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)
James Fenimore Cooper's second novel, The Spy (1821), is based on Sir Walter Scott's Waverly series, and tells an adventure tale about the American Revolution. The protagonist is Harvey Birch, a supposed loyalist who actually is a spy for George Washington, disguised as 'Mr Harper.' The book brought Cooper fame and wealth, and is regarded as the first great success in American fiction.
(Summary by Gord MacKenzie)
In a surreal turn-of-the-century London, Gabriel Syme, a poet, is recruited to a secret anti-anarchist taskforce at Scotland Yard. Lucian Gregory, an anarchist poet, is the only poet in Saffron Park, until he loses his temper in an argument over the purpose of poetry with Gabriel Syme, who takes the opposite view. After some time, the frustrated Gregory finds Syme and leads him to a local anarchist meeting-place to prove that he is a true anarchist. Instead of the anarchist Gregory getting elected, the officer Syme uses his wits and is elected as the local representative to the worldwide Central Council of Anarchists. The Council consisting of seven men, each using the name of a day of the week as a code name; Syme is given the name of Thursday... (Summary from Wikipedia)
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)
Baroness Emma ("Emmuska") Orczy (September 23, 1865 – November 12, 1947) was a British novelist, playwright and artist of Hungarian origin. She was most notable for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel. Some of her paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.
(Summary by Wikipedia)Cast
Narrators: Luisa Hall, Sheldon Slade tpincombe, Beth Thomas, Missie, Justin S Barrett, hpark, Belinda Brown, Snapdragon, Holly Bliss, Miriam Esther Goldman, Rissa Byrne, Eliza, J L Raimundo, E.Lee
Citoyen Bibot, Mr Hempseed, Vicomte de Tournay, Captain Briggs, Lord Fancourt, Brogard, Sergeant: JimOCR
Corporal: Miriam Esther Goldman
Crowd: Algy Pug, Beth Thomas, TriciaG
Old Hag in Cart: Timothy H. VanderWall
Captain of Guard, Mr Jellyband: Bill Mosley
Jemima: Marissa Oakey
Jimmy Pitkin: Sami Koivisto
Sally: Rissa Byrne
Lord Antony: Jay Saunders
Comtesse de Tournay: CM Slosson
Sir Andrew, Groom: Algy Pug
Stranger, Spy: Roseanne Schmidt
Lady Marguerite: Holly Bliss, Lisa Theriot, Missie, Miriam Esther Goldman, Laurie Anne Walden
Beggar: Helen Jensen
Sir Percy: om123, Curtis Jewell, D. A. Frank, Ken Theriot
Armand: Paul-Gabriel Wiener
Chauvelin: Ken Theriot, Alex Foster
Lady Portarles: Megan Kunkel
Lord Grenville, Majordomo, Desgas: ToddHW
Louise: Alana Jordan
Runner: J L Raimundo
Benjamin Rosenbaum: D. A. Frank
Soldier: Beth Thomas
Editing by ToddHW
Phineas Finn is the sequel to “Can you Forgive Her?” and the second novel in Trollope’s Palliser series. The eponymous hero is a young Irishman who becomes a member of the English parliament. Trollope aspired to become an M.P. himself, and he ably describes the workings of the English political scene. There is also a love interest, as the somewhat inconstant Phineas courts three different women: his Irish sweetheart, Mary Flood Jones; Lady Laura Standish, the daughter of a prominent Whig politician; and a lovely heiress, Violet Effingham. (Summary by Karen Merline)
This is the second of Trollope’s six “Palliser” novels. LibriVox recordings of other novels in the series are available:
1-Can You Forgive Her?
3-The Eustace Diamonds
5-The Prime Minister
6-The Duke’s Children
Beautiful Jean Briggerland is the epitome of evilness in this twisting and turning thriller. She plots many different ways to steal her new victim's riches including lies and murder. Only Jack Glover the lawyer of Jean's most recent victim, is aware of her true nature. Can he stop her crime spree and bring her to justice before she murders her way to wealth and happiness? Don't count on it! Page after page offers action, new twists, and unexpected surprises that will keep the reader listening for more! (Summary by Allyson Hester)
"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. Malone as he attempts to unravel the machinations of a telepathic spy. His first problem: how do you find a telepath to catch the first telepath?The novella was nominated for the Hugo Award in 1960. (Summary from the text and Catharine Eastman)
Richard Hannay’s boredom is soon relieved when the resourceful engineer is caught up in a web of secret codes, spies, and murder on the eve of WWI. This exciting action-adventure story was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 classic film of the same name. John Buchan (1875-1940) was Governor General of Canada and a popular novelist. Although condemned by some for anti-Semitic dialog in The Thirty-Nine Steps, his character’s sentiments do not represent the view of the author who was identified in Hitler’s Sonderfahndungsliste (special search list) as a "Jewish sympathiser." (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)
Die schöne Natalie Graybrooke liebt ihre Vetter Launcelot Linzie, doch ihr Vater, Sir Joseph Graybrooke, will sie mit seinem Geschäftsfreund Richard Turlington verheiraten. Weder ahnt er etwas von dessen dunkler Vergangenheit, noch weiß er, dass für Turlington die Hochzeit mit Natalie die einzige Möglichkeit ist, den Ruin seiner Firma abzuwenden. Da Natalie noch keine sechzehn Jahre alt ist, gibt es für die beiden Liebenden nur einen Ausweg, sie heiraten heimlich und müssen die Ehe bis zu Natalies sechzehntem Geburtstag geheim halten. Inzwischen macht Sir Joseph sein Testament und bestimmt den Mann, den er für seinen zukünftigen Schwiegersohn hält, zu seinem alleinigen Testamentsvollstrecker und Vermögensverwalter. Doch dann erfährt Turlington von der heimlichen Heirat. Alle seine Pläne sind gescheitert und er sieht seine letzte Rettung in Sir Josephs Testament.
(Summary by Hokuspokus)
Uncle Silas is a Victorian Gothic mystery/thriller novel by the Anglo-Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu. It is notable as one of the earliest examples of the locked room mystery subgenre. It is not a novel of the supernatural (despite a few creepily ambiguous touches), but does show a strong interest in the occult and in the ideas of Swedenborg. (Summary by Wikipedia)
Phineas Finn is the fourth in Trollope's series of six Palliser novels. At the end of Phineas Finn, the second novel in the series, Phineas had returned to Ireland and married his childhood sweetheart after having left the House of Commons. As Phineas Redux opens, Phineas is working as a Poorhouse Inspector in Ireland. His wife having died in childbirth, he finds his existence dull and unsatisfying. Phineas' returns to England; his career advances and his romantic adventures continue, while we encounter many familiar characters including Glencora and Plantagenet Palliser, Madame Goesler, and Lizzie Eustace and her husband the Reverand Mr. AEmelius. (Summary by Karen Merline)
Warning! Do not read the Wikipedia article linked to the title of this novel unless you are prepared for a SPOILER!!!
LibriVox recordings of other novels in the series are available:
1-Can You Forgive Her?
2-Phineas Finn, the Irish Member
3-The Eustace Diamonds
5-The Prime Minister
6-The Duke’s Children
O Alienista, de Machado de Assis, é um pequeno romance sobre loucura, cientificismo e poder. O enredo se desenrola a partir dos esforços científicos de um importante médico português, o dr. Simão Bacamarte, cuja obsessão pela busca de um método universal para tratar e curar distúrbios mentais leva os habitantes da pequena cidade de Itaguaí ao terror, conspiração e a tentativas de revolução. Em pouco tempo, o hospício do dr. Bacamarte passa a tratar não só os doentes mentais, mas também os sãos, que, segundo o diagnóstico do médico, poderiam vir a desenvolver doenças mentais. O Alienista tem como tema a crítica ao cientificismo arbitrário e sua influência em elementos políticos e culturais.The Psychiatrist is a tragicomic literary piece on madness, scientism and power. It follows the scientific efforts of Dr. Simão Bacamarte, a prominent Portuguese physician whose obsession for discovering a universal method to treat and consequently cure mental disturbs drives the inhabitants of the small town of Itaguaí to fear, conspiracy and revolutionary attempts. In a short space of time, Bacamarte's madhouse passes to take inside of its walls not only mentally ill patients but also healthy citizens who, according to the doctor's diagnoses, are about to develop some sort of mental illness. The Psychiatrist stands out as a highly ironic critic to the arbitrary of Scientism and its influence on cultural and political matters. (Summary adapted from Wikipedia by Leni)
This is the account of the perilous mission of Michael Strogoff, courier for Czar Alexander II, who is sent from Moscow to the besieged city of Irkutsk, where the governor, brother of the Czar, has taken his last stand against a Tartar rebellion led by the fearsome Feofar-Khan. When telegraph lines are cut between the Russian Far East and the mainland, Strogoff must make his way through hostile territory to warn the governor of the return of the traitor Ivan Ogareff, a disgraced former officer who seeks vengeance against the Tsar’s family by the destruction of Irkutsk. (Summary adapted from Wikipedia)
Who was Belle Charmion? If you really care to know, as John Fenton did, you must go with him on his quest, hither and yon over New York, into strange houses and through side streets at midnight, a shuttle in the secret loom of fate, weaving in and out through many-colored threads, until the pattern of the mystery is made clear. For the warp of his strange, adventurous career - love and beauty and diamonds. For the woof - some few cross currents of crime and misery. There, in brief, is the web of his drama. (From Prologue)
Mid-WWI, staid Englishwoman Miss Perdita Pim suffers a sunstroke gardening & gains the power of invisibility. She becomes a super-secret agent, going behind German lines, sometimes visible, sometimes not, witnessing atrocities & gleaning valuable war information. (Summary by Grant Hurlock)
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)
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)
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)
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
A dystopian novel about the terrible oppressions of an American oligarchy at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and the struggles of a socialist revolutionary movement. (Introduction by Matt Soar)
"The Short Line War is a story that will appeal more particularly to the sterner sex, and we take it that the hyphenated name, Merwin-Webster, stands for two healthy-minded young men who have put their heads together and who have mapped out this story of a railroad war, in which politics form a considerable part. Jim Weeks is the central figure in the fight, and we like him so much better for knowing of the romance in his early life. He was a man 'without much instinct or imagination; he took everything seriously and literally, he could not understand a whim'--therefore a very foolish little woman came into his life only to leave it desolate. And when we meet him again after the years have rounded him, and when he stands 'before the world a man of solid achievement, calm, successful, satisfied,' we are quite prepared for the kind and tender things he does for the son of the woman he once loved. The Short Line War is not essentially a love story, which fact led us at the start to say that its healthy, vigorous style, with its politics and its railroads, will lead many a masculine novel reader to find enjoyment in its pages." -- Bookman (1899)
Fans of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women will remember that her heroine Jo wrote racy novels before turning her hand to more "serious" literature. Alcott, writing under the pseudonym A. M. Barnard, often did the same, and Behind a Mask (1866) is one of her sensation novels. It focuses on Jean Muir, who enters the home of the wealthy Coventry family as governess to their sixteen-year-old daughter. But is the beguiling Miss Muir all that she seems to be? (Introduction by Elizabeth Klett)
Upton Sinclair is best known for his novel The Jungle, an expose of the meatpacking industry. He was also a playwright whose works for the stage reflected the same progressive viewpoints found in his other writing. In The Machine, published as part of Sinclair's 1912 collection Plays of Protest, Socialist activists show a rich man's daughter the truth about the society in which she has been raised. (Summary by wildemoose)Cast:Julia Patterson, a magazine writer: Elizabeth KlettJack Bullen, a parlor Socialist: Dale BurgessLaura Hegan, Hegan's daughter: Arielle LipshawAllan Montague, a lawyer: Bellona TimesJim Hegan, the traction king: ToddHWAnnie Roberts, a girl of the slums: Lucy PerryRobert Grimes, the boss: John SteigerwaldAndrews, Hegan's secretary: Max KörlingeParker, a clerk: Marty KrisNarrator: Linette GeiselAudio edited by: Arielle Lipshaw
"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. Graham is ready to join some friends for luncheon at the restaurant but chooses to clean up before joining them. He never comes out of the restroom. Several spies from different governments set out to find him and the formula. What was particularly interesting to me about this espionage novel is that it was written in 1918, but it could just as easily have been from today. (Summary by Tom Weiss)
Omega: The Last Days of the World is a science fiction novel published in 1894 by Camille Flammarion. On 25th century Earth, a comet made mostly of Carbonic-Oxide (CO) could possibly collide with the Earth. It is concerned with the philosophy and political consequences of the end of the world. (Summary by Wikipedia)
"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. Sinclair (1878-1968) wrote nearly 100 novels, many based on industrial abuse. One of his best known, "The Jungle", was influential in initiating the regulation of food safety in the United States. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943. (Lee Smalley)
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. At the height of his joy, his wife meets him in London. Together they dine at a good restaurant and attend a music hall performance. Dale's evening in London is transformed into a catastrophe when he learns a past secret about Mavis that threatens his marriage. Confronted with this secret, Will and Mavis struggle to make their marriage work and become successful. Ironically, Dale is eventually confronted by the same scenario.The novel was a top ten Publisher's Weekly Best Seller in 1914. The book was banned in London. At times, the book seems slow and the listener may wonder what point the author is trying to make. Then suddenly, Maxwell sends you into a frenzy with something unexpected. (Tom Weiss)
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. - Summary by Tom Weiss
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? (Summary by Tom Weiss)
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.
(Summary by Richard Kilmer)
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. (Summary by Tom Weiss
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. - Summary by Richard Kilmer
The Secret Agent tells the story of Adolf and Winnie Verloc. He is a phony anarchist and agent provocateur of the title, and the plot centres around the terrible consequences for their family when he is pressured into planning a terrorist act. It also bleakly satirises early 20th Century anarchism and the operations of the police and intelligence forces, while being none too complimentary about the media and general public either. Summary by Cori Samuel.
Młody Ramzes XIII obejmuje panowanie nad Egiptem, jednak jego wrogowie nie śpią, a jego sprzymierzeńcy chcą nim manipulować. Sam faraon też nie unika poważnych błędów, często spowodowanych słabościami swojego charakteru. Lekceważy też potęgę klasy kapłańskiej, którą postanowił sobie podporządkować nie zdając sobie sprawy z tego, jakimi środkami dysponują jego przeciwnicy. Za te błędy przyjdzie mu drogo zapłacić... ( Piotr Nater)
Faraon (tom 1)
Faraon (tom 2)
Detective-Mystery stories based on real cases solved by government agents. Created initially in 1865, the U.S. Secret Service continued to expand over the years, particularly following the assassination of President McKinley in 1901. The episodes in this compilation are comprised of authentic stories, dramatized, while remaining true to the actual incidences. - Summary by Roger Melin
Savrola: A Tale of the Revolution in Laurania is the only major fictional work of Sir Winston S. Churchill. The story describes events in the capital of Laurania, a fictional European state, as unrest against the dictatorial government of president Antonia Molara turns to violent revolution. - Summary by Wikipedia
Said to be the first detective novel ever written, it is wonderful for its blending of the intrigues of romance with the conventional sleights of hand of the mystery novel. Marvellous also for its sensitive portrayal of traditionally outsider characters - the hunchbacked girl who dies for love, the dying Jewish doctor who enables resolution of the mystery, the tricky Hindu conjurors who only seek the restoration of their sacred gem. Hilarious at times, The Moonstone is also a deeply felt example of the storyteller's art. - Summary by Tony Addison
Science fiction is a genre encompassing imaginative works that take place in this world or that of the author’s creation where anything is possible. The only rules are those set forth by the author. The speculative nature of the genre inspires thought and plants seeds that have led to advances in science. The genre can spark an interest in the sciences and is cited as the impetus for the career choice of many scientists. It is a playing field to explore social perspectives, predictions of the future, and engage in adventures unbound into the richness of the human mind. - Summary by Amy Gramour
This is a story about a young lady and her blind father who live in a House of Whispers. "There is a legend that those who hear the whispers die quickly and suddenly." Story written by William Le Queux in 1910. Le Queux mainly wrote in the genres of thriller, espionage, mystery. (Summary by April6090)
As World War I commences, a plucky young American woman in Europe on a business trip begins to realize that she may have remained too long. She and others anxious to leave for home are caught up in events swirling about them. A mysterious British officer becomes involved. This romance-tinged spy thriller begins on a train in Calais bound for Paris and ends in Gibraltar.
Based on a 1915 play of the same name, the novel was adapted for the screen in a 1918 silent version and again as a “talky” in 1930. This was the third novel written by Biggers, who went on to write six Charlie Chan novels in the 1920’s and 1930’s. -- Lee Smalley
Dit boek beschrijft de loopbaan van een middelmatig ambtenaar, die dankzij de invloed en intriges van zijn twee echtgenotes de hoogste functies bereikt. Verwikkelingen rond positie, geld en erotiek, in innige samenhang, zo kenmerkend voor de Indische maatschappij, voeren ook hier de boventoon. - Summary by Dr. H.A. Poeze
Maud Ruthyn, the young, naive heroine, has a governess who is an enigmatic older woman, a liar, bully, and spy, who takes a dark secret with her when she leaves. Maud is then orphaned and moves in with her Uncle Silas, her father's mysterious brother and a man with a scandalous-even murderous-past. She is horrified to find her former governess appears in her life again, in this Gothic Victorian psychological thriller, with a touch of the occult - Summary by Lynne Thompson
A World War 1 spy vs spy novel. Oh! And perhaps I should also mention, a bit of romance?
"I am sorry,” he said coolly, "awfully sorry. As you know, I would have had things different. You may still doubt me when I say that what I have done is the hardest task that I ever undertook in my life. But that is true. You were the only person in England who jeopardized my existence there. I had to take you away. I regret the necessity of having to use force. I shall do what I can here upon the Sylph to counteract the unpleasant impression of my brutality. I am not a bully and a woman-baiter. I am a spoke in the wheel of destiny which you had clogged. By all the rules of the game you should have died. Reasons which I need not mention made your death at my hands an impossibility. So I merely removed you to a place of safety. No harm shall come to you, I pledge my honor." (Excerpt from Chapter 13.)
An example of early dystopian science fiction written shortly after World War I, "City of Endless Night" imagines a future with a very different ending to the Great War. Set in 2151 and in an underground Berlin, our protagonist is Lyman De Forrest, an American chemist who enters the city to discover the hidden truths of a forbidden metropolis. The subterranean world hosts a highly-regimented society of 300,000,000 sun-starved humans. As the first outsider to enter, he's horrified by what he finds, but will he accomplish his mission and escape the living tomb?
- Summary by Kate Follis
Mary Roberts Rinehart offers a superb blend of romance and suspense amidst political tensions in this story set in early 20th Century America. The characters are compelling and representative of the various socioeconomic classes. The reader follows the complicated relationship of Lily Cardew (just returned from working with the Red Cross during the war) who finds herself unable to go back to the empty social life of the rich and William Wallace Cameron, an honest, fearless and patriotic pharmacy clerk during the turbulent times of an industrial town.
- Summary by Celine Major
Newport, of course, means aristocratic families and naval adventures. In this tale, we wonder if the heiress will actually marry the Russian prince, who is of questionable character, or the chauffeur, who would certainly be beneath her station, but maybe there's more to the stories of each of our wooers.
The Three Hostages is the fourth of five Richard Hannay novels. The Richard Hannay novels are action/mystery/spy novels with a James bond feel. This book starts out with Richard Hannay married to Mary Lamington living in Fosse Manor. He is asked to work undercover and figure out who kidnapped three children of prominent people, while Scotland Yard investigate the abductions officially. Different friends help him solve the mystery. It's suspenseful and a fun action packed mystery!
- Summary by Kimberly Shoemaker
In the London fog, two men bump into each other one night. They are immediately unnerved by their exact resemblance to each other. Jack Chilcote MP is a rising political star and John Loder a man with a thwarted ambition. The plan they jointly hatch leads to a story of high tension both politically and personally. The book has been turned into a play and four films over the years. The authoress sadly died in 1911 at the age of 36. (Summary by Simon Evers)