Cat Powell is an agent with the CIA.
This is an interesting series of adventures in that the lead operative in each case is the aforementioned Cat but the actual tales are related to us by her half-sister, Lindsey Carlisle, and it would not be wrong to give her co-billing. Nevertheless, I have chosen Cat as the main 'star'.
Cat is short for Catherine Ames Powell. She is well into her fifties when we first meet her with virtually all of that adult life having been spent working for the Agency. Several decades before she had graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies. Now after so many years studying that area she is considered a very knowledgeable person in all matters dealing with the region. Her fluency in both Arabic and Farsi helps a lot.
The very first time we hear about her is when her sister, Lindsey, is told of her death in a horrible explosion along with Cat's husband, Tom. To paraphrase Twain, the reports were exaggerated but in this case it was done so by Powell herself as part of a plan to uncover a particularly nasty operation. To accomplish that goal she will need to put together a task force made up of several individuals from different government agencies as well as vital computer expertise from the small IT company that Lindsey owns.
Lindsey, the narrator and also one of those who gets involved in the action, is two decades younger than her big sister. She had no interest in the cloak and dagger business, preferring her own area of study as a computer science expert but she is a quick learner and her keen intellect and tenacity comes in handy.