catesby_bk_avbe catesby_bk_tds catesby_bk_tms catesby_bk_farewell catesby_bk_potsaaym catesby_bk_twm catesby_bk_te catesby_bk_sar
Full Name: Catesby
Nationality: British
Organization: MI6
Occupation Agent

Creator: Edward Wilson
Time Span: 2008 - 2024


Catesby is an agent with MI6.

William Catesby is an agent who loves his country but not the people running it. He is hated by the Americans and respected by the Russians and is not much caring about either.

Coming from a Suffolk fishing village, Catesby does not fit in well with 'Ox-bridge' crowd who run British Intelligence and he would have been forced out years before except that he is annoying good at getting the job done. Luckily (if that is the proper word), his boss, Henry Bone, know how valuable he is.

From the late beginnings of the Cold War (early 50s) when many in the halls of MI6 were really agents for the Soviets through the turbulent 60s and into the changing world stage of the 70s, Catesby ages and matures and gets grayer both literally and figuratively. During these post-WWII years, as Britain sees the dismantling of her Empire into an assortment of independent democratic nations, the home country will endure a number of watershed moments. While in none of these is Catesby a defining figure in their evolution, he is most definitely playing a role in them and they, in turn, will have an effect on him.

The earlier Catesby would never be described as immature or naive, he is too smart and alert for such a demotion, but he is somewhat inexperienced and his actions, or better yet, reactions, demonstrate that. The Catesby of the middle books is a more solid operative but one who seems to miss the zeal of his younger self. And the Catesby of the more recent times is old enough to not have any illusions about his fellow man, or himself, but he does have more than a little sorrow for what might have been.


Number of Books:8
First Appearance:2008
Last Appearance:2024

1 The Envoy The Envoy
Written by Edward Wilson
Copyright: 2008

Kit Fournier is officially a diplomat with the American embassy in London but in truth he is the CIA bureau chief there. He is also a man looking for love and when he finds it, he finds himself in a great deal of trouble in 1950 and forced to become a double agent for MI6.
[Note: this is billed as the first book in the Catesby series. According to what I read, he plays a very small role in the British version of the book though the American Kindle version has no mention of him.]
buy from Amazon

2 The Darkling Spy The Darkling Spy
Written by Edward Wilson
Copyright: 2010

It is 1956 and Catesby is a tired British agent in Berlin with his career apparently in tatters and his motivation lacking. Then word comes that the mysterious agent known as Butterfly has a list of all British agents in Germany and Catesby is given the mission of tracking him down. Unfortunately, that involves pretending to be a traitor.
buy from Amazon

3 The Midnight Swimmer The Midnight Swimmer
Written by Edward Wilson
Copyright: 2011

In beginning years of the 60s, Catesby is sent to Havana to use his 'friendliness' with the Soviets to look into reports of their buildup in Cuba. What he finds will force him to decide whether it is worse to betray his country and someone he loves.

4 The Whitehall Mandarin The Whitehall Mandarin
Written by Edward Wilson
Copyright: 2014

MI6 has a mole deep inside the Soviet KGB. It is the mid-60s and that spy sends word that the Soviet spy ring in London has stopped sending information. That worries MI6 so they direct Catesby to go on a mole hunt which takes him to some very unpleasant places.
buy from Amazon

5 A Very British Ending A Very British Ending
Written by Edward Wilson
Copyright: 2015

It is the mid-70s and a crisis inside the British government can bring down the Establishment with a horrid crash. Catesby and his colleague, Bone, find themselves going up against the people involved in the plot which harken back to events during WWII.
buy from Amazon

6 South Atlantic Requiem South Atlantic Requiem
Written by Edward Wilson
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1982 and Argentina is taking an unpleasant look eastward at the neighboring Falkland Islands and Britain is at first oblivious to the danger. The aged agent Catesby finds his expertise in great demand but will his wisdom be listened to by those in charge?
buy from Amazon

7 Portrait of the Spy as a Young Man Portrait of the Spy as a Young Man
Written by Edward Wilson
Copyright: 2020

The year is 2014. Catesby, veteran operative of many years, is now in his nineties. Sitting with his granddaughter, he recounts events in his very full and interesting life, go back to 1941 when as a teenager he elected to forgo Cambridge for the military and the War. His saga spans many decades as he describes his work and his personal life.
buy from Amazon

8 Farewell Dinner For A Spy Farewell Dinner For A Spy
Written by Edward Wilson
Copyright: 2024

"1949: William Catesby returns to London in disgrace, accused of murdering a 'double-dipper' the Americans believed to be one of their own. His left-wing sympathies have him singled out as a traitor. Henry Bone throws him a lifeline, sending him to Marseille, ostensibly to report on dockers' strikes and keep tabs on the errant wife of a British diplomat. But there's a catch. For his cover story, he's demobbed from the service and tricked out as a writer researching a book on the Resistance.
In Marseille, Catesby is caught in a deadly vice between the CIA and the mafia, who are colluding to fuel the war in Indochina. Swept eastwards to Laos himself, he remains uncertain of the true purpose behind his mission, though he has his suspicions: Bone has murder on his mind, and the target is a former comrade from Catesby's SOE days. The question is, which one."


Not far into this series I knew I had a winner. I also knew that I would find myself more and more depressed as the author does a terrific and downright admirable job of putting the reader in the shadowy world of double crosses and back stabbing. The worker bees do not trust those controlling the hive and that lot despises the grubby men and slutty women they are forced to use in the alleyways.

It is all very gloomy and wonderfully written. So much so that I have to remind myself on occasion that it is not real - I am not there and I am not being betrayed or treated as fodder and I am safe.

This is really good writing.


My Grade: A

Your Average Grade:   A++


Lynchie A++ 2018-02-13

Spy novel for grown-ups

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.