JANE HILDRETH

 
Full Name: Lady Jane Hildreth
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Michael Spicer
Time Span: 1989 - 1993
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Jane Hildreth is an agent for British Intelligence.
       She bears that title for having been married to Lord John Hildreth for four years in her early 20's. Educated at Roedean and Girton College, Cambridge, she was completing her law degree when they met and fell in love. With the divorce, said to have been one of the cleanest and friendliest in years, she retained the title until she remarried and her settlement was considerable, making her set for an easy life.
       She is 35 years old at the start of the series. She stands 5’2” tall and has a very slender build. Her hair is described as “fair” and is nearly shoulder-length. She says that she is considered very pretty by most people but certainly not beautiful. Besides the stone “cottage” she has in the Cotswolds, the region of England where most of the action in the books take place, as well as a very nice house in London and a Manhattan apartment.
       Once her divorce was final, Hildreth took a job as a public relations consultant for an international cosmetics company and stayed at that for four years. Then she made a rather drastic change in career and life.
Hildreth had always had natural fears of snakes and dark places and the like but after her divorce, her list of frightening things kept growing until she became angry at herself and decided to break out of the phobia business. Her determination took her eventually to join the Metropolitan Police to become a police officer. After a couple of years there, she accepted the offer to work for the security service.
       Now she uses her aristocratic status and experience to mingle with the jet-set and to be accepted in situations most of the SIS would not fit in. Money attracts money which attracts those who want more and who will do anything to get it. Hildreth is there to stop it from going too far.

BOOKS

Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1989
Last Appearance:1993

1 Cotswold Manners Cotswold Manners
Written by Michael Spicer
Copyright: 1989

Knowing that Jane Hildreth, his ex-wife, was involved with the security service, he asks her to help investigate the death of a mutual friend, possibly a case of murder with international repercussions.

2 Cotswold Murders Cotswold Murders
Written by Michael Spicer
Copyright: 1991

A young woman on a train confesses to a murder and then flees, later being found murdered herself. Jane Hildreth, to whom the confession was made, investigates and learns of a strange connection between the IRA and Chinese tongs. This takes the Lady to Hong Kong to learn more.

3 Cotswold Mistress Cotswold Mistress
Written by Michael Spicer
Copyright: 1992

The Star Wars File is a document outlining strange connections between the deaths from various causes of several government defense scientists. Jane Hildreth has personal involvement, too, making investigating complicated.

4 Cotswold Moles Cotswold Moles
Written by Michael Spicer
Copyright: 1993

The death of a wealthy recluse was followed shortly by the murder of her butler and close confidant. The head of the department thinks there was a foreign element involved and asks Jane Hildreth to investigate.

MY COMMENTS

       The adventures of Lady Hidreth are mysteries far more than they are spy novels but there is always important touches of the latter to make it Hidreth's business in the first place. The books are very fast reads and I found myself liking the independant lady more and more. She is classy, elegant without being overblown, spunky, and smart. No one in the upper class can intimidate her nor can they sway her with knowing nods and winks. She knows their games and can see through them.
       This does not please many she has to deal with but her tenacity at doing her job keeps her from losing too much sleep over it.
       The author has a quick, breezy writing style that does an excellent job at laying out the scene in just a few lines and then getting back to story. I would have liked more Hildreth storied but at least I have four.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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