John Boldre is a British bureaucrat.
He is not officially a part of any British intelligence agency; not MI5 or MI6 or Special Branch or GCHQ. Nor is he a part of any unnamed, ultra-secret department. He really is from the sound of his position very much just a bureaucrat. Except that he really wasn't.
We are told early on in one of his three recorded adventures that "Boldre wore two hats in the Cabinet Secretariat. Head of the Modern History Division and chairman of the Contingency Committee - a team drawn from among his colleagues in various departments of the Secretariat. The committee only met in circumstances so unforeseen as to be uncatered for by the normal bureaucratic drills. This second hat had, from time to time, caused Boldre to be landed with problems which, though contingencies, were certainly not such as a Civil Servant historian could normally be expected to grapple with. Success in these matters had brought its trials. More and more he was being expected to deal with problems which, though always politically flavoured, were rightly the business of either Special Branch or Security."
Boldre professes that of his various duties, the one that interests him the most is the historian aspect but his attitude and his behavior contradicts this. Boldre obviously enjoys the challenges the "contingency" work brings him.
Interestingly in this capacity, Boldre is given the equivalent rank of "Assistant Chief Constable" which apparently is the third highest rank of all British police forces and as such carries considerable authority and weight. Boldre, when told about his first assignment in this capacity comments that this would be the first time he has handled a situation like this in country but obviously not the first time overall. In fact, on that first case, he is told he already has a reputation of being a "copper in an academic disguise".
Boldre is married to Rowena and the father of their two teenage sons, Richie and Rory.