THE SPY AND COUNTERSPY FILE [The Federal Agent Mysteries] by Clarence Budington Kelland

“An exciting adventure in homicide and an inside picture of a fabulous scientific operation...The rocket-testing grounds of White Sands, New Mexico, are the setting for this Kelland thriller. The author was especially authorized by the Defense Department to explore the closely-guarded confines of White Sands. Thus, with all his accustomed skill and humor, he presents an inside story of fantastic happenings at this vital research center. The result is a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of scientists and security and espionage. And, last but not least, a rocket-paced and colorful novel in the finest Kelland tradition.” —Yesterday’s Muse

“The greatest mystery story of the year and a tantalizing spy story. … Which of the two lovely women is the spy?” —Indianapolis News

More pixilated dialogue, delightfully eccentric characters, and midcentury zeitgeist in bestselling romantic suspense author Clarence Budington Kelland’s enthralling peek into the period’s most top-secret program. The goings-on at the U.S. rocket testing grounds at White Sands, New Mexico, and the development of guided missiles, were some the nation’s most closely guarded secrets—secrets the “Reds” would kill for. Dr. Thomas Alva Edison Gimp—one of Kelland’s quintessential geek heroes—had been brought there as a leader in the development of the electronic brains needed to guide these missiles. His problems began on the train out, where he first encountered a very alluring and flirtatious woman, then a much-too-friendly professor of art history, and then—murder. His trip didn’t get any easier when he arrived at White Sands and met Miss Brown, a woman from his own past, whose job seemed to be anything she wanted it to be and her taste in acquaintances was…questionable. And it all seemed to come to a climax when he met William George Thomas, a man of enormous girth and intellect, whose first encounter with Dr. Gimp may not have been as accidental as it seemed.

“Gives the reader a peep through the barbed wire at White Sands Proving Ground. The government allowed the author to visit White Sands to pick up background for his book, and he incorporated a good deal of perfectly sound elementary information about missiles in it. There are also four murders, romance and plenty of the kind of excitement that would turn a security officer's hair white if it were ever actually to occur.” —Sayre, PA Evening Times

“[Kelland is] a writer of distinction.” —The Detroit News

Buy Now!


Click to purchase this book from:


About the Author

Clarence Budington Kelland was author of nearly 100 novels of mystery and romantic suspense, had enough careers for several men: attorney, reporter, manufacturer of clothespins, director of a major newspaper group, and more. Kelland became best known as a fiction writer, penning some 100 novels, and selling them as serials to the biggest and highest paying magazines of the time—like The Saturday Evening Post, The American Magazine, Colliers, and Cosmopolitan. Many were immortalized on film, of which the romantic suspense comedy and Oscar-winner, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, is undoubtedly the most famous. Kelland appeared alongside Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and Erle Stanley Gardner in the same magazines, but was the most popular of the four. The New York Times described Kelland’s novels as “lively stories, designed to prick the jaded palate, that keep readers pleasantly entertained” and noted that “Kelland demonstrates the emotions of his lovers with a psychological penetration.” Kirkus Reviews called his novels “Bright and breezy, with plus appeal for murder-mystery addicts.” His magazine publishers kept besieging him for more novels because every time they serialized one of them (typically in 6-8 installments), circulation shot upward. Kelland obliged, and produced far more each year than his publisher (Harper and Row) could keep up with, leaving more than three dozen unpublished in book form when he died. His inimitable characters, trademark dialogue and deftly plotted stories, according to Harper, “made him an American tradition and won him more loyal, devoted readers than almost any other living author.” Kelland, as ever self-depreciating, simply described himself as “the best second-rate writer in the world.” His legions of fans, old and new, would likely disagree. There was nothing second-rate about his work.