CLIVE CUSSLER & JUSTIN SCOTT – The Cutthroat. Isaac Bell #10. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, hardcover; first edition, March 2017.

   It is 1911, and Isaac Bell, chief detective of the Van Dorn Detective Agency, is back in another high adventure mixing history, past technology, and fast action for his tenth outing.

   Yes, it is still the same mix of pulp. Boys Own Paper, Dime Novel, Nicholas Carter, Tom Swift, and high adventure with an added touch of nostalgia as before, and yes, it works as well as ever in the trusted hands of old pro Justin Scott who was writing this sort of thing before most of us heard of Clive Cussler or Dirk Pitt, with no disrespect to either of the latter gentlemen who still entertain as well.

   This time around we are on Broadway, where runaway hopeful actress Anna Pape has disappeared behind the greasepaint and noise of the Great White Way, and her worried parents, friends of Joseph Van Dorn, Isaac Bell’s boss and mentor, want her found.

   That isn’t to be, though, at least not alive, and worse still her murder seems tied to others which puts fairly recently wed Isaac Bell on the trail of a serial killer called the Cutthroat (sic).

   As you might expect in any book produced under Clive Cussler’s name the plot moves swiftly and from New York’s Broadway to London’s West End. There are productions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and O Henry’s Alias Jimmy Valentine involved, as well as gangsters, producers, bankers, police, actors, and a young film maker named Marion Morgan Bell, wife of our hero.

   More than that, there are great set pieces, early twentieth century cars and transportation, theatrical lore of the period, period history, guns, and even sword play as well as decent detective work though of the thriller and not Detection Club variety. The Bell novels along with Robert Owen Butler’s Christopher Marlowe Cobb series and Graig McDonald’s Hector Lassiter novels are among my favorite contemporary series with their mix of history, adventure, and thrills.

   From the busy lights of the New York theater district to the foggy streets of London, Bell and his allies from the Van Dorn Agency hunt a clever and diabolical killer while not far away within the sound of Bow Bells the shadows of Whitechapel whisper at the edges of the Cutthroat’s crimes.