LUDOVIC FENDER

 
Full Name: Ludovic Fender
Nationality: British
Organization: Central Crimes Bureau
Occupation Agent

Creator: Paul Geddes
Time Span: 1968 - 1988
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Ludovic Fender is an agent with the Central Crimes Bureau.
       Though his first name points to a foreign background, Fender is as British as them come and more so than most. He is also a firmly entrenched member of the Intelligence community, now working for the rather mysterious branch known as the CCB. He is by no means a young man when the six-book series begins and he reaches and passes retirement age during the series run. Retirement is not for Fender, however, as someone with his incredible insight is always in demand.
       The Central Crimes Bureau sounds like it should be a division inside Scotland Yard but though the two agencies work together often, albeit frequently testily, they are quite different. The CCB was created because there was a growing gap in enforcement circles with the globalization of crime. MI5 and MI6 were both devoted to spy craft, defensive and offensive. Scotland Yard and Special Branch were geared towards fighting criminals on their own soil. To take on international crime organizations with ties to other underworld groups as well as terrorists and foreign enemies, Britain needed a very special team.
       Moreover, the CCB was a way to look for and find people in these various branches of intelligence and law enforcement who might not be maintaining a path along the straight and narrow. Since many of them wield considerable power and others are trained to work in secret and shadows, should they decide to go bad, it is very hard to find them out. That is where specialist like Fender comes in.
       Ludo, as is known to many, is one of their most experienced agents. He is also one of the most unlikely appearing hunters-of-men you might imagine, although if you look at a bloodhound in the idle, it may be just as hard to imagine how determined it might be in hunting prey. That is definitely the case with Fender. But he truly does not look like he is dangerous. He is fat. He is hardly young or even close to middle age. He is not prone to swift action or demonstrative acts. He looks like, well, anything but a hunter of bad spies.
       He does change a tad over the years of the six recorded adventures. He goes from grossly overweight to just being fat. He goes from being near retirement age to actually saying goodbye to his beloved office, though situations call him back. But he never loses that incredible brain of his and his ability to almost smell the truth. Like the bloodhound.

BOOKS

Number of Books:6
First Appearance:1968
Last Appearance:1988

1 The High Game The High Game
Written by Paul Geddes
Copyright: 1968

Paul Venniker saw a friend murdered. He reported it. The next day he read the death was from a heart attack. He knew he should stay out of it but found he could not. Then Ludovic Fender stepped in and things got even stranger.

2 A November Wind A November Wind
Written by Paul Geddes
Copyright: 1970

The death of one of their agents in a particularly nasty way let the Central Crimes Bureau know there was a traitor in their midst. Andrew Creagh was summarily discharged with little proof but more likely he was being set up as bait.

3 The Ottawa Allegation The Ottawa Allegation
Written by Paul Geddes
Copyright: 1976

Ludovic Fender truly wanted the cause of death of England's Attorney General to be kept a secret. Nothing good could come from letting the truth out. Nothing could keep it trapped.

4 A State Of Corruption A State Of Corruption
Written by Paul Geddes
Copyright: 1986

Antonia Strachan was not the Central Crimes Bureau's ideal choice for the person to investigate the death under suspicious circumstances of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's brother-in-law. That is why Ludovic Fender, recently retired, was pulled back to work.

5 Goliath Goliath
Written by Paul Geddes
Copyright: 1988

The CCB agent sent to find the missing step-daughter of a high ranking government leader followed the clues to the Basque region of Spain but then was arrested for drug possession and suddenly the skills and brains of Ludovic Fender is called upon once more.

6 A Special Kind Of Nightmare A Special Kind Of Nightmare
Written by Paul Geddes
Copyright: 1988

The murder of a call girl near the home of the CCB's Director caused the agent investigating to get nervous because of a rumor from his boss's past. The situation worsens enough to force him to look up the aged former agent Ludovic Fender for his help.

MY COMMENTS

       Not every character who meets and deals with Ludovic Fender likes him. To some he is cold and officious though he would like disagree. Others think him bossy and a know-it-all made even more frustrating when he so often is proven right. What no one would likely state, though, is that he is bad at his job. He is definitely not. He likes his job, no matter what he might say, and he likes doing it well.
       Written largely as crime suspense novels rather than traditional British mysteries or action pack spy novels, each adventure contains a lot of both with very interesting puzzles gradually revealed and each with international implication. These are not 'explosion every other page' but they are hardly slow and sedate.
       The Fender novels deserve to be read.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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