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Full Name: Bernard Newman
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Bernard Newman
Time Span: 1935 - 1968


Bernard Newman is a part-time agent with British Intelligence.

If you have some confusion over the fact that the name of this protagonist is the same as the author of these adventures, allay your concerns for they are indeed one and the same. These many "missions" that the man undertakes on behalf of the United Kingdom are said to be semi-biographical fictionalized remembrances.

Newman is an interesting man, to say the least. He talks repeatedly of his "modest successes" in helping British Intelligence with this small but vital matter here and that insignificant but vital matter there; in all matters his part is downplayed repeatedly in the accounts but in a way to ensure no one forgets he was the linchpin to all the successes.

Newman will be given the rank of Captain in the British Army thanks to his many escapades on behalf of their Intelligence division. He sees no real (that I can find) action on any official battlefield but he definitely earns his plaudits in the back alleys and dark corners and dank rooms where covert activities are constantly changing the fortunes of armies.

He comes to the covert work thanks to his "knowledge of Europe and my most un-English command of languages - the latter the heritage of an Alsatian mother". Because the region of Alsace has been fought over by the French and the Germans for a couple hundred years, those living there have a total grasp of both languages and both histories. His father was a Englishman who was on a walking-tour (hiking trip for Yanks) in the Black Forest when he happened to meet his future wife who was there visiting a school friend. After the two married and Newman came along, the young man would spend much of his time in England with his parents and in Alsace during the summer months.

Newman inherited his father's love of taking those protracted walking trips as well as a devotion to bicycle riding tours all over Europe in the years before the hostilities of WWI began. [While little mention is made of his source of income, it is implied that money was never an issue Newman had to worry about.] As a result of his many, many forays all over the Continent, from the northern parts of Holland, Denmark, and Germany to the southern climes of Spain and Portugal and Italy and the Balkans, Newman learned all the various parts and gathered good friends in all these regions. These friends would come in handy over the years.

In the many adventures that exist in which Newman takes part, he is usually working closely with someone who Newman gets temporarily connected.

In the beginnings it will be a Sergeant Marshall, later Inspector, with what is initially called "Special Service from Scotland Yard" and later the Special Branch. In a considerable number of adventures Marshall will play a major role though it is the first few that Newman describes in which Marshall is most prominent; his later parts are always vital but often less visible. From the beginning of their relationship, however, the friendship between the two is strong; Marshall was the best man at Newman's marriage to his beloved Margaret.

After a short time, the friendship, and unofficial partnership, of greatest significance to Newman's chronicles will start with the ever-interesting "Papa" Pontivy. This highly regarded and quite remarkable French detective has at times worked for both the Deuxieme Bureau (external security) and the Surete Nationale (internal security) and is the man to call whenever there is a turf war between the two.

In addition to handling major matters of espionage and state security, Newman has had time for helping solve the occasional "mundane" murder or two. These are brought to his attention likely as a result of his occasional profession as a traveling reporter/correspondent., though how much time he actually spent being such is debatable (hence my earlier comment about his income or lack of need for such).

One thing for certain about this version of Captain Bernard Newman is that the man loves, indeed seems to live for, excitement and saving the day. And he is pretty good at it, if he does say so himself.


Number of Books:25
First Appearance:1935
Last Appearance:1968

Lists of the bibliography of this very prolific writer often details three series he is most often associated with: Inspector Marshall, Papa Pontivy, and Tiger Lester.

That last one was written under a pseudonym and deals with Lester all by himself with no help from "Bernard Newman".

The first two, however, show up as series written by Newman about the indicated character. The lists do not show, though, that Newman himself is the narrator for each story and it is he that plays a major, if not the major, role. As a result of the fact that these lists mention both those characters, I have marked in comments for each entry below what "series" they are a part of. I have also created separate Character Pages in this compendium for each even though those adventures are also mentioned below.

In the first book in the "Inspector Marshall" series, as shown below, Marshall does not make an entrance until 80% of the adventure has gone by. And in the other three that are "traditionally" regarded as Marshall tales, Newman is the protagonist with Marshall being there to help out, albeit a lot. Furthermore, even though most lists of Inspector Marshall adventures will list the first two I have indicated below or the four that I have, Marshall actually plays a huge role in most, though not all, of the Papa Pontivy stories as well. Why then the lists showing the 2 or the 4 books do not also mention the others, I do not know. For clarity sake, I have added a "note" to the plot descriptions of any adventure Marshall is actually in to show how big a role he has.

In the books that are normally included in lists of Papa Pontivy books, Newman (the author and narrator) still places himself (IMHO) at the forefront of all the action but he does have the decency to make the reader know it is really Pontivy who is the genius that saves the day. We first meet Pontivy in the book marked as the first in "his" series but narrator Newman makes it sound like he and Inspector Marshall were already friends with and had worked with Pontivy before. I have scoured every book that Newman is said to have written around that time and I can find no reference to Pontivy before that first book in his series. Either I have missed one (doubtful but possible) or narrator Newman wanted to skip any initial meeting and go with a "Hey, here's our old friend, Pontivy!" approach.

1 Spy Spy
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1935

Book #1 in what is sometimes considered the Inspector Marshall series.
A supposedly fictionalized account of his own early days as a spy, this book depicts the adventures of Bernard Newman as a British spy against WWI Germany. This will include investigating the attempted assassination of the sitting Prime Minister of England in 1918, Lloyd George.
Note: Marshall is a Sergeant with "the Special Service men from Scotland Yard" who shows up towards the end at Newman's request for help with the Lloyd George matter.

2 Secret Servant Secret Servant
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1935

Book #2 in what is sometimes considered the Inspector Marshall series.
With the actual fighting of WWI on the fields done, the fighting over the Treaty of Versailles gets underway. Captain Bernard Newman must infiltrate a highly secret organization who would love to reignite the conflict.
Note: Marshall, now an Inspector with "the Special Section of Scotland Yard", is now temporarily stationed in Paris with the British Delegation to the treaty negotiations and works with Newman in his latest mission.

3 The Mussolini Murder Plot The Mussolini Murder Plot
aka The Mussolini Murder Case
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1936

Book #3 in what is sometimes considered the Inspector Marshall series.
Supposedly based on actual events, this tells of the adventure where Captain Newman learns of a plot by "an international association of students" to assassinate Italian dictator Mussolini in 1935. Not wanting to see the fascist leader become a martyr to his cause, Newman works with Inspector Marshall to save the man's life.
Note: this is the first reference to Special Branch as being where Marshall hangs his official hat.
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4 Death Under Gibraltar Death Under Gibraltar
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1938

Book #4 in what is sometimes considered the Inspector Marshall series.
"Not every man is given the thrill of reading his own obituary notice". That is what Captain Bernard Newman tells us when a body identified as Newman is found in the southeast of Spain. Newman feels obliged to investigate which will get him deeply involved in the Spanish Civil War, not to mention forcing him to marry Mitza, a fearless young gypsy girl.
Marshall again plays a major role in helping Newman solve his own "murder".
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5 Maginot Line Murder Maginot Line Murder
aka Papa Pontivy and the Maginot Murder
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1939

Book #1 of the Papa Pontivy series.
The year is 1939. War is imminent in Europe but Captain Newman is on his honeymoon traveling the Continent. Papa Pontivy summons him to help investigate a "seemingly impossible murder" in one of the fortified bunkers making up the Maginot Line. They will have to deal with enemy spies even more than killers.
Marshall is mentioned a couple of times but plays no part.

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6 Death To The Spy Death To The Spy
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1939

Book #2 of the Papa Pontivy series.
The date is August, 1939. A group of Italians working in Corsica are suspected of espionage so Papa Pontivy, using Captain Newman for help, is called in to investigate. He soon learns that the men are in the pay of Germany, not Italy. He also discovers, over time, that their paymaster actually wants them to be caught to sour relations between France and Italy.
No info available on Inspector Marshall's participation.

7 Siegfried Spy Siegfried Spy
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1939

Book #3 of the Papa Pontivy series.
Papa Pontivy calls upon his old friend and colleague, Captain Bernard Newman, when reports of a German espionage ring come in talking of that group's plan to use a new, horrible weapon to destroy Allied forces. Newman must again make use of his abilities with disguises to infiltrate the enemy.
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8 Death To The Fifth Column Death To The Fifth Column
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1941

Book #4 of the Papa Pontivy series.
Before the fall of Paris, Papa Pontivy and Captain Newman start to investigate reports of the theft of British officer uniforms from a Paris Hotel. When they find the hotel manager murdered, they know that German spies are disguising themselves with those uniforms. Newman and Pontivy reciprocate by disguising themselves as a German officer and his French chauffeur to infiltrate Hitler's High Command to learn who the fifth columnists are.
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9 Secret Weapon Secret Weapon
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1942

Book #5 of the Papa Pontivy series.
Drummond is a British scientist who, in the early days of 1942, had created a powerful new bomb with which to strike terror in Germany and Italy. Not trusting politicians to use it properly, he decides to enlist the aid of Captain Newman and Papa Pontivy to head into enemy territory to show how it should be used.
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10 Black Market Black Market
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1942

Book #6 of the Papa Pontivy series.
Pontivy decides to forego for a while chasing German agents and concentrate on another major issue plaguing his beloved France - the Black Market. It is wrecking havoc on the economy and bringing down morale so Pontivy decides to spend time investigating and he pulls Newman in to help. Newman has also been temporarily pulled by spy-hunting to go on an extended lecture tour for the Ministry of Information.
Inspector Marshall is again a major part of this adventure although he is temporarily on loan to the Ministry of Food.
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11 Second Front - First Spy Second Front - First Spy
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1944

Book #7 of the Papa Pontivy series.
With the fall of France to German forces, Papa Pontivy has been forced to relocate to England to help with the war effort. He and Captain Newman begin a search for German sleeper agents - people placed into position years before to be available when called.
Inspector Marshall is a key player in this adventure.
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12 The Spy In The Brown Derby The Spy In The Brown Derby
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1945

Book #8 of the Papa Pontivy series.
The FBI needed the testimony of both Captain Newman and Papa Pontivy in a spy case so they are flown in the States to be available. Deciding to take a vacation, the two head to the West Coast where in Hollywood, Papa Pontivy is offered more than a year's salary to read a spy book being turned into a movie. This side gig as a technical advisor will land Pontivy in trouble with a young girl is found drugged in his hotel room.
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13 Dead Man Murder Dead Man Murder
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1946

Book #9 of the Papa Pontivy series.
Claiming that he is tired of catching spies, Papa Pontivy cries for a simple murder case. He gets one immediately but soon finds that the death of his dinner host, a former colonel in British Intelligence, is murdered in his own home. Now he and Bernard Newman have a killer to catch but the killer has his own plans.
Marshall is very much involved in this case and has now been promoted to Chief Inspector. He is still with Special Branch though he is already involved in a murder investigation when approached by Pontivy and Newman.

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14 Moscow Murder Moscow Murder
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1948

Book #10 of the Papa Pontivy series.
It is the late 1940s. The citizens of Moscow distrust everyone, especially each other, so it is no surprise when a visiting Bernard Newman is pulled in for questioning for no apparent reason. Which is why he will be spotted and pulled in to help with investigating a murder at his hotel. The deceased is a British citizen who had worked for years as a propagandist for the Soviet Union in England. Now in Moscow, he is dead and a Russian inspector wants Newman to help solve the case. Newman in turn calls upon Papa Pontivy when it is learned there is a German involvement in the matter.
Marshall back in England is deeply involved in this one investigating the dead man's actions and connections.
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15 Cup Final Murder Cup Final Murder
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1950

Bernard Newman is invited by an old friend, Nicholas Prince, to attend the Cup Final at Wembly Stadium. Neither expected to be through into a murder investigation. Prince is actually a former Russian Prince now an American citizen now a high ranking part of the FBI. The murder involves the death of a bookmaker of apparent natural causes but Prince recognizes the clever method of murder used and now it is up to he and Newman to unearth the killer.
Being on his home turf, Marshall plays a major role in this adventures. He has again been promoted, now being a Superintendent in the C.I.D. having left the Special Branch.
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16 Centre Court Murder Centre Court Murder
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1951

The death of a top tennis player, Annie Sharp, in the middle of a major match brings in Bernard Newman, along with his FBI friend Nicholas Prince, one of the many spectators in the stands at the time, to help investigate. While the deceased was engaged to be married to her manager, it is learned she had a secret lover as well and this person seemed to go by quite a few different names. As he searches for the truth, Newman will find other victims.
Superintendent Marshall of the C.I.D. will, naturally, be called in to help out in a large way.

17 Double Menace Double Menace
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1954

Book #11 of the Papa Pontivy series.
The blurb on this adventure cries "McCarthyism comes to 1950s Britain". An English press magnate is starting his own version of communist-bating, pushing strongly for the establishment of a police state to combat this perceived problem. Papa Pontivy is suspicious and decides to investigate, with Bernard Newman's help. They will discover there is a major Soviet agent presence in the matter but the question remains what is the purpose?
Marshall is definitely a major player in this matter although he is said to again be working again in the Special Branch, still as a Superintendent .
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18 Operation Barbarossa Operation Barbarossa
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1956

Book #12 of the Papa Pontivy series.
This is a flashback adventure showing a case Bernard Newman was involved in back in 1941 and the Second World War. An RAF officer is shot down and held in a POW camp. He holds classified intelligence much needed at HQ so Bernard Newman is ordered to break in, get it, and get out again. What he learns is the facts of Operation Barbarossa, a secret plan underway by the Germans. He and his friend, Papa Pontivy, decide to put a stop to it.
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19 The Otan Plot The Otan Plot
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1957

Book #13 of the Papa Pontivy series. It is also Book #10 of the Tiger Lester series.
An attack on a teenage schoolgirl in England has major espionage implications so Tiger Lester is called in to investigate and he asks his close friend and colleague, Midge Parker, to go undercover as a student. Since this matter is far more than just a sex offender case, Lester also asks the help of Papa Pontivy who also brings in Bernard Newman. The whole case will start to point towards the building crisis at the Suez Canal as well as an effort to destroy NATO cohesion. In French, NATO is spelt OTAN.
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20 Silver Greyhound Silver Greyhound
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1960

Book #14 of the Papa Pontivy series.
A high ranking official in the British Foreign Office wants the help of retired French spy-catcher Papa Pontivy to act as Queen's Messenger and deliver vital dispatches to a British agent behind the Iron Curtain. That official asks Bernard Newman to help convince Pontivy, which of course leads to Newman playing a major part in the matter.
Marshall plays a small role in this adventure, largely just getting info that Newman needs.
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21 This is Your Life This is Your Life
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1963

Book #15 of the Papa Pontivy series.
George Allin was a very, very smart man. He was also quite bitter about the way he had been treated by life and society and decided to declare war on that society by going into a life of crime. He was very good at it, enough so that he was able to gain respect as a philanthropist, even as he continued his life of crime. The authorities decided they needed help bringing to justice so they appealed to Papa Pontivy to turn his spy-catching into criminal-catching. Pontivy, aided by Bernard Newman, chooses to use the popular This Is Your Life television program to catch him.
It is Superintendent Marshall who is behind asking Pontivy's help and he plays a major part in the assist.
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22 The Travelling Executioners The Travelling Executioners
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1964

Book #16 of the Papa Pontivy series.
The term Travelling Executioners was used for the muscle men of Stalin's O.S.2 department, tasked with tracking down and eliminating any "enemy of the regime". When Khrushchev disbanded the organization, one of its leaders transferred himself to London to take over spying there. When he goes after a young diplomat with a honey trap, Papa Pontivy is asked to step in to help bring the spy cell down.
Since Soviet spies are in London, the involvement of Marshall of the Special Branch is easy to understand.
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23 The Spy at No. 10 The Spy at No. 10
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1965

Book #17 of the Papa Pontivy series.
Marshall of the Special Branch entices both Papa Pontivy and Bernard Newman into helping in an espionage-hunting case. Usually the Soviet operatives are very sophisticated and hard to spot. Not so with newly arrived Tomski who seems to make it a point to stand out as a spy. The question then is why. The answer will lead them all into a matter involving blackmail, theft, and murder.
Marshall is now described as being the man in charge of the Special Branch.
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24 Evil Phoenix Evil Phoenix
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1966

Book #18 of the Papa Pontivy series.
The year is 1965. In East Berlin, a major player in the call for reunification of the two Germany's, under communist control, has been revealed to be a card-carrying Nazi. After he disappears, the whole matter was hushed up. Now it appears his work has continued in the shadows and Europe is about to explode. Papa Pontivy is brought out of retirement to help track down who is behind it all and he asks Bernard Newman for help.
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25 Draw the Dragon's Teeth Draw the Dragon's Teeth
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1967

Book #19 of the Papa Pontivy series.
The year is 1966. The Vietnam War is going strong and the tensions between China and the Soviet Union are extremely strained. With Red China declaring it had its own nuclear weapons. the fear in London is that China would likely bring about WWIII unless its small stockpile was eliminated. Papa Pontivy is asked to help out and he comes up with the idea of the Legion of the Thousand to pull it off.
Marshall has a tiny role and is hardly mentioned.
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26 The Jail-Breakers The Jail-Breakers
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1968

Book #20 of the Papa Pontivy series.
The escape of a notorious spy named George Blake from Wormwood Scrubs prison was the talk of the town. Papa Pontivy and Bernard Newman are asked to help find out how the escape happened. They will discover a prolific jail-breaking gang is at work and the pair will have their work cut out for them bringing the team down.
Marshall is very much behind asking for Pontivy and Newman to assist and he plays a major role in the matter.
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Number of Stories:5
First Appearance:1945
Last Appearance:1945

In 1945 a collection of 31 stories of espionage was released in the volume titled Spy Catchers. Six of those tales involved Bernard Newman in one form or another although he might be rightfully considered the narrator of all of them.

1 The Wholesale Spy The Wholesale Spy
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1945

Story #10 in the collection Spy Catchers.
In a tale involving Inspector Marshall, Bernard Newman, and Papa Pontivy, the letters coming from a prisoner in a POW camp in Germany is somehow connected with a major spy ring operating in Birmingham.
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2 Spy Trap Spy Trap
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1945

Story #14 in the collection Spy Catchers.
The German attacks on an important war center of production was astonishingly accurate and causing tremendous vital damage. Obviously some German agent was providing intel. It becomes the chore of Inspector Marshall and Bernard Newman, along with their colleagues, to find that operative.
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3 V.I Flying Bomb V.I Flying Bomb
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1945

Story #16 in the collection Spy Catchers.
The year is 1938 and Bernard Newman is taking a bicycle tour of the Baltic. He is briefly detained while on the German island of Rugen before being allowed to continue. This heightened security interested him and he snoops enough to learn of the manufacturing plant for the then new V.I rocket. His report soon after to British Intelligence would help greatly when the rockets started falling on London the next year.
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4 Papa Pontivy and the I.R.A. Papa Pontivy and the I.R.A.
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1945

Story #25 in the collection Spy Catchers.
The year is 1938. The I.R.A. is making threats against the Dominion Secretary and it falls to Inspector Marshall to find a way to quell those plots. When he mentions to Bernard Newman and a visiting Papa Pontivy about the matter at dinner, the two decide they must help.
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5 The Trial Of Marius Derocq The Trial Of Marius Derocq
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1945

Story #26 in the collection Spy Catchers.
Papa Pontivy is a key witness, and Bernard Newman is on hand to help, at the trial of a man for espionage for helping in the procurement of info on the manufacturing of a new seaplane, one of the fastest in the world.
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6 The Rat Trap The Rat Trap
Written by Bernard Newman
Copyright: 1945

Story #31 in the collection Spy Catchers.
Taking place in 1919, Bernard Newman is attending the Peace Conference when he is invited to take part in the hunt for and capture of a spy causing trouble in those proceedings.
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You have GOT to admire the incredible chutzpah of Bernard Newman.

There are a good number of authors who have crafted protagonists that are semi-autobiographical, changing just enough to be able to pretend they are fictional but often with an implied wink and sly grin - you know who this really is, right?

Newman throws the "semi" out the window and forget the winking! This is me, he loudly proclaims. Look at all that I have done!!! His penchant for self-aggrandizement is remarkable but it paid off tremendously because there are numerous references in magazines and newspapers attesting to him being an authority in espionage in general and German skullduggery in particular.

He does usually have the decency to throw in someone else that can take a good share of the credit when successfully completing a mission. But he never shies away from taking a good deal of accolades himself and in so doing, made a fictional legend out of himself.


My Grade: B


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