Rupert Conway is an art dealer.
He is happy, contented and quite successful now living in Vienna. Well into his middle age, at 56 when the series starts, Conway had had his share of excitement. His father was a British Lord and a diplomat and the Conway family travelled the world extensively. A couple years in one country before moving to another, and so on, worked to give Conway a well-developed understanding of the world.
Serving for several years in the British army, achieving the rank of Major, Conway's main job was as a soldier-art detective helping to hunt down stolen art pieces at the end of WWII. When he finally retired and took up his greatest love, art, he opened his own gallery and, within a few years, had gained a solid reputation as an expert to be trusted. His good name translated to a thriving business and eventually he would extend his gallery business from Vienna to London and to Chicago. He soon was not hurting for money whatsoever.
He also earned another reputation, less known but just as true, as a lover of mysteries and a determined bloodhound. It is this love of a good puzzle that gets Conway into harm's way. Luckily his brains are good enough to get him out of the trouble though luck does play a part at times. That does not mean, however, that Conway could not have handled himself well in a scuffle. Though age had added a few pounds to his midsection and his face was fuller than in years past, he still have enough of his former athletic build to hold his own, for a while.
It wasn't just a love of mysteries, though, that got him into trouble. Conway was an expert not just in art but in stolen Nazi art and finding it and returning it to its rightful owners was sometimes an obsession. Couple that with the fact that art can be used as a way to launder money for clandestine activities and you have a situation where an investigator can become very unpopular.