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Full Name: Christopher Marlowe Cobb
Nationality: American
Organization: American Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Robert Olen Butler
Time Span: 2012 - 2018


Christopher Marlowe "Kit" Cobb is an agent with American Intelligence.

Part-time, actually. But then in the still early years of the 20th century, America had little in the way of organized intelligence gathering and most of the people who provide needed information do so in while going about their business doing other things.

Full-time he is a reporter, a war correspondent for the Chicago Post-Express, and a darn good one. He not only is willing to travel far and wide for the story of the day, he relishes the opportunity. Considering his upbringing, the ability to throw sufficient clothing into a bag at a moment's notice and head out to parts unknown to talk with people as yet unmet and get them to open up enough to gleam newsworthy material comes as second nature to him.

We first meet Cobb in the hot region of Veracruz, Mexico where he is following, and in some cases preceding, American Marines as they carry out the orders of President Wilson to chastise the government there (makes for interesting reading). Cobb was there strictly as a reporter with no other agenda and no other master besides his editor back home. What he will uncover and subsequently write about will change things in that it will bring him to the attention of the American government all the way to the top with Wilson, and will get him asked to do a big service to the country.

And that will be the start of his involvement with James Polk Trask, ostensibly a special assistant to the Secretary of State but in truth Wilson's "right-hand secret service man". And the opportunity to provide assistance here and there especially as Europe goes to War.

That upbringing mentioned earlier consists of having one of America's greatest stage actresses for a mother. That lady is a force of nature who dominated the floodlights wherever she went and had for quite a few years, pulling Cobb along with her since the day she "first laid me newborn in a steamer trunk backstage at the Pelican Theatre in New Orleans and she went on to become one of the great and beautiful stars of the American stage - the eminent, the estimable, the inimitable Isabel Cobb". Taught backstage in untol number of cities around the world, Cobb learned how to talk with the rich and famous as well as the dustmen and janitors and stagehands. He learned how to put on a convincing act when needed and, more importantly, how to stand still and observe.

Good traits for a reporter. And a part-time spy.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:2012
Last Appearance:2018

1 The Hot Country The Hot Country
Written by Robert Olen Butler
Copyright: 2012

The year is 1914. Christopher Marlowe Cobb heads to Mexico that Spring in search of a story during the time of the US Navy invasion of Vera Cruz. Certain he had found a great one in the miraculous survival of an assassin's bullet by a priest but that story was put aside when Cobb learns of German officials arriving along with ammunition ships.
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2 The Star Of Istanbul The Star Of Istanbul
Written by Robert Olen Butler
Copyright: 2013

The year is 1915. Christopher Marlowe Cobb is asked to follow a possible German agent on board the ill-fated Lusitania. He is instead very much distracted by the alluring Selene Bourgani, a silent film star who appears to be in league with German Intelligence.
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3 The Empire Of Night The Empire Of Night
Written by Robert Olen Butler
Copyright: 2014

The year is 1917. As the US still waffles about entering the War, Christopher Marlowe Cobb is asked to help sniff out a German mole in the British government. The most likely suspect is a man who is a huge fan of Isabel Cobb, mother of the agent. Cobb must follow the suspect and his mother from London to Berlin.
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4 Paris In The Dark Paris In The Dark
Written by Robert Olen Butler
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1915. Christopher Marlowe Cobb is in Paris, officially as a correspondent covering American ambulance drivers but actually spying for the US government. He is asked to look into a series of bombings which might be the work of a German spy.
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Three letters sums up this series. W-O-W.

The writing is absolutely superb, something not unexpected from a Pulitzer Prize winner. What stood out for me was how well I was able to see each and every person that the main character, Cobb, came into contact with so clearly and uniquely and yet so quickly. Descriptions flow so smoothly along with the storyline that I would absorb them without realizing.

I was not alive back in the days these books cover and neither was the author but he makes me feel like I was and when I put the books down for whatever reason, it was almost a jar to be faced with modern amenities. That is some very good writing.

And best of all is that this taking me back to another time and meeting scores of interesting people and experiencing far away places and events all came without once sacrificing the excitement and danger and thrills that Cobb faces. Like I said, very good writing.


My Grade: A


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