cronley_james_bk_ts cronley_james_bk_dan cronley_james_bk_cod cronley_james_bk_tao cronley_james_bk_teome
Full Name: James D. Cronley, jr.
Series Name: Clandestine Operations
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: W.E.B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth IV
Time Span: 2014 - 2018


James Cronley is an agent with the CIA.

At least he will be. Once the CIA exists. As we first meet Cronley, the Agency is just being formed and the people who would become its founding members are being collected and vetted and indoctrinated. It will be an exciting and worrisome time for each of them because there are no rules for this sort of thing and no manual for how things are to be done.

Add to that there is a tremendous amount of negative energy being directed towards the nascent group. The Soviet Union does not want the competition which means its brand new satellite states do not as well. The FBI is as turf-conscious as it can be and the idea of the new kid on the block is not well received. The Pentagon is particularly upset because the genesis of the CIA was the Office of Strategic Services and the brass wants to believe they controlled it, whether they actually did or not.

So into this bubbling pot of potential and anxiety and jealousy, young agents like Cronley quickly learn there is no safety net for them and a fall usually meant death.

We meet 2nd Lt. Cronley, an officer in the U.S. Army Cavalry, in late October of 1945 when he has just come back from a mission for the OSS in which he removed from the possess of Nazis fleeing to Argentina a good amount of uranium oxide meant for their continued atomic weapon research. The recognition for this successful mission extended up the chain of command to the President and would be a major factor for his jumped promotion to Captain and his movement soon thereafter to the newly formed Central Intelligence Group, later changed to the CIA.

Cronley is described as a "handsome young officer - blond, six-foot-one, 212 pounds" and further said to be a "lanky and tanned Texan". He is the son of an influential man born and bred in the Lone Star state and a German WWI war bride. He is dashing in his uniform and a bit jauntey in his demeanor and not a little sassy when the opportunity arises. He is also newly married the day after his return from South America and then widowed the next day due to a drunk truck driver.

Though the beginning history of the CIA is richly detailed with intimate conversations and actions by the key players include Truman, the key actor in most of the action described is Cronley, a 22-year old man who had already shown enough success that the first Director of the new agency had dubbed him "Super Spook".


Number of Books:5
First Appearance:2014
Last Appearance:2018

1 Top Secret Top Secret
Written by W.E.B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth IV
Copyright: 2014

As his first big assignment with the new Agency, James Cronley must pull an important piece of information from a Soviet agent but he starts off badly by angering his bossess so there are some people in the mix who would prefer he fail.
buy from Amazon

2 The Assassination Option The Assassination Option
Written by W.E.B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth IV
Copyright: 2014

Given a major promotion for having accomplished his previous mission, James Cronley is now in charge of a major top secret operation but there are a lot of people in the Pentagon who are jealous and angry. And angry does not begin to describe how J. Edgar Hoover is feeling about it. And then there are the Soviets to consider.
buy from Amazon

3 Curtain Of Death Curtain Of Death
Written by W.E.B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth IV
Copyright: 2016

When four Soviet NKGB operatives snatch two WACs leaving an officers' club in Munich, things go badly for the agents. One of the women is really working for James Cronley and the new CIA and she leaves three dead and one wounded. Though it was self-defense, it causes a major uproar in Germany and shows that the rules of engagement have definitely been altered.
buy from Amazon

4 Death At Nuremberg Death At Nuremberg
Written by W.E.B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth IV
Copyright: 2017

It was good new - bad news for James Cronley. He was awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit. He was also no longer the Chief, DCI-Europe. His new assignment was impressive, though. He was to not only help keep the U.S. chief Nuremberg prosecutor from getting kidnapped by the Soviets, he was to find a way to bring down the Odessa organization helping Nazis flee to Argentina.
buy from Amazon

5 The Enemy Of My Enemy The Enemy Of My Enemy
Written by W.E.B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth IV
Copyright: 2018

Having caught a couple of major Nazi war criminals from escaping with the help of Odessa, James Cronley was given some well deserved vacation time. While gone, though, Odessa managed to break the men out and now Cronley must recapture them and to help locate a missing treasure stashed away by Himmler before his death.
buy from Amazon


Anyone who has picked up a tome by W.E.B. Griffin knows the man put two things into every book he wrote - a ton of research and an equal amount of words. The adventures of James Cronley as part of Clandestine Operations are certainly no exception. There is a mountain of history in these pages which make them fascinating, even knowing that much if not most of the conversations and thoughts are fictionalized. They may or may not have been said or thought but the results are clearly in the history books and those words are entertaining.

Surprisingly for such hefty tales, the amount of time that transpires inside them is quite short. A lot happens from the first event in October of 1945 to the last one (so far) in the same month a year later. And the way that the two authors present it, it is never boring.


My Grade: B+

Your Average Grade:   A-


morris00 A- 2020-07-06

Follows a pattern of his other series. Rich,young know it all lead, who succeeds mostly by dumb luck.

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.