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Full Name: Johnny Swift
Nationality: British
Organization: Foreign Office
Occupation Other - Diplomat

Creator: Alan Bardos
Time Span: 2021 - 2022


Johnny Swift is a British diplomat.

He is not a spy, or at least he does not start out that way and he would never aspire to be one; however exciting it might seem at time, it also sounded dangerous and that is something he would naturally avoid. That might sound to some that Swift is a bit of a coward and that is not what I want to convey. On the other hand, Swift is never one to demonstrate anything one might call exceptional bravery.

If one were to search for adjectives to describe this beginner diplomatic clerk, a word like young jumps out as does brash. After only a moment more considering, additional terms like lecherous and foolhardy would pop up as well. Thinking a bit more and considering what we quickly learn of his behaviour, we would probably come across degenerate and disgraceful and duplicitous.

Those are all mostly derogatory, of course. There are some not so demeaning. Handsome, playful, carefree, glib, personable. Those are positive ways that Swift possesses just as he has the less than pleasant traits. Suave, smooth, flirtatious - those two. And resourceful. And darned lucky.

We follow the interesting 'career' (note the quotes) of Swift starting when that man is 19 years old. The century is almost that age, the activities we watch him perform starting in 1914 just before the disastrous assassination which will bring about the Great War. We get an excellent look at his considered thought processes in the very opening pages of the first recorded adventure as Swift sits at a roulette table and places another soon-to-be losing wager on 19. It almost lands there but then doesn't and Swift, seasoned gambler that he isn't, decides to redouble his bet on the same number because "statistically, he knew that his number would come up eventually". Was it good or bad that the money he had lost so far was not his but instead his supervisor's, Sir George, which he was to have deposited as he routinely did in that man's Swiss bank account?

The foolishness of his gambling, followed immediately with a daliance with Sir George's young, beautiful wife, would be just part of the reason why, when someone was needed for a dangerous undercover job infiltrating a pack of murderous, undisciplined nihilists whose recklessness might start a war, Sir George thinks of Swift.

And that is how Swift, a diplomat, becomes Swift, a clandestine operative. Believe me, it wasn't his choice.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2021
Last Appearance:2022

1 The Assassins The Assassins
Written by Alan Bardos
Copyright: 2021

It is May, 1914.
Johnny Swift is a young diplomat assigned to the British embassy in Serbia. When someone is needed to infiltrate the radical group 'the Young Bosnians', who was suspected of plotting to kill Archduke Ferdinand, the Ambassador picks Swift, no little because that foolish young man was having an affair with the older diplomat's wife. It is not long before Swift finds himself way over his head in intrigue and danger.
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2 The Dardanelles Conspiracy The Dardanelles Conspiracy
Written by Alan Bardos
Copyright: 2021

It is January 1915.
Johnny Swift is yet again in very hot waters so when someone is needed to head to Constantinople to bribe the Turkish government there to get them on the British side, Swift is chosen. Swift will find two big obstacles besides the Turkish officials. One is his old nemesis, Lazlo Breitner, now working for the Austro-Hungarian government. The other is Swift's natural tendency to flock towards the fairer sex.
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2.5 A Fool's Errands A Fool's Errands
Written by Alan Bardos
Copyright: 2021

An omnibus containing the first two adventures: The Assassins and The Dardanelles Conspiracy.
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3 Enemies & Allies Enemies & Allies
Written by Alan Bardos
Copyright: 2022

It is November, 1916.
Johnny Swift, now a soldier and not a diplomat, is in a London hospital. The head of British Naval Intelligence is in need of someone like Swift - resourceful and duplicitous - to flush out a traitor in Paris causing trouble for the French war effort.
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Oh, what a wonderfully entertaining character young Johnny Swift makes, if for many of the wrong reasons. Wrong, that is, for a morally upstanding individual. So beautifully right for readers who do not mind a bit - okay, a lot - of behavior that should be correctly condemned in an individual but is so terrific in a naughty character we get to follow. Swift gets into a lot of trouble, mostly of his own making, but then we get to watch him pull non-existing rabbits out of invisible hats and somehow end up on the winning side.

I hope he keeps on being so - um, him.

And the writing is darn terrific as well which makes enjoying these adventures seem like almost double the sinful pleasure.


My Grade: A-


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