Jacques Heath Futrelle (1875 - 1912) was an American journalist and mystery writer. He is best known for writing short detective stories featuring Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, also known as "The Thinking Machine" for his application of logic to any and all situations. Returning from Europe aboard the RMS Titanic, Futrelle, a first-cabin passenger, refused to board a lifeboat insisting his wife board instead. His wife remembered the last she saw of him... he was smoking a cigarette with John J. Astor. Written in 1909 Elusive Isabel is set in Washington, D.C. It is a spy novel about an international conspiracy of the "Latin" countries against the English-speaking world with the aim to take over world control. Isabel Thorne is a young woman, half British, half Italian, who works for the Italian secret service.