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Full Name: John Dee
Series Name: Agents Of The Crown
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Oliver Clements
Time Span: 2020 - 2023


John Dee is an agent with British Intelligence.

Since the time frame for Dee's life and covert activities is the second half of the 16th Century during the reign of Elizabeth I of England, there is no government department per se for this. There is just Sir Francis Walsingham, Private Secretary to Her Majesty, and a man who has his tentacles in many areas and where he cannot go, he sends his operatives in his stead. Within the pages of these adventures, that impressive man plays major roles and shows himself to be not only spymaster but also himself an Agent of the Crown.

However, the true star of these tales is John Dee, not Walsingham. The blurbs for the various adventures tell us that through the actions of Dee, "Her Majesty's Secret Service is born with the charismatic John Dee at its head".

According to Wikipedia's entry on John Dee, "John Dee (13 July 1527 - 1608 or 1609) was an English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, teacher, occultist, and alchemist. He was the court astronomer for, and advisor to, Elizabeth I, and spent much of his time on alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy. As an antiquarian, he had one of the largest libraries in England at the time. As a political advisor, he advocated the foundation of English colonies in the New World to form a "British Empire", a term he is credited with coining."

Since the stories told of him in this series take place starting in 1572, Dee is 45 years old, already well into his careers and a man known throughout both the Royal Court and academia. He is well respected by many, feared by a good number, and hated by a considerable number because to the deeply religious his scientific stance defies the Will of God but to those learned men at universities, his forays into the occult are anathema to their methods.

He makes for a fascinating man to follow.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2020
Last Appearance:2023

1 The Eyes of the Queen The Eyes of the Queen
Written by Oliver Clements
Copyright: 2020

The year is 1572.
The Inquisition threatens the new enlightened period of English Queen Elizabeth I. "In this tense situation, Her Majesty’s Secret Service is born with the charismatic John Dee at its head. A scholar, a soldier, and an alchemist, Dee is loyal only to the truth and to his Queen. And for her, the woman he’s forbidden from loving, he is prepared to risk his life."
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2 The Queen's Men The Queen's Men
Written by Oliver Clements
Copyright: 2021

The year is 1577.
While Queen Elizabeth’s Privy Council debates how to best secure the throne in the wake of [a Spanish attack on the Queen] and Catholic Spain’s further intrusion into the Low Countries, the queen herself searches for the ultimate weapon to protect her country and throne: Greek fire, the recipe of which disappeared with the collapse of the Byzantine Empire. She orders her friend John Dee—scientist, philosopher, and spy—to rediscover this vital secret, despite his misgivings. For he understands that in a world fraught with coded messages, ruthless adversaries, and deadly plot, his mission to secure his nation’s future may prove impossible, unless he deploys the most effective weapon of all: intelligence.

3 All the Queen's Spies All the Queen's Spies
Written by Oliver Clements
Copyright: 2023

The year is 1583.
"With rumors of the end times swirling, philosopher and astronomer John Dee travels to Prague in an effort to prevent one of Catherine de Medici’s seductive ladies-in-waiting from luring the Holy Roman Emperor into a crusade against England.
To convince the famously occult-loving Emperor to join his side, Dee entices him with the esoteric Book of Secrets, a volume that, if decoded, could provide the chance to control the levers of heaven and earth. But Dee faces enemies at every turn, including a female codebreaker who could be the undoing of Dee and the British Empire."
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I had a strange time following the adventures of John Dee. In many ways it was like watching a scary movie in which I want to look away while still keep an eye on what is happening. 

One thing is certain, though, and that is the storytelling by the author, Oliver Clements, is darned impressive even if he does use the present tense style of writing (I am not a fan). He does a masterful job of setting scenes and letting you feel you are in the room with the characters.

The name of the series is "Agents of the Crown". The plurality of that title lets you know that while Dee is the main character, he is not the only operative at work. Keep an eye on Walsingham as well.


My Grade: B


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