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CLAUD HEATHWAITE

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Full Name: Claud Heathwaite
Nationality: British
Organization: Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: William Le Queux
Time Span: 1921 - 1921

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Claud Heathwaite is an agent with the British Secret Service.
       From his own words we learn at the onset of the recorded adventures his life's story and how he came to work for the intelligence bureau, answering to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a man he does not name specifically but whom he addresses as the Chief.
       Heathwaite had been attended Eton followed by studies at Oxford, working towards a career in the diplomatic field. An initial posting as an attaché in Madrid was followed swiftly by stints in Athens, Petrograd (aka Leningrad, aka St. Petersburg), and then Paris. He was well on his way to steady promotion.
       Then, in 1912, his father died and in clearing up the man's affairs learned the debts that had accrued. For the next two years he worked diligently in both his diplomatic duties as well as in settling the deceased's estate. The one bright spot in the troubles was his "inheriting" his father's manservant, Quaife, an elderly valet who was very much a cosmopolitan fellow and who would be a stalwart supporter for years to come.
       We are told briefly of Heathwaite's strenuous days at the Embassy in Paris during the Great War. Roughly a year after the Armistice, Heathwaite is called into the offices of his future boss where he was told a particularly dangerous but vitally important mission to Russia was needed and he was the man for the job.
       From that moment on, Heathwaite was a secret agent, one with a considerable amount of expertise in diplomacy and languages but with no formal training as an operative.
       What we will discover in the set of adventures that follow this first escapade is that Heathwaite is a very resourceful and dedicated man who would know danger and excitement in a wide range of places in war-torn Europe.

BOOKS

Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1921
Last Appearance:1921

1 The Luck of the Secret Service The Luck of the Secret Service
Written by William Le Queux
Copyright: 1921

A collection of 8 short stories telling the adventures of British Secret Service agent Claud Heathwaite. The stories are:
The City of Evil
The Spotted Handkerchief
"The Expensive Autographs"
The Folies Caprice
The Affair of the Avenue Louise
A Page of Secret History
The Brown Trunk
The Copper Clock
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NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:8
First Appearance:1921
Last Appearance:1921

1 The City of Evil The City of Evil
Written by William Le Queux
Copyright: 1921

1st story in the collection The Luck of the Secret Service. Recruited into British Intelligence, Claud Heathwaite's first mission is to travel to Russia to find the status of a deep cover British operative who has gone missing after being sent to kill Lenin. The Soviet Russia is a major unfriendly place as he finds out.

2 The Spotted Handkerchief The Spotted Handkerchief
Written by William Le Queux
Copyright: 1921

2nd story in the collection The Luck of the Secret Service. Word has leaked to British Intelligence that a collusion between Greece and Germany to find a way to reduce Germany's required War Reparation payments. Claud Heathwaite is sent Spain where the plot is taking place to learn the facts. It nearly costs him his life.

3 "The Expensive Autographs"
Written by William Le Queux
Copyright: 1921

3rd story in the collection The Luck of the Secret Service. A blackmailer has gotten his hands on several letters of powerful British leaders and is ready to find a buyer for them. Claud Heathwaite is ordered to intercept the transfer and get them for the Crown.

4 The Folies Caprice The Folies Caprice
Written by William Le Queux
Copyright: 1921

4th story in the collection The Luck of the Secret Service. Traveling to Budapest specifically to make the acquaintance of a "charming little dancer who nightly delighted the patrons of the world famous establishment, the Folies Caprice", Claud Heathwaite is not looking for romance, though he finds it, but to learn what the young spy was really up to.

5 The Affair of the Avenue Louise The Affair of the Avenue Louise
Written by William Le Queux
Copyright: 1921

5th story in the collection The Luck of the Secret Service. In Belgium, Claud Heathwaite is monitoring the activity of a older woman who is in fact an infamous foreign spy who is working to undermine the determination of the Allies with regards German repayments for the War.

6 A Page of Secret History A Page of Secret History
Written by William Le Queux
Copyright: 1921

6th story in the collection The Luck of the Secret Service. In Rome to investigate a communist agitator, Claud Heathwaite is stunned to discover that the man was really a notorious Soviet spy named Filodor, wanted in several countries including Italy. Heathwaite wonders what mischief would bring the man back to a country where, if apprehended, would put him away for the rest of his life.

7 The Brown Trunk The Brown Trunk
Written by William Le Queux
Copyright: 1921

7th story in the collection The Luck of the Secret Service. Ordered to monitor the activities of several known foreign agents in London, Claud Heathwaite follows them to Holland where they meet up with a lovely young woman who seems particularly protective of a small brown trunk. When she turns up dead, he is even more interested.

8 The Copper Clock The Copper Clock
Written by William Le Queux
Copyright: 1921

8th story in the collection The Luck of the Secret Service. It is to the Soviet city of Kharkov that Claud Heathwaite is dispatched by the Chief, his orders being to ascertain if what was feared was really happening there. After some time in the city, he knew to prove it and stop it would require a certain type of help, like that possessed by his own fiancee, Myrtle.

MY COMMENTS

       For most of his writing career, which was pretty much all his adult life, the author, Le Queux, was a fervent drafter of dire predictions about the dangers from Germany and her allies, many a story or novel talking about the certain conflict to come. He would be proven correct by history.
       After the War and the forced end of the Kaiser's plans, Le Queux found a couple of new dangers to cause his readership to have frets. Both would be fuel for his stories, eagerly read by a horde of followers and, apparently, viciously denouced by those "in the know".
       One was the remnants of the German hegemony who struggled out of view to find ways to ease the "terrible" burden inflicted on Germany by the victors. This was to be accomplished by diplomacy or extortion, though if those did not work, starting a revolution here or there in other parts of Europe could prove distracting.
       The other was the new rulers of Russia, the diabolical and very blood-thirsty bolshevists. Those schemers were not content with having taken control of the largest country in landmass; they wanted to extend their revolution to the other nations of Europe, especially England.
       That is what the eight tales of Claud Heathwaite deal with and it is fascinating how stories crafted in likely 1920 were so timely. Was it just terrific imagination? Did he have inside intelligence? Who knows!?
       What I do know is that these tales are darned interesting read nearly a century later with the knowledge of events that came after the author's pen had done its job.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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