Joe Wilderness is an agent with MI-6.
Not so you would notice, of course. And not like Wilderness would admit to it. Wilderness is sort of cagey that way about his work and his life. That is not only because that is the way Wilderness is but also because it sort of true and sort of not.
First of all, Wilderness is not his name. His name is John Wilfrid Holderness. He got the nickname of Joe Wilderness from the ladies he associates with who apparently find his lack of committment unpleasant. He seems to like the name, though.
Secondly, Wilderness is a former crook of some skill and is now a private investigator of not so much ability. Divorces and the like are his primary money maker. But at least he is largely legit.
Back in his early days living with his grandfather who taught him all the things a good grifter and cheat would need to know, Wilderness was doing alright for himself and enjoying it. He was a good cat burglar and a better than average card sharp and pretty much game for anything that looks the least bit shady.
Then came WWII and right afterwards a call for duty by the British Army and life is changed for him. Largely. He is serving as he should but in Berlin after the war, the black market is begging for entrepenuers and he is decidedly one. But even that gets changed when he gets a visit from a fellow from MI-6 who could use someone of his abilities.
Jump ahead nearly two decades and we have Wilderness as the gumshoe and suddenly old folks from the before days are calling or dropping by and MI-6 is remembering his address and things get very complicated for the Cockney fellow.
Wilderness is not especially out to get rich. He would just like to stay alive.