Velvet Templeton is an agent with ARC-7.
At least she had been for a fair number of years. As the first recorded adventure begins, she is the very attractive but slightly aging secretary of the Director of ARC-7, a woman that every agent sees as they head into the boss's office and the one they flirt with as they head out into danger. To them she is a witty but slightly distant woman to approach and be kindly but firmly rebuffed. So few know anything about the person she once was and through unfortunate circumstances is forced to become again.
ARC-7 is a very hush-hush international intelligence agency. ARC stands for Allied Reconnaissance Commission though what the 7 indicates is unknown. It has been around for quite a few years but is still able to maintain is clandestine nature. It is said to have been a "secret remnant of an Allied espionage group from World War Two". ARC-7 agents are, according to Templeton, the best in the business, "so good most of the intel community has never even heard of us."
The main activity depicted in the books take place starting in 1973. Velvet Templeton is the personal assistant (secretary in those days) to the agency's Director and has been for over a decade, longer than most of the agents have been around. Before that, though, she had been one of the very best agents the department had.
Her exploits were many and spanned a good part of the world. East Berlin in 1949, Monaco in 1951, Northern Italy in 1953, Tunisia in 1955, Prague in 1955, and the Bahamas in 1956. These are some of the places where she put her life on the line for the defense of the Free World and where she was forced on too many occasions to take the lives of others. It is not something she liked to do - just something she was more than capable of doing.
Born around 1930, Templeton had been a student at boarding school in Switzerland where her father had placed her during the War when she was approached in 1946 at age 16 by Lady Pauline. She was offered a chance to help make a difference and to do something important. She accepted and for the next year or so was trained by the Lady who had been herself one of the best operatives during WWII. She learned through one-on-one tutoring all the crafts needed in the espionage business and she learned very well.
For the next decade, she plied her cloak-and-dagger trade very well. Then a personal tragedy struck and she knew she could no longer do her job. Still, she was too good and too valuable to just abandon so the Director brought her in and gave her a new role in the organization, one she was exceptionally good at. Her old life was gone forever.
Forever came to an end.