benedict_augustus_bk_tswaae benedict_augustus_bk_tswbf
Full Name: Augustus Benedict
Nationality: British
Organization: MI5
Occupation Agent

Creator: P. J. Anderson
Time Span: 2021 - 2023


Augustus 'Gus' Benedict is an agent with MI5.

It is the second half of the 1950s that we begin to follow Benedict in his government work of catching spies operating on British soil, whether they come from a different nation to do the espionage work or were homemade.

Officially, Benedict is a private investigator, owner and operator of the Augustus Benedict Detective Agency. "As the Mayfair address suggest, most of our business is top drawer stuff. There is the usual depressing divorce related work, but that is extremely remunerative, given the pedigree and desire for absolute discretion of our clients, and is therefore not to be sniffed at. Then things go up a rung or two on the ladder. My allegedly distinguished past in the intelligence services is an open secret amongst those with the right contacts and we get clients who would like us to collect intelligence on rival companies, rival individuals and rival anything really. Powerful people don't much like rivals, full stop. I draw the line ethically on some of the things we're asked to do and that will always be the case. We're not an unprincipled operation. On the other side of the coin there are those who want advice on how best to protect themselves against the intelligence gathering of others. All of that is very remunerative work and we are the primary agency of choice for those who want people who can do that kind of burrowing and counter-burrowing."

"Then there are the cases which the police haven't been able to solve. Where loved ones are involved, those with sufficiently gilt-edged bank accounts will come to us to find the answers that the boys in blue failed to provide. Most commonly it will be about missing sons, daughters, wives or husbands. Sometimes we will be asked to look into unsolved murders, or to determine the whereabouts of unrecovered stolen money. And then there are the cases that simply grab my fancy, that I might undertake almost as a hobby and at my own expense." Those cases are intesting as they involve helping desperate people with little or no money, without charge, for such things he maintains a second office in the East End, using a pseudonym to not intimidate the would-be clients.

Back on his work with MI5, a woman Benedict was trying to convince to come work for him put it quite well with "Your past as a very, very ever so very secret intelligence man means that, from time to time, a little bit of hush-hush work is outsourced to you for a suitable fee, is it not? Your reputation and skills are far too good for that not to be true." She got a smile and a refusal by Benedict to admit anything, "I couldn't possibly comment - and if I did have any hush-hush work to do, I would be doubly unable to comment."

Benedict stands 6'3" with "polished good looks [which] might cause him to be mistaken for a Hollywood romantic lead, but he'd been without a leading lady for some time".

Good Lines:
- Said by Benedict when jokingly called a 'Robin Hood', "I'm afraid I don't believe in any 'isms' nowadays - capitalism, socialism, communism, you name it, they are not words that trip lightly off the tongue of Gus Benedict anymore".


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2021
Last Appearance:2023

1 The Spy With An Angel's Eyes The Spy With An Angel's Eyes
Written by P. J. Anderson
Copyright: 2021

"An assassin is randomly targeting spies in London during the mid-1950s. With no easily discernible motive and contradictory evidence as to who might be controlling him, MI5 call in Gus Benedict, one of their most experienced former intelligence officers, to help unravel the puzzle. What he uncovers is a web of intrigue that seems to point to London’s criminal underworld, with the strings being pulled by a foreign power. Maverick CIA agent Jennifer Marquis joins in the hunt and things head in a direction that no-one could have anticipated."
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2 The Spy Who Breathed Fear The Spy Who Breathed Fear
Written by P. J. Anderson
Copyright: 2023

"A master of disinformation, assassination and the penetration of governments, Colonel Zaliatev presented the biggest threat that British Intelligence had encountered during the Cold War. The deadly cat and mouse games that the Colonel played in London led MI5 to call in Gus Benedict, one of their most experienced former intelligence officers, a man who was capable of engaging with the formidable KGB master strategist as an equal. The late 1950s were a perilous period in the Cold War and Zaliatev was one of its most dangerous people."
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There have been a fair number of really good series in which the protagonist is a private investigator who gets mixed up with spy stuff. And there have been a handful in which the private eye is in fact working for the government. That is case here and the author pulls it off very nicely.

I enjoyed both of the two adventures that exist as of this writing and since the latest just came out, I hold out hope there will be more. Gus Benedict is a very interesting and fun fellow to follow and I really like the time period he is operating in - I was too young to remember much of it but obviously the author knows his stuff.


My Grade: B+


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