The Secret Agent is Conrad's dark, and darkly comic story of a band of spies, anarchists, agents-provocateurs plotting and counter-plotting in the back streets of London in the early 20th Century. The novel centers on Verloc, a shop-owner, phony-anarchist and double-agent, who becomes embroiled in an ambitious terrorist plan to bomb the Greenwich Observatory. (Summary by Hugh McGuire)
I’ll write the summary later. Warning: This book contains some anti-Semitic dialog that many/all will find offensive.
Orczy, Emmuska, Baroness
The classic story of Sir Percy Blakeney and his alter ego, the Scarlet Pimpernel. A great adventure, set during the French Revolution.
Kim is a fabulous adventure story set in India during the former British Empire. It tells the story of a street-wise but (in typical Kipling fashion) highly moral Anglo-Indian boy who becomes enmeshed the “the Great Game” -– the competition between Britain and Russia for control over Asia. Taking time off from his role as the traveling companion of an aged Tibetan lama, the boy is trained as a spy, matches wits with various evildoers, and wins out in the end. So much more than just a spy story, Kim is one of the most enjoyable books that you will ever read -- or have read to you.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay, India. He was the author of many short stories and novels including The Jungle Book.
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.
The book enjoyed immense popularity in the years before World War I and was extremely influential. Winston Churchill later credited it as a major reason that the Admiralty decided to establish naval bases at Invergordon, the Firth of Forth and Scapa Flow. (Summary from Wikipedia)
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. Those who know Greenmantle will meet some old friends again here, including Bullivant, the American John Blenkiron, the South African Peter Pienaar and others.
To quote Hannay's contemporary, Sherlock Holmes, “The game's afoot!” How will it come out? And though Hannay is no James Bond, might he perhaps be a literary ancestor of Ian Fleming's Agent Double-O Seven? Judge for yourself.
There are also a fair number of unpronounceable Gaelic names. A further warning: this book was published in 1919 and it reflects a certain number of standards and mores of the day. It is by no means free of racist remarks and attitudes, and it is quite clear that Hannay has no use for pacifists, socialists, feminists, overly intellectual professors, and so forth. How far Hannay's fictional views mirror those of Buchan himself, I could not possibly say. Buchan of course went on to become first Baron Tweedsmuir, and Governor-General of Canada from 1935 until his death in 1940 (if you go to his Wikpedia site, you can see him very unhappily attired in a Native American headdress. President Calvin Coolidge, photographed the same way in 1927, looked equally unhappy).
(Introduction by Nicholas Clifford)
Oppenheim, E. Phillips
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. He presents them to Halstead’s sister, Phillipa and Helen, Halstead’s fiancée who have had no word of Richard’s fate and are deeply concerned. Phillipa, Sir Henry’s wife, is smitten with Lessingham, after Sir Henry appears to her to be a coward since he will not become involved in the war effort. Lessingham appears to be the perfect gentlemen but he is not who he pretends to be. Eventually, Phillipa and Helen discover that the delivery of Halstead’s letters come with a price. All becomes clear near the end to discover the secret of Lessingham, Sir Henry, and Mainsail Haul. (Summary by Tom Weiss)
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. Where one chooses to abide to the law, the other uses his power and wits to crime - and who is going to win?
These two stories appeared in chapters and as separate pieces in the magazine Je Sais Tout, during the years of 1906 and 1907, and were published together as a book first in 1908, being the second of the books where Arsène Lupin, the kind-hearted and humorous thief, is the main character.
(Summary by Leni)
Oppenheim, E. Phillips
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. One character is Sir Everard Dominey, an English baronet who enjoys the “good life” but falls into disfavor when he is accused of murdering Roger Unthank. Unthank, of the same village, has an infatuation for Dominey’s wife, Rosamund, and attacks Dominey. Dominey comes before his wife bloody and ragged after the struggle with Unthank. The spectacle renders her unbalanced. This is more than Dominey can bear and he goes on a long travel and drinking binge spanning years. Dominey’s wife threatens to kill him if he ever returns. The second character is Baron Leopold von Ragastein, a German nobleman. Von Ragastein has fallen into disrespect with the Kaiser for his affair with a Hungarian princess and subsequent killing of her nobleman husband in a duel. He is banished to a minor government position in East Africa as punishment. A chance encounter between Dominey and von Ragastein in German East Africa sets the pretext for the story. Von Ragastein returns to England as Dominey, to regain his position in society, and serve Germany by influencing England to keep out of the coming conflict. There is one problem however: there are some, including Dominey’s wife, who are not convinced that Sir Everard Dominey is really who he claims to be. You will need to listen to the end to determine the truth.
(Summary by Tom Weiss)
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
Le Queux, William
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. (Summary by Tom Weiss)
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.Plot summary: The eponymous heroine, Isabel Thorne, is a young woman, half British, half Italian, who works for the Italian secret service and who has been commissioned to bring about the signing of the secret contract right in the capital of the enemy by representatives of all countries involved, both European and American. Her brother, an inventor, has devised a secret weapon by which missiles can be fired from submarines which will, it is hoped, secure military dominion over the rest of the world.Members of the U.S. Secret Service, who have been alerted, are assigned to prevent the signing of this "Latin compact" and bring to justice those involved who have no diplomatic immunity. One young representative by the name of Grimm, however, although absolutely loyal to his government, falls in love with the beautiful foreign agent.In the end Isabel Thorne, who reciprocates her admirer's love, becomes estranged from her employer, the Italian government, because she does not want Grimm, who has been captured by the conspirators and knows all their secrets, to be murdered. Stripped of all her power and possessions, she unites with him at the end of the novel, no longer elusive.A trivial novel in its time, Elusive Isabel has been completely forgotten but can now be easily accessed via the Project Gutenberg web site. (Summary from wikipedia)
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.