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The Spy (Isaac Bell #3)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  6,033 Ratings  ·  383 Reviews
Detective Isaac Bell, hero of The Chase and The Wrecker, returns in the remarkable new adventure from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.

It is 1908, and international tensions are mounting as the world plunges toward war. When a brilliant American battleship gun designer dies in a sensational apparent suicide, the man's grief-stricken daughter turns to the legendar
Audio, 0 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Penguin Audio
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Apr 05, 2011 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Isaac Bell series is sort fun, but the author gets bogged down running this early 20th century private detective back and forth across the country on trains. While I love trains, at times the description of the first class dining car menus and the gambling entertainment becomes monotonous and tedious to me.

I had several other problems with this one:

1) A Private detective agency would not spend all the time and resources to investigate a matter that they are not going to get paid for. One lo
May 13, 2016 Mahlon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

The third book in the Isaac Bell series just fell flat for me. I think it was because it was the first one where The majority of the action doesn't take place around California's Railroads. Don't get me wrong, all the hallmarks of a great Isaac Bell novel are there, A very evil villain, a couple of really exciting action-packed chase scenes, and a twist that you may or may not see coming, I just didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first two.
Feb 21, 2016 Msjodi777 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I liked the story, I was not crazy about the narration of this book. Mr. Brick just sounds like he is so bored with it all. This one is an Isaac Bell book. Bell is a private detective for the "Van Dorn" agency, he is also the only son of a major banker, so he never has to worry about money - at least he is generous with said money and helps those who cannot help themselves. The story centers around a spy who is trying to put a stop to the US Navy's ship building plans before WWI. Turns out ...more
Wayland Smith
Cussler or whoever he's renting his name out to, ala James Patterson, has several series going. One is about Isaac Bell, a private detective in very early 20th century America. In this novel, Bell faces down a spy who is working on sabotaging America's Navy, as the world comes closer and closer to what will eventually be known as World War I.

I will say the series is rich in setting. There are a lot of details about what life was like back then, both good and bad. They at least avoid retroactive
Jeannie Mancini
Aug 18, 2010 Jeannie Mancini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Espionage in Old New York

In the late 1800s a New York gangster nicknamed Eyes O’Shay, running from trouble, jumps on board a ship and is rescued by an old wealthy jeweler and brought to Germany as a son and apprentice to learn the gem trade. Years later in 1908, he arrives back to the Gangs of New York in disguise as Herr Riker the diamond jeweler, but in secret he is a German Spy out to confiscate the U.S. Navy's latest plans for a new and improved dreadnought battleship to aid his adopted coun
Giovanni Gelati
Jun 12, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gotta love Saturdays for many reasons. One of them is the opportunity to read a novel like this at the beach or by the pool. The Spy is the third installment in the Isaac Bell saga. Clive Cussler has another winning series here. The period piece is an excellent summer read. The other titles in the series, in case you have missed them are The Chase & The Wrecker. I think there is a pattern in the titles here, The followed by one more word. I enjoy the simplicity.
The novel is set around 1908 a
This was a part of my summer reading program...(Read an audio book. Actually you just listen to an audio book.)The story itself was good but I absolutely hate audio books. To me they are so boring.... And I can't understand how people enjoy them. But everyone has different tastes. Although I may sometime read the actual book. Because as I said the story itself was good but audio books are just not for me.
Sep 22, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, adventure
Another fun and exciting book by Clive Cussler. The third in the series, it continues the story of Isaac Bell, the detective. It takes place in 1909, and he is trying to solve the murder of a man who designed guns for the Navy's newest dreadnaught ships. The further into the case he gets, the more he realizes that it is not just a murder he is trying to solve, but that there is a spy at the root of all the chaos.

I enjoyed the book, and I love how Cussler writes his books - exciting and suspensef
Sep 27, 2014 Johnny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp-adventure
The Spy is part Wild, Wild West, part H. G. Wells, part The Avenger pulp novels, and part Industrial Age James Bond. This collaboration of Isaac Bell and Clive Cussler is essentially Tom Clancy meets Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger in the era just prior to the Washington Naval Treaty. Indeed, the title of the book was generated by the spying and espionage which was rampant in real-life during this period.
To be sure, portions of this novel simply rely too heavily on coincidence. That be
Mark Muckerman
Why, oh why do I keep going back and touching that same stove to see if it still burns me? Three words: Bargain Book Bin.

Because I find Cussler's collaborative efforts to be huge and consistent disappointments, I've lowered my satisfaction threshhold dramatically for these books. Sadly, my expectations are now being met.

Of his collaborations, I find the Isaac Bell stories to be the least painful to read, and for $5.40 in hardcover I risked taking another nap on that bed of nails.

Story: decent.
This is the third installment of the Isaac Bell series. Set in 1908, this time, Isaac Bell is looking for a spy, who's killing people and targeting people, when someone murdered Arthur Langner. It sets him off to find out who's who and who's telling the truth, coast to coast on a variety of naval ships. There's a lot of drama and action sequences to the very end, when it's up to Bell to apprehend the bad guys, and save the day. Another great action adventure/historical fiction mix for a enjoyabl ...more
Charlene Nelson
Mar 05, 2015 Charlene Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Clive Cussler fans
Shelves: finished
I loved this the third book with Isaac Bell. Once again Clive Cussler has woven a wonderful, thrilling and jaw dropping story. I was kept on the edge of my seat and with all the twist and turns didn't until three-quarters the way through knew who the spy was. All the characters are very intriguing and the only people you can count on to be who they say they are, is the Van Dorns, Isaac Bell, Marion Morgan and a few other characters. You know that Isaac will find the spy but all the different pla ...more
Louis Barbier
Clive Cussler has written another exciting adventure! It takes place in the United States at the turn of the last century. It is filled with mayhem, murder, and intrigue. Most of the action involves the Navy Department and spies. The main hero is Chief Detective Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Agency an international investigative firm that never rest until the bad guys are caught and put away. There are lots of bad guys who want to embarrass the Navy Department. Isaac Bell must find then and bring t ...more
Ron Smoak
Apr 15, 2015 Ron Smoak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first read of Cussler's early 1900's detective series. The plot had a few surprising turns that kept me reading further. As a staunch reader of all of Cussler's other books, The Spy was a fresh view into a story about detectives and spys prior to the First World War. A great read!
I LOVE the Isaac Bell mystery series. I also love historical fiction and this series combines both mystery and history.

Mr Bell is one of the best Van Dorn agents in the World. He is sent to what appear ordinary open and shut cases, but inevitably finds some deeper plot afoot. No one believes him and he has to convince his superior, Mr Van Dorn, that there is more than meets the eye. The spy, although a great book, is not the best so far. Early on in the mystery a name kept popping up, but for so
Nov 05, 2014 Dafunk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After a naval engineer apparently commits suicide, Van Dorn Detective Agency puts detective Isaac Bell on the case. The engineer’s daughter believes that her father was murdered instead. Unsuspecting Bell is about to stumble upon a vast, international plot to cripple the U.S’s naval fleets and it’s prototypes. A string of murders all relate to one prototype under construction; Hull 44. This mastermind plot of destruction sends Isaac traveling across the country in order to find the true crimina ...more
Nefarious villains have infiltrated sacred American grounds and assassinated a brilliant weapons designer and made it look like suicide. Of course, no one suspects anything. The daughter has to bring her suspicions to the Van Dorn detective agency where their top investigator Issac Bell believes her.

Here we begin to see why Bell is the wonder kid. He believes, he has incredible luck, he's prepared for any emergency, he can go without food, water, sleep. He's just too good to be true, plus he has
David Youngworth
Sep 17, 2015 David Youngworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I've read anything by Cussler, and I was pleasantly surprised! His period piece thrillers are highly immersive and entertaining. You can tell he's done his research by his attention to the details of his pre WWI world, but his delivery is so fluid that doesn't in the least distract from the story, action, or suspense. The main character is a classic hero: compelling and full of traits you wish you have, but with not enough shortcomings. All in all, a very enjoyable read I' ...more
Teo Hoppe
Sep 30, 2014 Teo Hoppe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can there be any doubt that turning the inimitable private detective Isaac Bell into a spy chaser is going to be good for this series? I think The Spy rings the bell in making for a more entertaining story than merely tracking down brainy, greedy thieves as occurred in The Chase and The Wrecker. I especially enjoyed a deeper sense of the international diplomatic and naval tensions in the pre-World War I era. The references to developing technology are also very interesting, even if they concern ...more
I don't always demand much from "action" stories. I'm a big fan of lots of old pulp writers and particularly the blood and thunder zeal of Robert E. howard and people like him. All I ask for really is some good writing. This book does not deliver, although I must say that the fact that Cussler is operating in a historical setting seems to temper some of his excesses and I had a slightly better time with this one than I did with any of his other books I've come across.

What surprised me though esp
Nov 15, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2012

The Spy by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (audiobook, abridged)
Posted on November 15, 2012 by Kathryn Edit

The-Spy by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (audiobook)

I listened to this abridged audiobook on a trip back and forth to New Orleans yesterday; and it was a very good book to listen to, being the third of a series of five action detective novels set in the first decade of the 20th century in America.

It is 1908, and the Great White Fleet of 16 American battleships is on its circumnavigation of
David Erickson
Jul 19, 2013 David Erickson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cussler fans
Recommended to David by: no one
In 1908 America's greatest naval gun designer dies in an apparent suicide. The Navy covers it up as the killer does a nearly flawless job of setting the scene and motivation. His daughter, a lady of society, doesn't buy it and ask the Van Doren Agency to take a look. In the course of the investigation other men important to America's battle ship development die in apparent accidents.

It becomes clear to Isaac Bell that this is no coincidence and there is a much larger conspiracy at work that incl
This book might be worth 4 stars. I think it depends on your expectations or what you are comparing it to. If you are comparing it to all the books in the universe, well, it isn't even worth 3 stars. If you are reading it with the expectation of fun, fluff, adventure, non-sense, then, it, certainly, deserves 3 stars, maybe even 4. The Spy delivers adventure silliness, but it isn't great. Cussler gives you a very descriptive look at New York City at the turn of the century, the plot is interestin ...more
Chris Lytle
Sep 07, 2013 Chris Lytle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 3rd instalment of Cussler's Isaac Bell series takes the previous cat & mouse game to a new and international level. This transportation themed detective tale keeps locomotives and early automobiles in the picture but dives fully into the naval world of Dreadnaught technologies. And best of all is the revolving door of bad guys - a cast of local toughs and devious spies from America's potential allies and enemies.

While Cussler provides stoic and reliable heroes, it is his villains that tr
Apr 23, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first experience with Isaac Bell as the protagonist in Cussler's novels, but I believe he is intriguing enough that I would continue through the series. Unlike The Chairman in the Oregon Files, however, Bell isn't really all that intriguing or distinguished on his own to make me all that interested in him personally. I could have slapped any physical description, any other name, any other history on the guy and the story would have been the same to me.

Perhaps more intriguing (and some
Dec 25, 2015 Walkernot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Private Eye, Isaac Bell, digs deeper into an open and shut case, the suicide of a naval architect. He discovers a ring of spies out to steal the USA’s secrets and one of them is set on sabotaging the whole dreadnought program, striking at its roots by killing the brain trust of naval archest and engineers. Bell chases down leads from New York’s Hell Kitchen through the naval yards of the east and across the country to the San Francisco Bay.
I thought this was a well researched historical fiction adventure novel of the Clive Cussler kind. Of course we know Clive can 19t write all these, so this is probably a Justin Scott novel. But it was an enjoyable adventure novel set in the early 1900 19s, around naval warfare developments. It 19s 1CAn Isaac Bell Adventure 1D (as the front cover says). Clive likes to put out novels built around a central main character, and if I recall 1CThe Chase 1D was another decent Isaac Bell book. There are ...more
Michael Shore
Having been one of my favorite authors of adventure since what seems like forever, i had recently started to wonder about Cussler. So many books with so many Co-authors had me thinking his quality had diluted to the point i would not be buying his books anymore. So i skipped the first few in this series, and doh! that was a mistake.

This is exactly the kind of book i like from Cussler although it is different from his previous style. It is about one story but it captures a time period that is fa
Dec 10, 2014 Marcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very fast-paced story with Isaac Bell, the detective. The story centers around sabotage to the US Navy's shipyards just before WWI. Bell finally identifies the spy and the spy's last objective, the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The epilogue fast-forwards to WWI & finds Bell himself spy for US against the German U-boat shipyard. The characters are credible, and the plot has several twists that keep the reader's interest.
Jul 09, 2016 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always amazing details in this series about Isaac Bell, a detective from the early 1900's. I guess I wasn't in the "mood" right now. I read about 150 pgs, skipped through and read the final chapter.

At the least I always appreciate the kind endings for Bell and his lady, Marion. I have returned it to my book shelf. The entire Isaac Bell series is a keeper that I feel I will probably re-read at a later date. I'm currently collecting the individual titles in the series. The Spy is #3 in the series
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Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt, in 1973. His first non-fiction, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered The Sea Hunters in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May, 1997. It was the first time ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Isaac Bell (10 books)
  • The Chase (Isaac Bell, #1)
  • The Wrecker (Isaac Bell, #2)
  • The Race (Isaac Bell, #4)
  • The Thief (Isaac Bell, #5)
  • The Striker (Issac Bell, #6)
  • The Bootlegger (Isaac Bell, #7)
  • The Assassin (Isaac Bell, #8)
  • The Gangster (Isaac Bell, #9)
  • The Cutthroat (Isaac Bell #10)

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“it is now clear to me that behind a façade of amiable bumbling, you are extremely well informed about your fellow spies. In fact, I suspect you know more about them than the ships you’re supposed to be spying on.” 0 likes
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