DINGLE & JONES

 
Full Name: James Dingle and Glyn Jones
Nationality: British
Organization: SS(O)S
Occupation Agent

Creator: Geoffrey Osborne
Time Span: 1968 - 1974
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Dingle and Jones are agents with SS(O)S.
       That organization with the very sibilant sounding name, standing for Special Security (Operations) Section, is a very special department of MI-5 and is tasked with jobs that take its agents to all corners of the globe, not just inside the territories of the United Kingdom as most of MI-5. It is under the control of the Director, a man who has a name but who does not like using it at work. This very dominating man, of incredible keenness, still often looked less than the part as Dingle once described him 'affectionately' as a 'Old English sheepdog with a bald pate.' He was a tall, powerfully built man who had gained a good deal of weight with office duty and who had a huge bald head and bushy eyebrows. He seldom smiled but then his job seldom gave him occasion to do so.
       Two of the agents that SS(O)S had were James Dingle and Glyn Jones. Some people in the organization might say they were his favorites and one in particular, Miss Peach, the Director's assistant, would insist that he coddled them too much. Dingle would likely shrug at either suggestion and Jones would, remembering the early morning summonses and the unbelievable missions they were sent on would have snorted loudly. The truth was that the Director used them for his toughest assignments because they found a way to get the job done and if that meant listening to Dingle's occasional wisecracks or Jones' complaints, so be it.
       Of the two, James Dingle, of English descent, is the far more senior agent. In the first recorded adventure, The Power Bug, he was the man the Director sent to the Indian subcontinent to take care of the problem. He is described as about forty-two years of age though he might have been a few years younger (he wasn't). 5'10" in height, he "moved with the easy grace of an athlete". He had flecks of gray in his dark, close-cropped hair. His face was one which was neither ugly nor handsom but which made most men feel they could trust him and "had been known to make women wish they couldn't trust him." He had been an agent for at least a decade if not longer when he first met the man who would become his partner, Jones.
       Glyn Jones had been working in Burma for a major British oil company as their head of security. At first Dingle's opinion was not too high, especially when they first met and Dingle decided "Jones the Oil' was just that - an oily man "with shiny, black cream-slicked hair and a greasy smile and a smoothly-lubricated walk". Dingle was in Rangoon investigating a matter that Jones had brought to the attention of MI-5 and that got eventually to SS(O)S. Jones had been in Military Intelligence during the "war" (like WWII) and was possibly younger than Dingle but if so, only a couple years. He clearly showed that he was brave enough when needed but with a well-working amount of common sense for not leaping into trouble.
       Dingle's first impression of slickness disappeared shortly after being briefed by Jones as to what had sparked his suspicions and what Jones had done on his own since then. Nevertheless, at the end of their first meeting, Dingle still thought Jones too swarmy and Jones had firmly concluded he did not like Dingle. Those opinions would change dramatically when within a couple of days, each would have saved the other life.

       At the end of the first adventure together, one which contains a mountain climbing excursion which was very well presented, both Dingle and Jones suffer physical handicaps, either of which could have ended their involvement with SS(O)S but their determination made would not have that and Jones returned to the U.K. with a new career and Dingle came back with a good friend and a new partner.

BOOKS

Number of Books:6
First Appearance:1968
Last Appearance:1974

1 The Power Bug The Power Bug
Written by Geoffrey Osborne
Copyright: 1968

A vital research document concerning a new power source is stolen by a scientist defecting to China. Before he can get there, though, he is kidnapped by Soviet agents who then crash one of of the Himalayan mountains. As more Russians head after it, John Dingle and newly pressed agent Glyn Jones must climb one heckuva mountain.

2 Balance Of Fear Balance Of Fear
Written by Geoffrey Osborne
Copyright: 1968

An American cargo ship carrying ABM's to Europe for installation is presumed sunk in the Atlantic or Baltic but it is really hijacks and made to look like a Russion cargo ship. Now John Dingle and Glyn Jones must head to Russia.

3 Checkmate For China Checkmate For China
Written by Geoffrey Osborne
Copyright: 1969

Three British scientists disappear in mid-air flight. The British government blames the Soviets until it is revealed they had also lost three scientists. Glyn Jones goes undercover as a scientist along with two Russians, one a beautiful agent, and promptly disappears. John Dingle has a clue pointing to China.

4 Traitor's Gait Traitor's Gait
Written by Geoffrey Osborne
Copyright: 1969

The Soviet space research facility outside Moscow is an impressively guarded facility but John Dingle and Glyn Jones are ordered to break in and learn what they know. From the beginning Dingle is certain he is being watched by the KGB, indicating there may be a traitor at home.

5 Death's No Antidote Death's No Antidote
Written by Geoffrey Osborne
Copyright: 1971

When the man at the Foreign Office received the phone call, he knew his life was over and he had no choice but do as they said, namely steal the files on research that could bring about a master race. When he vanishes with the data, John Dingle and Glyn Jones are sent after him.

6 A Time For Vengeance A Time For Vengeance
Written by Geoffrey Osborne
Copyright: 1974

There was a connection between East Berlin and the murders of two in Ecuador and Dingle and Jones are sent to Berlin by their boss to get involved but they do now know he is also trying to settle a very old score.

MY COMMENTS

       I was stunned that a series this good, with six exciting adventures to it, eluded my attention for so many years. A couple of the books were a tad difficult (read expensive) to obtain but the other four were not. How had they hidden so well? That's probably a mystery for a lot of series and I do know that these books were the only thing the author wrote.
       Still, they are so good and so enjoyable and so easy to read and move along with that I am pleased as heck to have found them and to have read them and to be able to tell others about them. It is just sad that they almost certainly did not get the attention they deserved.
       These are very, very well crafted stories presented quickly and cleanly and letting you know the players, good and bad, without weighing you down. Several of the scrapes that Dingle and Jones get into require either a lot of knowledge on the author's part to present it so well or good enough imagination and skill to make a layman like me go right along with the action.
       I often wish for more when I finish a good series and that is the case with the Dingle & Jones stories. Luckily, I had six. Thank you, Mr. Osborne.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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