"ULTIMATE SPY," by H. Keith Melton, DK Books, $25, 224 pages (nf)

People often wonder what it's like to be involved in the world of espionage; fictional characters such as James Bond and real-life spies such as Aldritch Ames grab their attention. The book "Ultimate Spy" by H. Keith Melton is a spy master's encyclopedia chock-full of spy fun.

In this new fourth edition, DK Publishing's "Inside the Secret World of Espionage: Ultimate Spy" covers everything from spying operations and spying equipment to spying techniques and how to become a spy. In true DK fashion, the artwork and photography are really what make this book shine.

Full-color photos adorn almost every page, featuring spy weapons and gadgets such as the glove pistol, the hollow log dead drop and the briefcase radio transmitter. Each spy profile in the book is presented in a graphic that looks like a real personnel file kept in a filing cabinet.

One of the concerns with a book such as this is how current the information is, but this up-to-date volume includes the exploits of Edward Snowden and Anna Chapman, the femme fatale, red-headed Russian spy caught in New York in 2010.

"Ultimate Spy" has everything that spy lovers are looking for in an extremely visual format. The book is presented in an educational format appropriate for teens and adults who like espionage. While there are photos of weapons, there is no sex, nudity, violence or vulgar language in the book.

rmorgenegg@desnews.com