Artie Wu is a con artist.
I would not have included the three adventures about the confidence men pair of Artie Wu and Quincy Durant, as excellent as they are, except that in two of the three chronicled adventures, powerful elements of an international nature were behind the actions of these men with significant ramifications.
Most certainly the two main characters are far from being employees of any Intelligence agency for they are crooks quite renowned around the world for being able to trick just about anyone into doing just about anything.
Wu and Durant have been the best of friends, closer than brothers, since they were both six years old and new residents of an orphanage. Durant had no inkling of his origins but Wu learned that his history was quite colorful. According to reliable sources, Artie Wu was the illegitimate son of the illegitimate daughter of the last Emperor of China, making him truly the Pretender to the Throne of the Middle Kingdom. Durant has his doubts but since it makes for a good story, he doesn’t make an issue of it.
Luckily for the sake of the excellent stories, these facts are brought up, mentioned in passing, and then let go so as to not dominate superb adventures with more twists and turns than an out-of-control roller coaster.
While the third adventure has nothing to do with spies or intrigue, it is still excellent and worth reading as the reader is made so completely enamored with the two main characters. Another generation would have called them scallywags for the things they do, if they didn’t shoot them first.