Mark Girland is an agent for the CIA.
Born of a French woman and an American man, Girland grew up in the South in the U.S. where his father was a very successful judge. Girland commented at one point that he tired of living in an enormous house under the constant watch of a lot of servants so he split as soon as he could.
Moving to Paris, the homeland of his mother, Mark tried to make a living as a writer but found starvation instead. When his father passed away and left him $30,000, that made life easier for two years and then he was back to going hungry.
Shortly thereafter, he was approached by a man named Rossland to work in France for the CIA. Lacking any other prospects and not wanting to leave, he agreed and became an agent under Rossland for the next six years prior to the first chronicled adventure.
Girland stands near 6'3 and is considered by women as both handsome and quite sexy. He is in extremely good physical shape, amazing considering the love he has for drinking and rich food.
Also amazing is the skill he possesses as an agent since he received no formal training in it - just what he learned working for Rossland. He is a more-than-adequate shot with a .45 and can hold his own in a fist fight.
Girland is also, for most of his career as an agent, in the penny-ante price range, willing to settle for next to nothing as payment. When, in the first adventure, he sees a chance to break into the big money even if it means working for a despicable man, he jumps at it, only to see the error of his ways later on.
The adventures that Girland have are enhanced by a strong supporting cast. A Soviet agent named Malik is usually one step ahead of everyone, except Girland. A thoroughly disgusting 'anything for money' gentleman named Radnitz poses a challenge on occasion as well. And his sometime boss, Dorey, is wonderfully uncaring a bit about what happens to the ever-so expendable Girland.