kell_thomas2 kell_thomas1 kell_thomas3
Full Name: Thomas Kell
Nationality: British
Organization: MI6
Occupation Agent

Creator: Charles Cumming
Time Span: 2012 - 2016


Thomas Kell is an agent with MI-6.

Well, he was. For nearly two decades he has been an agent in very good standing with that branch of British Intelligence. Then the apprehension of a British citizen turned likely ISIL soldier goes a tad haywire. Kell led the group tracking him down and pulling him from the Middle East. Since British law prohibits torture and the man would not talk, somehow without Kell really liking it but not doing much to stop it, the man is handed over to the CIA who then used other countries to assist in convincing the man to talk.

Kell might not have liked it but he did not like the idea of a traitor going free so he did not lose much sleep over it. He did lose his job, though, when the British press got wind of the event and looked deeply into it and the powers that be decided that a scapegoat was vital so they could keep their positions. Suddenly Kell was out the door and at a total loss for what to do.

From the time he had entered the adult world, Thomas Kell has been a MI-6 agent. He had no idea what else he might do. He had never thought about it because being a MI-6 agent was all he had been and all he wanted to be. And he was damn good at it. And how in the heck do you take the skills that made you so good as an operative and translate them into something that would earn you a living in the civilian world. More importantly to Kell, how do you find anything remotely as interesting and challenging.

Adding to Kell's troubles is his marriage. He truly loved his wife and she was sticking around so apparently there was still affection from her but the relationship was on very rocky ground made far worse by the fact that he was so terribly unhappy out in the cold with work.

Six months after his boot, a situation would arise and someone not officially in the organization would be needed to handle a very sticky situation. Kell would be perfect for it. Kell would himself love the chance to work his way back inside. It was not a certainty. Still, it was a chance.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2012
Last Appearance:2016

1 A Foreign Country A Foreign Country
Written by Charles Cumming
Copyright: 2012

Disgraced MI6 agent Thomas Kell is given a chance to redeem himself when the new selected head of the agency disappears just weeks before taking charge. Kell is asked to take part in the hunt.
buy from Amazon

2 A Colder War A Colder War
Written by Charles Cumming
Copyright: 2014

The death of MI6's most senior agent in Turkey in a plane crash causes the bureau to suspect something bad is going on. To investigate, it again decides to bring back Thomas Kell.
buy from Amazon

3 A Divided Spy A Divided Spy
Written by Charles Cumming
Copyright: 2016

Thomas Kell is given a chance to get even with the Kremlin for his destroyed career but it means recruiting a Russian who does not seem to stay in one place very long.
buy from Amazon


The first series by Mr. Cumming that I read I did NOT like. The writing was alright though the style was irksome. It was the character I did not care about.

This next series is an entirely different matter. I think this is a TERRIFIC series. Spot-on. Well worth the time to read it. Fantastic character with enough human flaws to be believable but good enough at his job to be a blast to follow. Kell is a great operative and he loves what he does and the author lets you follow his actions with incredible detail that flows wonderfully fast and easy.

The characters are, as in most books, the key to the enjoyment. In the Kell books you meet all sorts of people and some you like and some you do not but all of them are so very real that you know you have met them before or at least people like them. Always a tad flawed as we all are but always believable.

And the spycraft is top notch. How do you get a look at a hotel receptionist's computer without anyone knowing it? Read one of the books about Kell and you will find one way beautifully mapped out. It does not sound like much now that I write it but without the information, the case does not proceed and without doing it secretly, all heck would break loose and the case would be lost as well. And the writer not only details it simply but fully, he made me enjoy the daylights out of the little details.

This is darn good writing. There are three Kell books at the time of this explanation. I hope for my sake (I am greedy) there are more to come.


My Grade: A

Your Average Grade:   A


009 A 2018-08-21

I got on the Cumming train very early and the Kell series is his best series of the two. His standalone novels are top drawer and I wold recommend Trinity Six and Typhoon as his best.

dbuhler A 2020-07-29

Solid A, not so much because Kell is outstanding, but because this Cumming series is top notch. He weaves a very good story, just enough details to place you in the heart of the action. Just enough characters to entertain without mudding the waters.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

SpyGuysAndGals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and links with the Buy from Amazon button are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.