Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
An Imperfect Spy has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

An Imperfect Spy Paperback – March 1, 1995

3.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 10 of 14 in the Kate Fansler mysteries Series

See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.00
$8.57 $0.01

Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
$15.00 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • An Imperfect Spy
  • +
  • The Edge of Doom
  • +
  • Honest Doubt
Total price: $29.98
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her latest jab at academia's underside, New York City literature professor Kate Fansler, last seen in The Players Come Again, team teaches a course in "Women in Law and Literature" at Schuyler Law School while her husband, law professor Reed Amhearst, establishes a student-staffed legal clinic. Among Schuyler's predominantly mediocre and sexist faculty is a lively and mysterious 60-ish secretary named Harriet who models herself on John le Carre's fictional spy, George Smiley. Harriet, like Kate's teaching partner Blair Whitson, voices concern that the recent death of a feminist professor at Schuyler might not have been an accident. Harriet is also interested in the imprisoned Betty Osborne, who murdered her husband for "no reason" (as one Schuyler professor says: "Of course he didn't beat her; he was a member of this faculty."). Just as Kate begins to look into these deaths, she and Blair face a conservative backlash from a surprising quarter, touching off skirmishes sure to shake Schuyler's complacent foundations. While Kate and Reed are as appealing as ever, the real draw of this thinking-reader's mystery is the anger-at the limitations of women's roles in society (imposed and assumed)-that fuels it and its thoroughly disclosed academic setting. Besides posing and solving a neat puzzle, Cross provides a gold mine of stinging quotes for feminist college professors to post on their doors. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Gender issues, culture wars, academic politics, literary criticism, John le Carre, and a mystery comprise this witty but predictable novel. Progressive academics Kate Fansler and her husband are visiting faculty at the reactionary Schuyler Law School. Along with a like-minded professor and a former teacher who enjoys emulating le Carre's most famous character, George Smiley, they energize the student body to challenge their conservative teachers. Also, Kate convinces the secretary's daughter?jailed for killing her abusive husband?to appeal her conviction. However, Cross throws in a red herring regarding Kate's investigation of Schuyler's involvement in the accidental death of a former female faculty member. Narrator Jennifer Mangan does a solid job presenting the story. This will be popular with Amanda Cross (The Players Come Again, Ballantine, 1987) fans and listeners interested in tales in an academic setting.?Stephen L. Hupp, Univ. of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345464931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345464934
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,915,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mary E. Sibley VINE VOICE on November 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Kate Fansler had passed the statistical point of midlife. Nostalgia may be a disabling pressure that signifies retreat. Kate addresses the parents at her old school, the Theban. At the event she is challenged by a secretary from Schuyler Law School that she has never really done anything for the dispossessed, marginal individual.

Reed is to start a clinic at Schuyler Law School. The woman from the secretarial room at Schyler appears in the apartment building of Kate and Reed. She claims her presence proves her point that middle-aged women are invisible. The woman claims that reading John LeCarre has convinced her to become a spy.

The woman has disappeared, shedding her identity. Prior to that she was a professor. The woman calls herself Harriet. Harriet has pursued the couple for reason of Kate's crime-solving reputation. She wants them to investigate the death of a woman professor at Schuyler Law School.

Kate meets the faculty member who is to co-teach her literature and law seminar. Kate is seeking a pleasant change from MIDDLEMARCH. Trying to understand the men she meets at Schuyler, Harriet tells Kate that she has never met a group of bonded males swollen with mediocrity and power. Talking to her male colleague she comes to understand that he has crossed the line, he knows why a women's movement exists. Contemplating the death of the female faculty member causes Kate to go into her investigative mode. Kate goes to see the brother of the dead woman, Nellie Rosenbach.

In the end the mystery surrounding the Harriet character is disclosed. This book includes the battered woman syndrome and a host of feminist issues. This may be Carolyn Heilbrun's best Amanda Cross offering.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm sorry that some readers so disliked this book, and published really savage reviews. I loved it, and one of the reasons, to be honest, is that I also love John Le Carre, and was very moved by the quotations as well as the whole spy theme. I have also seen, and experienced, sexism in institutions. Perhaps some of the readers are just too young.

Which really brings up the issue of what is fair criticism. Sometimes I read books but realize that the insights and underpinnings of the story are very far from my understanding of reality. But I would never publish a review of a book I can't like for those reasons. I don't think it's fair, and I wouldn't want to discourage people from reading who could enjoy that kind of world view.

If you are widely read, if you love Hardy and the story of Demeter, I think you'll love this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the best Kate Fansler mystery I've read so far. The plot is intriguing and it keeps snapping along. The danger
lies in the "set-in-concrete" thinking and practices of the college, which cause great harm to a fellow professor and to the
student body. How the students come to think for themselves and take some control of their education is a positive
outcome. The rest of the outcomes I won't reveal, but the reader will celebrate them. Love the character of Harriet!
The quotations of John Le Carre's character, George Smiley, add brilliantly to the story.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I gave this book on 30 pages because it is a short book page wise, but reading 30 pages of this book seemed like a long time. Aside for a couple of rants about how bad the right-wing is, nothing really happened except the main character came off as a self obsessed snob. I can get that anywhere.
Don't waste your time. Move on. Nothing to see here.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What happened to the person who wrote "The James Joyce Murder?"
I can forgive Ms. Fansler for the more obscure literary references, which tend to bore the non- literature scholars, but 212 pages of whining about the plight of women! Only the choir would listen to that sermon.
1 Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

An Imperfect Spy
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: An Imperfect Spy

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?