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Publisher's Summary

Detective Isaac Bell returns, in the remarkable new adventure from the number-one New York Times best-selling author.

It is 1910, the age of flying machines is still in its infancy, and newspaper publisher Preston Whiteway is offering $50,000 for the first daring aviator to cross America in less than 50 days. He is even sponsoring one of the prime candidates - an intrepid woman named Josephine Frost - and that's where Bell, chief investigator for the Van Dorn Detective Agency, comes in.

Frost's violent-tempered husband has just killed her lover and tried to kill her, and he is bound to make another attempt. Bell has tangled with Harry Frost before; he knows that the man has made his millions leading gangs of thieves, murderers, and thugs in every city across the country. He also knows that Frost won't be only after his wife, but after Whiteway as well. And if Bell takes the case... Frost will be after him, too.

Investigate more cases with Isaac Bell.
©2011 Clive Cussler, Justin Scott (P)2011 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Clint
  • North Chesterfield, VA, United States
  • 09-22-11

Up, Up, Josephine...

This is the fourth installment in a series that I have truly enjoyed since the beginning. Isaac Bell is a typical Cussler-style hero. Tall, good looking, green-eyed, chivalrous, clean cut, and really, really lucky (never gets hurt really badly, and always overcomes the obstacles that the bad guys throw his way); however, Sherlock Holmes he is not!

The usual five-star rating for the storyline dropped one notch this time, because Isaac's character was slow to realize the identity of one of the bad guys that he had direct contact with throughout the story. Just doesn't seem believable that the Chief Investigator for the premier detective agency of the time would be that unobservant.

The terminology used by the characters seems to be true to the period; however, I got really tired of hearing "on the jump" (meaning, do it quickly). Not sure why this bothered me. I suppose I expected a broader period-specific vocabulary from the characters.

The story is very creative and enjoyable. A few additional threads to follow, but all are tied together quite well.

Scott Brick gave another excellent narration performance. Some of the dialects were a little unpolished, but I relate his voice with Clive Cussler stories, so as long as he's doing the performance, he gets a lot of slack from me. If you want to lose a Cussler audiobook fan, change narrators. Scott is irreplaceable.

Justin Scott has a fifth book "The Thief" due out on 3-6-2012. I'm really looking forward to listening to it!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Weston, MA, United States
  • 09-24-11

Why is Cussler so much fun?

Improbable people, slightly to extremely preposterous dialogue, creaky plot, stiff characters as is usual for this author and still... I love this series. I like reading about the Van Dorn detectives, I love the then new but by now antique machinery so well described and somehow or other Cussler makes it all work.

He earns his money but how he makes it work is somewhat of a mystery. Disbelief gets suspended and you want to hear how it will end. (At least I did.)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 02-27-16

Does not disappoint!

Book 4 in the Isaac Bell series by Cussler and Scott continues with this wonderful historical thriller. Set in 1910 this novel is about an across the US airplane race with a $50,000 prize ($50,000 in 1910 had be buying power of $1.2 million today). With such a huge prize it is little wonder that sabotage was rampant as was murder. Isaac Bell and his cohorts at the Van Dorn Detective Agency had more than they could handle in protecting one of the contestants, a young woman. There are lots of mystery and suspense.

Scott Brick narrates wonderfully as usual.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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A Must Read

This is a great series. I can't wait to dig my claws ito the next book. The characters are excellent! I could totally see Dirk Pitt reading all about Issac Bell. :-)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • United States
  • 07-05-16

Isaac Bell learns to fly!

Bought the paperback in 2012, and the audio in 2013, and reread it every year or so. Guilty of adoring anything Cussler, and totally admiring Isaac Bell, but it is the story itself that keeps me coming back. Long ago, I checked up on Cussler's background facts and was satisfied that the historical researches are solid background for the fictional protagonists and the imaginative stories themselves.
Isaac works for the Van Dorn Detective Agency (We never give up. Never), and not only investigates the sabotage interfering with this epic air race (across the US) and murders along the way, but also learns to fly planes as avant garde as his automobiles (Cussler is noted for his vintage auto collection).
Fast paced and totally absorbing, this one will keep your nose glued to the page.
Scott Brick gives his usual stellar audio performance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great story and if it's true it's cooler.

Scott Brick is himself and awesome. If Scott had puppies I'd adopt one just to listen to it bark. The story is based off the song "Come Josephine in My Flying Machine" and it is a completely amazing story based off some lyrics. Great idea and well executed.

Issac is himself and as an aviation enthusiast myself, it was fun to watch Mr Bell learn about flying during the dawn of aviation before landing was called landing and was rather called alighting. Great book, read the others in the series in order, or listen, because not that it is a need, but, you will want to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan
  • SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States
  • 11-22-16

Isaac Bell doesn't miss!

Isaac Bell is one of the best heros I've ever read. I love these books. They don't take themselves too seriously, and the stories are so complete and well thought out. The idea behind this book, a race across the country in an airplane during the infancy of flight, lends itself so well to a novel. Add in the amazing characters of this series, and you have a winning formula! Scott Brick is a fabulous narrator, as well. Loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great and entertaining the whole time

Recommend to anyone, nicely done. Another great book by Clyde Cussler. Very entertaining. Can't wait to start another of his books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Larry
  • Corona, CA, United States
  • 09-14-11

Another winner for Issac Bell and Scott Brick

The Issac Bell series is the best thing to come out of Cussler since the early days of Dirk Pitt. These stories are just great for my long commutes. I looked forward to this for months and I was just thrilled when it came out. Planes, trains and automobiles! In my opinion Cussler is better at landlubber novels than he is at sea novels. But that's just me. As usual Scott Brick is outstanding. He could read the phone book and keep me listening.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great character Issac bell

If u like dirk pitt, you'll love this series!! Can't listen to them fast enough!!!