Mike Benasque is a journalist.
He has the press credentials to prove it and he has worked as one many times over the years. He has also been out of work as one for what seems almost as long. He is quite good at writing and extremely good at digging deep where no one wants him and finding the facts that he would write about later. This makes him very popular with publishers. He also loves to tell his bosses what he thinks of them, no matter who they are, and what he thinks is not very much. This makes him very unpopular with publishers. Hence his frequent unemployment.
An good example of why he occasionally/frequently is in need of new employment comes from just before the beginning of the series when he talks a magazine into sending him to Caracas to write a series of tourist pieces, only to pick as a must-see locale a dive owned by a friend, a dive where the magazine's editor had been cheated and robbed a year before. The editor had no sense of humor and Benasque was stuck in Venezuela with little money and no job.
Benasque is in his late 30s to early 40s when the series starts. He felt he had paid his dues almost two decades before when he worked undercover with the O.S.S. during the war where he had gotten shot at enough times to last him, thank you very much. He had no desire to repeat that excitement but it sometimes is not up to him to decide. He is British by birth though with a French mother making him citizen of both countries. He says in one book that he has been to so many countries and lived in so many places he really cannot remember what nation he started in.
Without a doubt, Benasque loves to drink. Being routinely broke, he is always looking for a free meal and a comfortable place to sleep but mostly he is looking for a free drink. And ladies. He loves ladies and they love him. He is happiest when he finds an interested lady who has something to drink.
Benasque has great timing on things. He also has a tremendous knack for getting in the middle of international affairs without meaning to. Whether it was intentional or not, though, the trouble is definitely after him. So are the ladies. And the pink slips.