Killy_Francis3 Killy_Francis1 Killy_Francis2 Killy_Francis6 Killy_Francis5 Killy_Francis4
Full Name: Francis Xavier Killy
Series Name: The Inquisitor
Nationality: American
Organization: Militia Christi
Occupation Agent

Creator: Simon Quinn
Time Span: 1974 - 1975


Francis Xavier Killy is an operative for the Vatican.

More specifically, he is a Lay Brother in the Tertiary Order of Saint Dominic, Militia Christi, a tertiary branch of the Dominicans, working for the Holy Office of the Inquisition which is now called the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. As the series starts, Killy is 32 years old and has been an agent for this organization, known as an Inquisitor, for the past five years.

Born in good Catholics in Boston, Killy's father was a respected policeman. This didn't stop Killy from being considered a troublemaker, striking a priest at his school when he was 16. With his parents' permission, he quit school and joined the Army. After a year or so he was transferred to the Intelligence branch and served in Germany, eventually helping operate a tunnel under Berlin. When he left after a couple more years, he held the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

A bit more sedate now, Killy attended Harvard and received a degree in languages. This attracted the CIA to him and he took the offer. For the next five years he worked for the Agency in various locales including Vietnam. After he decided to leave them and a short rest time, he was offered a post as an Inquisitor.

Killy speaks most European languages well in addition to Mandarin Chinese and Vietnamese. His unique set of skills include a close familiarity with weaponry, good knowledge of interrogation, and is a skilled pilot, licensed for both single and multi-engine craft.

Now he is the key enforcer of the Inquisition which is itself the enforcement arm of the Catholic Church. He acknowledges that he is committed to living by the rules of the Church but also believes in getting the job done. That means he often ends an assignment doing penance for his sins. And penance for his rather intense interests in the opposite sex.


Number of Books:6
First Appearance:1974
Last Appearance:1975

1 The Devil In Kansas The Devil In Kansas
Written by Simon Quinn
Copyright: 1974

A war college in Kansas has been training too many officers of foreign armies who are turning into brutal killers. The U.S. government asks for help.

2 The Last Time I Saw Hell The Last Time I Saw Hell
Written by Simon Quinn
Copyright: 1974

Killy is sent to investigate the actions of an ex-priest, quickly learning that the man was both power-mad and well on his way to taking control of France.

3 Nuplex Red Nuplex Red
Written by Simon Quinn
Copyright: 1974

A group of terrorists are unleashing a plot to kill over 15 million people. Killy is sent to stop them which may entail killing a man who had once saved his life.

4 His Eminence, Death His Eminence, Death
Written by Simon Quinn
Copyright: 1974

Ordered to help keep a fanatic Cardinal alive, Killy must deal with assassins and perhaps even a ghost who kills.

5 The Midas Coffin The Midas Coffin
Written by Simon Quinn
Copyright: 1975

Take a sect dedicated against sex and mix it with a billionaire's crazy plan to steal a fortune in gold and you have a strange assignment for Killy.

6 Last Rites For The Vulture Last Rites For The Vulture
Written by Simon Quinn
Copyright: 1975

The murder of an old monk with peach blossums starts the latest adventure but then the death of a Japanese businessman gets thrown in as Killy tries to protect an ex-mobster's legacy.


I remember reading the first couple of these adventures when they initially came out in the mid 70's and was quite impressed then. Thirty years later, they are still fun to read.

This is understandable when you consider that Simon Quinn is a pseudonym for Martin Cruz Smith, the international bestselling author who gives us Arkady Renko. These novels came several years before the Renko novels but it was clear even with them that he was ready for the big time.

And the idea of the Church having an enforcer is just too delightful. And Killy is a hoot.


My Grade: B

Your Average Grade:   A+


Dave618 A+ 3/21/2014 2:19:02 PM

Just starting on this series. The idea of the Vatican having it's own intelligence agency is too irresistable to ignore. The first book, The Devil in Kansas, was good but you can tell Smith was honing his skills.

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