Slade McGinty is a private investigator.
He makes his home and has his office in London where he is licensed but he is most definitely a man very comfortable on the Continent and if a commission (as he calls his cases) takes him across the Channel to other European countries, he is not only at ease there, he seems especially happy to accommodate. Part of that comfort is likely to come from the fact that for a time, obviously after WWII, he was employed for an organization called the French Services Central, an intelligence bureau.
For several years after he left the Intelligence business and before he went off on his own, he was employed in England for the Kerton American Detective Agency and remains close to the London officer manager. I mention this because that man who obviously knows (and likes) McGinty quite a bit teases him that "caution was never [his] strong point". This may sound a tad harsh but as we will see in the course of his adventures, while McGinty is by no means foolish or silly in his actions, he is absolutely bold in the paths he will take to get a job done. Walking into a trap, knowing it is a trap, is something he could easily choose to do because it would cut a lot of delay.
He is described as "a very attractive man with his long, keen face and dark auburn hair", prone to carrying his "six feet two inches of lithe body" in an "easy, loose-limbed way", complete with a "devil-may-care gleam in his bold, grey-green eyes". As one woman thought after meeting him for the first time, he was "a man who had been places and done things". His tact can be impressive and he has an ability to listen that makes people want to share their secrets with him. On the other hand, as is not uncommon for that time frame, McGinty is prone to addressing any attractive woman as "baby" or something similarly gauche.
In one conversation when a perspective client said he had heard McGinty was "a much travelled and experience private investigator and something of a linguist", McGinty admitted, "I've knocked around quite a bit and I can get by in half a dozen languages". This will make him very much in demand by a lot of people.
Unfortunately for McGinty, who charges what some clients declare to be a considerable amount for his services, while he makes very good money, he likes the good life and he is frequently in need of a job to help cover his lifestyle.
McGinty's membership in this compendium comes from a majority of his recorded adventures finding him either dipping his feet in spy game yet again or diving full-body into that pool.
- Said by McGinty about himself, "I've never been strong on morals".
- Thought by McGinty about a client, "He looked about as moral as a one-armed bandit".
- When invited once again to return to the cloak-and-dagger work for British Intelligence, McGinty demurs with, "I prefer to be free to wallow in my own gutter, not to be pushed in, willy-nilly. Besides, the pay is too low".