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BRIAN FORDINGHAME

fordinghame_brian_bk_tpop velesoffsy_baron_bk_ff fordinghame_brian_bk_hs fordinghame_brian_bk_tmm
 
Full Name: Brian Fordinghame
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Spymaster

Creator: Sydney Horler
Time Span: 1926 - 1934

ABOUT THE SERIES

Brian Fordinghame is a spymaster with British Intelligence.

By that term I mean he apparently runs the show in the small bureau he is involved with. He is said to be "Chief of that important Branch of the British Secret Service known as Y1 to the authorities". As such, it is his job to decide what matters need addressing and which of his handful of skilled operatives he should assign to handle them. He comes across as an avuncular style leader, caring for his people but willing to be strong when needed.

He seems to be very much a hands-on sort of leader, getting involved in the missions, likely from not being able to let go of his days of being in the field himself.

When we meet him he has already earned, quite some time before from what I can determine, a knighthood for services rendered to the Crown, almost certainly in the years leading up to and through the Great War.

His reputation will be tested but then strengthened in the first recorded adventure when he has to switch gears from fighting against the expansionist aims of Germany's Kaiser and go up against the new still learning and still growing Soviet Union and its aims of spreading communism throughout Europe. Not helping at all will be a large contingent of Socialists in England who sing that new country's praises. Fordinghame is decidedly not one of them.

The first adversary that we have the pleasure to watch Fordinghame have to go up against is the Soviet spymaster Baron Veseloffsky and it is combating that devious genius that we get to see just how good Fordinghame is, although he does have and needs help.

After Fordinghame is able to handle the dastardly, and rather impressive Soviet spymaster in that first adventure, his problems to be solved in the next three cases will seem rather tame although not without some interesting twists.


BOOKS

Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1926
Last Appearance:1934

       This is a companion series to the one about the Soviet ace operative and manipulator Baron Veseloffsky in that the first time we meet the bad Baron he is going up against the protagonist of this series, Sir Brian Fordinghame.

       After that, Fordinghame and Veseloffsky would go their separate ways and the later having one more crack at bringing down the West while the former would have other problems to solve.

1 False-Face False-Face
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1926

Sir Brian Fordinghame is the agent in charge when British authorities are asked to "safeguard the safety" of a visiting American genius inventor who has something exciting to show; something that the Russians, led by their ace operative Baron Veseloffsky, is determined to get.

2 The Murder Mask The Murder Mask
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1930

[plot unknown]

3 High Stakes High Stakes
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1932

For a blurb: "They might have passed for twins - yet one was an agent of the British Intelligence and the keen wits of the other was for sale, and no questions asked, to the highest bidder. You can appreciate the opportunities this offers. [All of this is in ] this story of international fencing for an invention calculated to revolutionize naval warfare. There is also a lady whose history is as dark as her beauty is dazzling."

4 The Prince Of Plunder The Prince Of Plunder
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1913

A mastermind at blackmail has been targeting the rich and powerful of London, forcing them to unload large amounts of money or risk having their private escapades revealed. When one of his people kills a friend and colleague of Sir Brian Fordinghame, that veteran spymaster seeks justice and revenge.

MY COMMENTS

Any series that starts with the protagonist going up against a genius antagonist worthy of being called that has a huge plus and an equally huge minus going for it.

Starting strong like this series does with False-Face lets us see how good the main character, Fordinghame, can be. But then if the villains of the follow-up series are not as strong (and they do not seem to be, IMHO) the series loses steam quickly.

The other main spymaster that the author created, Sir Harker Bellamy was able to stay around because he became attached to Tiger Standish. Fordinghame did not have such a success.

GRADE

My Grade: C

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