Monday, January 19, 2015

Teaser Tuesday 247: Elusive Isabel

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!

This week I am reading a classic mystery by Jacques Futrelle, Elusive Isabel. Futrelle was an American journalist and mystery writer who perished in the wreck of the RMS Titanic. Here is the opening paragraph:

All the world rubs elbows in Washington. Outwardly it is merely a city of evasion, of conventionalities, sated with the commonplace pleasures of life, listless, blase even, and always exquisitely, albeit frigidly, courteous; but beneath the still, suave surface strange currents play at cross purposes, intrigue is endless, and the merciless war of diplomacy goes on unceasingly. Occasionally, only occasionally, a bubble comes to the surface, and when it bursts the echo goes crashing around the earth. Sometimes a dynasty is shaken, a nation trembles, a ministry topples over; but the ripple moves and all is placid again. No man may know all that happens there, for then he would be diplomatic master of the world.


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 (see also depth charge) 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.

Read it free at Project Gutenberg.


Vonnie said...

Reading the classics. Good for you! I need to do more of that.


Heather said...

Thanks, Vonnie! I aim for 10-12 classics annually, and managed 20 last year. I have at least three more coming up soon for various Goodreads group reads.

Anonymous said...

Perfect, Heather! Thank you so much. I read a short story by Futrelle years ago and always meant to read more. I'm rounding up some mysteries for the February Genre Challenge and also looking for classics to work into that annual challenge.

My TT this week is for The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston:

Heather said...

MadameV: I'm glad you liked my teaser. I received a Nook and several gift cards for Christmas, and one of my purchases was an anthology of classic mysteries -- which included three short stories and this novella by Jacques Futrelle. I had never heard of him, but like his writing.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I am intrigued...thanks for sharing! And here's mine: “VICTIMS”

Heather said...

Thanks, Laurel-Rain -- Glad to have intrigued you. *G*

Alice Audrey said...

It has that from-another-era feel to it.

Heather said...

Alice: As it should. ;-)

It's kind of strange at times while reading him to see references to automobiles as new, and cabs as being horse-drawn, but I do like the writing.

Cleopatra Loves Books said...

This sounds like a great read, a good choice for TT. Thanks also for visiting my TT

Marsha said...

Classic mysteries, what a great choice for those gift cards. I have not heard of this author either, so thank you for introducing me to someone new. I love when that happens. :)

I enjoyed wandering around your site - and those Christmas ornaments are lovely, I'm so jealous. I cannot craft a paper bag. I will definitely be back.

Thanks for visiting Keeper Bookshelf.

Yvonne said...

I usually don't like reading classics but this sounds like a good one.

Heather said...

Cleo: It has been interesting so far, especially the espionage angle pre-WWI.

Marsha: Thank you, I thought a few classic collections an excellent value as well, and am happy to introduce people to a new-to-me author who seems long forgotten. Thank you for visiting, and for taking a look around. ☺

Yvonne: It has been good so far, and interesting to read a previously unknown-to-me mystery writer who seems to have been well-known in his day.

kayerj said...

that's pretty deep, it sounds like a classic.

Zed said...

I like the detail in your teaser. I don't read nearly as many classics as I should.

Here's my TT:

Unknown said...

So tragic that he was on the Titanic. I like how easily the writing flows. I need to revisit some classics.

My TT -

Heather said...

Kelley: This one does have a pretty serious topic -- the possibility of a world war five years before it became a reality -- but has been good so far.

Thanks, Zed! I do try to read several classics each year, but had only heard of this author as he is included in a "50 Classic Mystery Books" collection I bought for my Nook. The few selections of his have interested me in finding more of his writing.

Laura: Isn't it tragic? And yet heroic knowing he refused to get in the lifeboat so that someone else might take his place.

Beth at PlantPostings said...

I'll have to research that one. My book club seems to like mysteries and historical fiction, so this book might be a good selection for us. Right now we're reading "The Black Count," by Tom Reiss, and we just finished "The Distant Hours," by Kate Morton.

Heather said...

Beth: I'm not sure how easy it would be to find a print copy of this one, but it is available free through Project Gutenberg. I think I'm about halfway through it right now, and interested in seeing how it ends.