Horatio Cassidy is a freelance agent with the CIA.
This former full-time operative with the Agency, having served for nearly three decades, is also an accredited professor of medieval history. Though he holds no teaching position at the start of the recorded action, he had been a valued member of the faculty at a prestigious Eastern university even as he worked for the CIA, at least up until the school learned of his second, real job and decided to let him go. That disappointment, coupled with the loss of his wife of many years from illness, came shortly before the Agency suffered a huge budget cut and was congressionally ordered to downsize. Cassidy was one of many casulaties.
As the first book begins, Cassidy is barely scraping by getting odd jobs as they come and doing the occasional task for his friends in the CIA who know how good he is. He is also raconteur, though an aging one, and a sharp wit who enjoys a wide range of friends and a very respectful bar tab. His clothes, once acceptable both in government and in academia, now are a good deal threadbare and his aging face shows clearly that he is hardly in his prime. Only his eyes, and an occasional mischievious grin, reveal that the man's brain is every bit as sharp as it ever was.
Getting work as a bodyguard may seem a strange occupation for a man in his early fifties, as his stated years with the CIA would indicate, but his intimate knowledge of the past as it pertains to castles and sieges as well as the rich and powerful throughout the ages and the ways others have found to eradicate them despite tremendous protections, proves that knowing what is likely to happen more than makes up for not quite having the speed and agility he once had.
One talent he has never lost over the years, indeed it has just gotten better with time, is his knack for appreciating the beauty that is womanhood and wooing more than his fair share of the ladies. The most impressive part to this ability is the fact that he does not go out of his way to exercise it - fate brings the bounty to him and he has the good sense to partake of it and leave contentment in his wake.
It is important to remember, though, that despite having a wry sense of humor, a quick-witted brain and a tongue ready to display it, as well as an eye for the fairer sex and a penchant for gaining their attention, Cassidy is no fool nor is he a fop. He is a highly trained operative who, though at times down on his luck, is never out of shape when it comes time for action.