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Full Name: Ronald Briercliffe
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Francis Beeding
Time Span: 1931 - 1937


Ronald Briercliffe is an agent with the British Secret Service.

He is, in fact, a protegé of Colonel Alistair Granby, being one of that spymaster's earnest young operatives. He might have been relegated to just a mention perhaps in the section on Granby had he not had his own adventure, the one that took him into the cloak and dagger world before he hooked up with the elder man.

When we first meet him, Briercliffe is just getting thrown out of the British Army. He had been a delightful member of the First Division of the King's Guards for some time with particular emphasis on the delightful part. Briercliffe liked to party and the small inheritance he had allowed him the opportunity to invite others to the festivities, so much so that he spent far more than he actually earned and soon was nearly bust. That sobering information caused him to decide on one final huge hurrah. It was while recovering from that outing that he, during a military march in review, tripped and landed on his face. The rest of the division marched over him, as they were taught, and he was cashiered out of the military.

This might sound like an opening act to a comedy but it most definitely was not. It was, though, the reason why when his uncle summoned him and told him straight up he had only a couple of unpleasant choices of what to do with his life, he chose the one more interesting. He went to work for the Secret Service.

Doing so will lead to his own "redemption" as well as find him the love of his life, not to mention almost losing that life a time or three. It will also get him intricately involved in activities of Réhmy & de Blanchegarde, two French operatives. And then with one incomparable Alistair Granby, both impressive to have on his resume. Still, he is enough of his own man that he got his own series and deserved it.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1931
Last Appearance:1937

The first book in the Ronald Briercliffe series is also the last book in the Réhmy & de Blanchegarde series as those two gentlemen show up when Briercliffe runs into a spot of trouble and stick around for the fun.

The remaining two books are in the Alistair Granby series and show the now experienced, but still fairly new, agent working closely with Granby.

1 The Three Fishers The Three Fishers
Written by Francis Beeding
Copyright: 1931


2 The Two Undertakers The Two Undertakers
Written by Francis Beeding
Copyright: 1933

A fanatical Frenchman has revived the idea of the Old Man of the Mountains who used drugs to convince his followers to kill for him, hence the 'assassin'. This new incarnation has the killers aimed at destroying modern-day Germany. Colonel Granby and his best agent, Ronal Briercliffe, are out to stop him.

3 Hell Let Loose Hell Let Loose
Written by Francis Beeding
Copyright: 1937

The Spanish physicist, Alberto Marquez, had offered a new invention of war to the British, Italians, and Germans. All were interested. All were negotiating in good faith. Then the Spanish Civil War broke out and things got very heated. Colonel Granby sends Ronald Briercliff to get the better end of the deal but the Italian and German agents already on the scene had different thoughts.


In both the other series I have detailed by Francis Beeding, I have sung the praises of the two men who worked together to create such entertaining works as they did. I could say it all again but I would rather just recommend you first my write-ups on them and then, to see the praises of so many others, check out the web. These guys were awesome and over a half century after both left us, I still sing their praises, as do others who are finding out for themselves.

Ronald Briercliffe could have been a great character just by himself but when adding in the "co-stars", the series is a must-read for fans of pre-WWII spy fiction. These books deserve a look-see.


My Grade: A


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