Ronald Malcolm reads books for the CIA.
He is a man who would have felt at home on the set of a M*A*S*H* show with the blatant disregard he has for the authority of his bosses but he isn't a disillusioned agent. He reads books. He also reads magazines and pamphlets and newspapers from all over the world but mostly he reads books.
Malcolm had never thought of working for the Agency before he was offered the job. He was a college grad student, taking his Masters final exam in Literature. After he had written for a couple hours on various books from history, he came to the final question, one dealing with Don Quixote, a book he had never read. Rather than leave it empty or fake his way through it, he took the amusing approach of admitting he had never read it but then comparing Quixote and Panza to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Two days later he was called into the Administrator's office not to be chastised but to be queried about his interest in mysteries.
Then came the offer to read mysteries and thrillers and such for the government. After the standard background check, he was made a part of the American Literacy Historical Society, a cover for a department officially known as Section 9, Department 17 (CIAID). His office was in a brownstone two blocks from the Library of Congress where he spent each day reading and reporting on books from all over the world.
As the series opens, he just read the wrong ones.
Another key character in the series is Kevin Powell, the aged wise man of the Agency, who is not above using the Condor in two separate instances even though he knew full well that his 'victim' was anything but a trained agent.