Jonathan Anders is an agent with British Intelligence.
This three-book series about the young but brilliant neophyte spy is part farce but all action. Anders is a 23-year old genius with a love of chess, though lacking in the obsession needed to become a Grand Master. The same could be said for many of his other activities as his keen intellect makes him interested in something long enough to quench his thirst before moving him on to something else. Other activities that Anders is very good at and at which he could become an expert if he only wished were hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship.
Recruited straight out of university by the Counter-Espionage Department, Anders is sent to all the standard training a novice agent should attend and proves to be amongst the best the trainers had ever seen. Still, once he was done learning how to be an agent, he is given nothing by routine office work as he waits for a chance to enter the field. The chance comes as a surprise when the head of the entire agency, a man named Craufurd, chooses him for an assignment.
Anders was the son of a British diplomat. When the man's wife died while Anders was still very young, he countered the pain by throwing himself into his work and travelling constantly, forcing Anders to learn to be alone, kept in boarding school. Now that Anders is grown, his father remains just a distant, thinking his son to be an employee of a antique book seller, the cover that Anders uses. Anders, for his part, sees no reason to let anyone know the truth as the job has many dull periods during which Anders can occupy himself with other activities. Top on that list, besides chess, is stock-car racing. Just as with chess, though, Anders usually does not possess the patience to truly excel.
The three books in this series comprise the first three missions that Anders is given.