Isaac Bell

Created by Clive Cussler

Period private eye ISAAC BELL is the Chief Investigator of the Van Dorn Detective Agency in the early 1900s; the two-fisted hero of a jaunty series of action-packed novels by mega seller Clive Cussler (and occasionally co-author Justin Scott).

Which means he tackles bank robbers, serial killers, spies, arsonists, anarchists and union busters and other early twentieth century bad guys, and gets to ride some pretty sweet classic cars, old trains and oh-so-cool early airplanes in the process. Think of him as The Continental Op — but with better transportation, more action and a more team-oriented hero. And way more explosions than the Op ever dreamed of.

A quick view of the covers gives readers a clue about what’s in store: a steam locomotive and train plunging underwater, what looks like an entire city on fire, an aerial dogfight, a coal mine explosion and an ocean liner apparently being torpedoed.

Among those dodging the debris and shrapnel regularly in the series are Joseph Van Dorn (aka “The Boss” himself), Archibald Angell Abbott IV (Isaac’s best friend), Helen Mills (the agency’s first female op), James Dashwood (one of Isaac’s protegés) and a slew of other members and specialists in the agency whom he calls on for assistance, as his cases take him all over the country. The New York-based agency has branches in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Cincinnati.

Clive Cussler is the bestselling author of more than fifty books. He not only writes the Isacc Bell books, but also series featuring salvage expert and treasure hunter Dirk Pitt (by far his most popular creation), The NUMA Files, The Oregon Files and Fargo. Whether searching for lost aircraft or leading expeditions to find famous shipwrecks, Cussler and his real-life NUMA crew of volunteers (yes, it’s a real entity) have discovered more than seventy-five lost ships of historic significance, and like Pitt, he collects classic automobiles.

Occasional co-writer of the series, Justin Scott,  has been nominated for Edgars at least twice, for his own books, which include the Ben Abbott P.I. series.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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