A memorable collection of 16 stories, edited with an insightful introduction by the accomplished Smith(Havana Bay, p.480, etc.), who also recently won the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers for his novel Rose. The group of distinguished, well-published, and, in most cases, well-known authors represented here includes the likes of Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, and Maupassant, going on to John D. MacDonald, John Jakes, John Lutz, Jean-Hugues Oppel, and Michael Collins. Just as varied as the talent, of course, are the adventures and their settings—the Adirondacks during the Reagan-period Cold War years; Los Angeles and the Tommy Dorsey swing era on the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor; or Prussian-occupied Colombes, France, at the time of WWI, where Maupassant takes us fishing with two temporarily noncombatant foot soldiers. Mark Twain writes of a galloping case of what Smith describes as “spy fever” during the Civil War, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary crime sleuths, Holmes and Watson, lend their prodigious powers of detection to solving the puzzle of missing intelligence plans that in the wrong hands could threaten the British Admiralty. A timeless potpourri and hours of great reading in digestible portions for professional and amateur spy-meisters alike.