Allen Cheyney is an agent with British Intelligence.
Many of the people who know him, who work for him or in conjunction with him, might quickly say that he is a spy-master now and they would be correct in their statement. He runs a small-ish department, directing agents as needed and for the past near decade that is largely his job.
But those closest to him, and there are decidedly few of those remaining, know that Allen Cheyney is at heart a field agent and when he bothers to think of himself at all, it is in that capacity that he mostly likes to be placed.
He is no longer a young man. One statement put him in his early 50's while another indicated he was just now reaching the half-century mark. Whichever is the case, he is not as spry as he once was and the daily aches and stiffness come more often than he likes. But give Cheyney a chance to head out into the dark alleys ways of his profession and he can still hold his own.
The preamble to the first book states clearly the sort of man that Cheyney is as it comments that he "had refused all decoration including the V.C. and a knighthood." He was not in his business for the accolades or the glory. He did it because he was good at it and it needed doing.
He is honest enough with himself to admit that he also did it because he enjoyed it. He truly reveled in the excitement and the danger and from the history that is told of the man, he had seen plenty in the three decades he put his life on the line.
As the three-book series commences, Cheyney is seriously considering retiring back to his beloved Scotland where he was often found restoring his family house. He had been behind a desk for some time and he was thinking of a change. Then a visit from old friend brought with it a request for help, a request that opened the door for more trouble and danger than he had faced in quite a while and it was like he was young again.
As Cheyney would show more than his share of detractors, this was not a case of an old dog wanting one more bite at the bone. This was a dog too long kept leashed.