Francesca 'Frankie' Fox is an agent with Griffin.
That is the name of the international spy agency whose primary task is to "protect the world's greatest treasure - freedom". To accomplish that, it spends most of its time and energy fighting the ever-dangerous Alliance (more on that later).
She is not one when we first meet her, though not from a lack of trying. As we are told almost immediately in the initial recorded adventure, "Frankie had always wanted to be a spy. Other girls wanted dolls and ponies for their birthdays, but Frankie had always asked for things like binoculars or a waterproof watch". To achieve her goal, this young girl, aged 11, has been teaching herself how to be a spy "one step at a time".
This is definitely not something you would learn as an average student at the Chumsworth School for Girls in Harbour City, Australia. They certainly had no books on the matter in their library. But that was alright with Fox because her father had suddenly left for her to find, inside a plain brown paper bag, the perfect gift for someone with her interests: The Spy's Handbook.
Fox is the proud daughter of Fergus Fox, a man who was "very famous and very rich". Fergus Fox is "a brilliant scientist who ran a secretive set of labs on Fortress Island and suspected that lots of people wanted to steal his secrets, or his money. Or both". We will learn that Fergus has plenty of both - secrets and money. He is a terrific and successful inventor. And he has a few billion dollars.
The father and daughter lived in a very nice and large house along with their housekeeper, Hanna. Fox's mother had passed away when Fox was a very little girl. Now when I say that they lived in the house, I mean that the father and the housekeeper did - Fox had her own set of rooms in a boathouse "178 stairs away from the main house".
In that segregated facility, Fox keeps her slew of trophies proudly displayed; Under-8 Fencing, Under-7 Motocross Challenge, etc., each showing her athletic abilities as well as her interests, almost all of whom meant to help her achieve her goal of becoming a spy. That was also where she was 'protected' by Boss, her West Highland White Terrier, if a tiny and super-friendly little canine could be thought to be a guard dog; then again it would not be smart to ignore him.
Now on the Alliance - it "was a mysterious organization that was growing in strength all over the world. It was a group committed to creating havoc. No one knew where they were based or who their leader was. They had shut down power stations in Eastern Europe, causing blackouts for months at a time. Recently, they had created chaos in the air by jamming air traffic control frequencies in the USA. Some said that Harbour City was their next target, but no one could be sure what the Alliance had planned".
Fox will find that her desires to become an operative will become a reality - as will the danger she will face from the Alliance.
- One of the lessons from The Spy's Handbook: "Remember: nothing is a coincidence. There may be something more sinister at work".
- Another lesson: "If you think someone is following you, then you are probably being followed".