Michael The O'Kelly is a reporter for a major British newspaper.
This highly acclaimed journalist has as his beat all of Europe and the Middle East, an area he knows well from him many years as a seasoned operative for the British Secret Service in the decade leading up to and through World War II. When the hostilities ended, O'Kelly felt that his time in the clandestine world had as well and he chose a new career which gave him the same chance to travel and explore without so much danger. At least, that was what he told himself but after so long a time putting his life on the line for facts that others did not want him to know, changing his habits was too difficult.
This former agent has the most unusual middle name in all of spy fiction. Whether it is a holdover from his Irish heritage, a lineage he is quite proud of even as he holds British citizenship, or something else is not known. He freely uses it in the first adventure but by the fourth book, it is never mentioned. In fact, by then he was known to one and all as Mike O'Kelly, famed reporter and writer. He had by then decided to quit his newspaper job to concentrate full time on his writing but he maintained his connections just in case. Regarding his Irish roots, it is on his father's side with his mother being born and bred in Vermont, allowing him the opportunity to have yet another citizenship.
O'Kelly loves a mystery and loves to dig into a case to find out the truth, probably not so much to get the truth but to enjoy the digging. It is this love of the chase or hunt that keeps him constantly getting into situations that nearly cost him his life but which bring so much enjoyment. The fact that most of the plots and conspiracies that he discovers concern governments against governments or terrorists against everyone is the reason for his inclusion in this collection. If ever an international reporter deserved to be here, Mike O'Kelly is it.
Note: in 1956, the sixth recorded adventure of O'Kelly, Passport To Treason, was made into a movie starring Rod Cameron as O'Kelly and costarring the lovely Lois Maxwell a few years before she became the stalwart Miss Moneypenny. Though the main plot of the movie remained true to the book, O'Kelly was changed from being a reporter/writer to being a private investigator in London even though he was so obviously an American in voice and attitude.