Andreas Prokovitch Zaleshoff is a Soviet spy.
So is his highly dangerous, and somewhat seductive, sister, Tamara Prokovna.
The male Zaleshoff gets title credit because he is the more prominent of the two but it is important to keep in mind that wherever he goes, she is likely to be close and ignoring her can be fatal.
Zaleshoff is deeply involved in two adventures in which he plays a major role, neither of them as the star of the action but both of which he is highly instrumental in the action that ensues. He is identified at the beginning of the first as being an "unofficial representative of the USSR in Switzerland", a pleasant way of indicating that he is a covert operative for their intelligence community. Exactly which of the myriad bureaus in the Soviet hierarchy he works for is not clear but he most definitely is up to his diminuitive neck in subtefuge.
He is described as "broad-shouldered man of about thirty-eight, with brown, curly hair that shot up at an angle of forty-five degrees from his forehead. His clean-shaven face was ugly, but not unpleasantly so. 'Knobbly' would have been an unkind description; 'rugged' would have been a trifle too romantic. His nose was large and pugnacious, and he had a habit of shooting out his lower jaw when he wished to be emphatic. His eyes were of a surprising blue and very shrewd."
Of Tamara it is said that she "was not, by ordinary standards, beautiful. Her face was an idealized version of her brother's. The complexion was perfect and the proportions were good, but the bone structure was a little too masculine. Her hands were exquisite."
Both of the Zaleshoff are cosmopolitan by nature, fitting in comfortably in just about any setting be it a darkened room searching for something hidden or in a crowded banquet hall hobnobbing with gentry and businessmen with ease, especially the brother. Interestingly, while unconfirmed, it is stated by one who knows of them that they were "Russian, of course; but they were both, I believe, brought up in the United States."
Said by Zaleshoff, "I'd sooner be served by a fool I could trust than an expert who might betray me."
Said about him, "If this man Zaleshoff is a spy, he probably doesn't read spy stories."