway, who, after a hunting trip in Uganda, settles in Zanzibar for a while to live among the English-speaking expatriate community on that island. While keeping his true identity well to himself, he falls in love with Ms. Polly Adair, the American Belle of the little society. But when he asks her to marry him, it seems that Ms. Adair has a secret...

By: Jacques Futrelle (1875-1912)

Elusive Isabel by Jacques Futrelle Elusive Isabel

Elusive Isabel is a novel by Jacques Futrelle (April 9, 1875 – April 15, 1912) first published in 1909. Set in Washington, D.C., it is a spy novel about an international conspiracy of the “Latin” countries against the English-speaking world with the aim to take over world control.

By: Dallas McCord Reynolds (1917-1983)

Book cover Status Quo

Larry Woolford is a government agent, tasked with investigating subversive activity. He does everything an ambitious young man should do if he wants to succeed: wear the right clothes, listen to the right music, even drink vodka martinis. Then he stumbles across a conspiracy of Weirds plotting to overthow the entire existing social order. It's a race against time. Can he stop their fiendish plan, and keep America safe for shallow judgements based on status symbols? Status Quo was nominated for the 1962 Hugo Award for short fiction.

By: Edward Phillips Oppenheim

The Zeppelin's Passenger by Edward Phillips Oppenheim The Zeppelin's Passenger

The Zeppelin’s Passenger is a tale of German espionage in England during World War I. Dreymarsh is a fictional “backwater” area in England with no apparent military value. The story begins with Dreymarsh residents discovering an observation car from a German zeppelin along with a Homburg hat near Dreymarsh. The mystery is further complicated when an Englishman, Mr. Hamar Lessingham, presents himself at Mainsail Haul which is the residence of Sir Henry Cranston. Lessingham bears with him, hand-carried letters from Major Richard Halstead, and a British prisoner of war in Germany...

The Great Impersonation by Edward Phillips Oppenheim The Great Impersonation

E. Phillips Oppenheim, an English novelist created well in excess of 100 novels and 30 plus collections of short stories. Most of his tales are thrillers and espionage. The Great Impersonation was written following World War I and is considered by many to be perhaps his best novel. The story focuses on German espionage in England prior to the start of World War I. The tale centers on two characters that are almost identical in appearance. Indeed, while both attend the same school in England, they are often mistaken for one another...

By: Talbot Mundy (1879 -1940)

King of the Khyber Rifles by Talbot Mundy King of the Khyber Rifles

Athelstan King is a British Secret Agent stationed in India at the beginning of WWI. He is attached to the Khyber Rifles regiment as a cover, but his real job is to prevent a holy war. "To stop a holy war single-handed would be rather like stopping the wind--possibly easy enough, if one knew the way." King is ordered to work with a mysterious and powerful Eastern woman, Yasmini. Can King afford to trust her? Can he afford not to? (Introduction by Brett W. Downey)

By: Edward Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946)

The Pawns Count by Edward Phillips Oppenheim The Pawns Count

"I am for England and England only," John Lutchester, the Englishman, asserted."I am for Japan and Japan only," Nikasti, the Jap, insisted."I am for Germany first and America afterwards," Oscar Fischer, the German-American pronounced."I am for America first, America only, America always," Pamela Van Tale, the American girl, declared.They were all right except the German-American.It is during World War I. A chemist, Sandy Graham, has discovered a new powerful explosive, but he let's it slip in a London restaurant that he has made the discovery...

Book cover Great Secret

English gentleman Hardross Courage has a good life. He has all the money he needs, enjoys sports and hunting, manages the family estate, and in general leads a satisfying life. On a trip to London to participate in a cricket match, Hardross is confronted by a man who forces his way into his hotel room imploring him to hide him. His reason - “They want to kill me”. So begins a tale that is likely to change Hardross' idyllic life forever to one of mystery and espionage.

Book cover Havoc

Havoc occurs when European countries are discussing covert alliances. The story revolves around the creation of a secret alliance between Germany, Russia, and Austria. The English hope to split Russia away by holding the Czar to his previous public commitments, but they need proof of what was done to create the pressure. All the pressures that lead to WWI are there, but the intrigues and secret treaties create an interesting background to the twists and turns of the plot.

Book cover Devil's Paw

A beautiful, intelligent young woman – is she a traitorous spy or a patriot? An aristocratic soldier permanently injured during the war – is he a patriot or is there more to him than meets the eye? A clandestine meeting on a beach – espionage or peace movement?

Book cover Double Traitor

The setting is the years prior to the outbreak of World War I. It is a time when Germany is outwardly preparing for war but Britain continues to believe it is invincible and that no one would challenge her. A vast German spy network flourishes in England, often in plain view. The main character is Francis Norgate, an aspiring British diplomat who falls in disfavor with his superiors for defending a woman while stationed in Berlin. The resulting scandal causes Norgate to be recalled. On the way home, he meets a German gentleman, Selingman, who claims to be a crockery salesman...

Book cover Vanished Messenger

A conference of European nations is being held in the Hague. England has not been invited to attend. Some think war is about to break out. Mr. John P. Dunster, an American, is traveling to the Hague with an important document that may prevent the outbreak of war when he mysteriously disappears after a train wreck in England. Richard Hamel is asked by the British government to attempt to solve the mystery of Dunster’s disappearance and prevent the outbreak of war in Europe.

By: Louis Joseph Vance (1879-1933)

The Lone Wolf by Louis Joseph Vance The Lone Wolf

The Lone Wolf is the first of eight books in a series featuring the jewel thief turned private detective Michael Lanyard. With his identity betrayed and the police on his heels, he must fly from Paris, which is made much more difficult by his self-imposed duty to take care of the beautiful Lucia, who has a dark secret of her own...A large number of movies have been based on the books.

By: Laurence M. Janifer (1933-2002)

Book cover Supermind

FBI agent Kenneth Malone lives in a world where psionic powers such as telepathy and teleportation exist. He must cope with them as well as an FBI Director who leaves Malone continually confused about what situation he is being asked to handle and what he is expected to do about it. Someone or something is causing confusion in the U.S. Government, Unions, The Mafia, and other sectors of society and Malone has been given the job of finding the source of the confusion. A good story composed of science fiction and slap stick comedy with a bit of romance thrown into the mix.

By: Arthur Griffiths (1838-1908)

Book cover Passenger from Calais

An army officer, and a mysterious lady with a maid and baby in tow, are the only passengers on the Engadine express from Calais. The lady is afraid that someone is following her. Who is she? And what is her strange package? One suspicious conversation and two private detectives later Colonel Basil Annesley is determined to find out!

By: William Babington Maxwell (1866-1938)

Book cover Devil's Garden

Risque for its time, but tame by today's standards, The Devil's Garden is a story of passion and mystery. William Dale, the main character of the story is Postmaster of Rodhaven. He is introduced as an honest peasant of uncompromising temper, whose rough nature is ever softened by his pretty wife Mavis. Mavis is an orphan raised by her Aunt Petherick. Known as Will, and referred to as Dale throughout the story, he gets into trouble at the post office but thanks to the intervention of the local magnet of Rodhaven, he is cleared and reinstated...

By: Austin Bishop

Book cover Tom of the Raiders

Young Adult historical fiction of a young man joining the Union Army and taking part in the Great Locomotive Chase.

By: John Buchan (1875-1940)

Mr. Standfast by John Buchan Mr. Standfast

This is the third of Buchan's Richard Hannay novels, following The Thirty-nine Steps and Greenmantle. Set, like Greenmantle, durinig World War I, it deals Brigadier-General Hannay's recall from the Western Front, to engage in espionage, and forced (much to his chagrin) to pose as a pacifist. He becomes a South African conscientious objector, using the name Cornelius Brand. Under the orders of his spymaster, Sir Walter Bullivant, he travels in the book through England to Scotland, back to the Western Front, and ultimately, for the book's denouement, into the Alps...

By: Baroness Emmuska Orczy (1865-1947)

The Emperor's Candlesticks by Baroness Emmuska Orczy The Emperor's Candlesticks

When a group of Russian anarchists kidnap a Russian prince in Vienna there are repercussions. On learning that the Cardinal d'Orsay has agreed to convey some hollow candlesticks from the Emperor to the Princess Marionoff in St Petersburg, two spies both see the possibility of using them to convey messages safely into Russia. One is an eager young idealist involved in the plot against the prince, the other is Madame Demidoff, a beautiful agent of the Tsar. When the candlesticks go missing at the border, the two engage in a race to get them back, both realizing that their very lives could depend on the retrieval.

By: Charles Ross Jackson (1857-1915)

Book cover Quintus Oakes: A Detective Story

There have been a series of assaults at the manor house, one sending the mistress of the house insane with fear, another escalating to murder. There are reports of a tread on the stairs and shady figures disappearing from view. The servants blame the supernatural, but Quintus Oakes gets to the bottom of the mystery.

By: Nikolai Chernyshevsky (1828-1889)

Book cover Vital Question, or, What is to be Done?

Despised by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, What Is To Be Done? is a fascinating, sympathetic story of idealistic revolutionaries in mid-nineteenth century tsarist Russia; translator Nathan Haskell Dole affirms in his preface his conviction that it is a thriller that no one can put down once s/he begins it. Its variegated cast of characters includes Vera Pavlovna, a boldly independent woman in a time of great oppression, and the inspirational radical Rakhmetov. The author wrote the novel from the depths of the infamous Peter & Paul Fortress of St...

By: Stendhal (1783-1842)

Book cover Chartreuse of Parma (The Charterhouse of Parma)

This book is more often called The Charterhouse of Parma in English, because "Charterhouse" is the English word for a Carthusian monastery, whereas "Chartreuse" is the French word. The book tells the life of a Lombard nobleman, born soon after the appearance of Napoleon's army in Italy. He has many adventures in love, war, politics, and the Church. The politics and the Church part of his life result from his doting aunt's becoming the Prime Minister's mistress, and the power behind the throne, in the Duchy of Parma...

By: John Buchan (1875-1940)

Book cover Power-House

The Power-House is a novel by John Buchan, a thriller set in London, England. It was written in 1913, when it was serialised in Blackwood's Magazine, and it was published in book form in 1916. The narrator is the barrister and Tory MP Edward Leithen, who features in a number of Buchan's novels. The urban setting contrasts with that of its sequel, John Macnab, which is set in the Scottish Highlands. The Power-House of the title is an international anarchist organization led by a rich Englishman named Andrew Lumley...


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