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Full Name: Colonel Mostyn
Nationality: British
Organization: NATO
Occupation Spymaster

Creator: Mark Hebden
Time Span: 1970 - 1977


Colonel Mostyn is a spymaster.

Of course, by that I mean he is the man who directs agents of one sort or another to go places and do things and come back for more instructions. He is very good at this and one of the reasons for his proficiency is that he once was one of those being so directed and he knows the kind of trouble likely to be encountered so he can better judge who he picks.

The rank of colonel is a legitimately earned one in the British Army. For more than a few years he had served Her Majesty's government in the infantry in skirmishes and out-and-out wars all over the globe. Remembering that the adventures we find him involved in take place during the early 70s and he is not a young man at this time, we can imagine that twenty years or more back was when he did his service which would put him in likely in the action of WWII and certainly during the troubles in the Middle East as those countries ended their years under the Protectorate of the Crown.

He would likely never have left his work as an infantry officer had it not been for the time "that old tank fell on my foot", a droll depiction of a combat injury that severely injured him and left with a limp he still has a couple decades later. Invalided out of normal field duty but still possessing a keen mind and otherwise very fit 6'3" lean and hard body, Mostyn moved over into the Intelligence line of work because he needed something to do and there was always the "odd job" here or there that could use his talents. He found he was rather good at it.

Mostyn could have returned to the private sector easily enough. He had come from privilege, as they say, and had a more than decent income from his family, he loved giving back and would not have seriously considered otherwise. He was described early on as one who "couldn't possibly have been anything but English". Elsewhere it is stated "Mostyn was that strange phenomenon that was thrown up only by the British Army - the poetry-reading warrior who hid a sharp professional efficiency behind a bland amateur exterior."

In appearance, Mostyn is a "long thin man with a beak of a nose" and "hard, alert eyes" which "became vague and blank at once, as though it were a special expression he wore to face the world." "There didn't seem to be a curve to his face or body that hadn't been smoothed down by years of breeding, and his hair and eyes were pale to the point of anonymity." He is prone to smoking Gaulois Riz cigarettes which he kept in a gold monogrammed case and lit "with a delicate, almost effeminate movement of his hands".

Though he might, likely purposefully, give the impression of a someone who was no danger to anyone, he could and did show the contrary at a moment's notice.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1970
Last Appearance:1977

1 Mask of Violence Mask of Violence
Written by Mark Hebden
Copyright: 1970

The thousands of students gathered outside the military facility are there to protest the arms race but Major Mostyn and his associates suspect the people behind the rally have something far more sinister in mind and are using the protest as a distraction.

2 A Pride of Dolphins A Pride of Dolphins
Written by Mark Hebden
Copyright: 1974

The plan was incredibly audacious and frightening. Through blackmail, extortion and outright violence gather a team of unwilling but forced submariners, lure a British submarine into a trap, and then take possession of the vessel. The fact that the boat contained a large amount of poison gas makes it even more horrific. That is the challenge facing Mostyn and his associates at NATO.

3 The League of 89 The League of 89
Written by Mark Hebden
Copyright: 1977

The numbers were 30...48...89. They took on some very interesting importance when a plane crashed in a remote area of Scotland and got Mostyn and team involved in a large amount of missing NATO armament. On the plane were several known troublemakers from different parts of the world. Why they were together was a mystery as was why the plane had a good amount of stolen gold. And that was just beginning of the trouble.


Watching a smart group of bad guys ready to pull off a very smart caper, especially when espionage is involved, has always enchanted me. I love a good caper which is why I loved Richard Stark's Parker gritty books and Donald E. Westlake's Dortmunder comic crime books. Both had awesome capers in them (and they were all written by the same guy). Topkapi is a film I love watching over and over. I mention this because the bad guys in the Colonel Mostyn books are in that category.

Luckily, Mostyn is pretty sharp himself and watching him go after them is a hoot!


My Grade: B+


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