Tamara Hoyland is an agent for British Intelligence.
As the series begins, she is an attractive blonde woman in her late 20s. Despite the relatively young age, she is nevertheless a well-considered member of the archaeological community, having had several tours to exotic sites under her belt. Her well-organized mind and keen observation skills make her a good administrator as well as one who enjoys digging in the dirt of lost cities.
Hoyland is also the girl friend of an undercover Intelligence agent named Ian who a member of a small British agency known as Department E under the direction of a Mr. Black. Though his work sometimes require secrecy, for the most post he is able to talk with Hoyland about his work and often uses her analytic skills to help sort out his cases. She has no problem with his profession but is looking forward to his eventual transfer to the Diplomatic Service and her taking a long-term sabbatical to get married and have babies.
Life for Hoyland will change drastically in the first book. Always a bit of a tomboy who learned how to hunt and climb and take care of herself as a child, she steps in to help her love on an assignment and performs well enough to receive praise from his boss. When her love is killed soon thereafter, she is offered a chance to join the organization and avenge his death.
Once that mission was completed, her new dual career continued. As a noted archaeologist, she was able to travel to all parts of the world without undue suspicion. As a now experienced operative, she could handle missions most others could not.