Keith_John4 Keith_John8 Keith_John6 Keith_John7 Keith_John2 Keith_John5 Keith_John1 Keith_John3
Full Name: John Keith
Nationality: American
Organization: A.P.E.
Occupation Agent

Creator: Norman Daniels
Time Span: 1964 - 1971


John Keith is an agent A.P.E.

The American Policy Executive is an ultrasecret organization, known only to a handful, that doesn't officially exist but which nevertheless employs agents around the world to take care of any job too beyond the traditional agencies. Keith is well aware how the acronym comes out and is not a little amused at the fact.

Using as his cover for his many trips around the globe, Keith is a public relations expert for Skinner, Maywell and Finch, a firm based in New York. In this role, which he actually does as that is how he gets paid, Keith can go virtually anywhere, including behind the Iron Curtain, as good P.R. is useful to everyone.

Keith is in his early 30's, a snappy dresser, fond of the ladies, and quite fluent in several languages, especially Russian which he speaks as a native. He is a tall, 6'1", well built man who sports a large powerful handgun because "who it hits, knows it."

He has been an agent for A.P.E. for a few years prior to the start of the series. He is well trained to "bluff, immobilize, hurt, or kill a man", a fact that is not readily apparent as he usually acts the part of a frenzied but harmless American businessman just out to make another buck.

This governmental agency is rather unique in the intelligence community. It has no known offices, no apparent administrative staff, and possibly not even a Director. Who gives the orders or decides who get assigned is not known to any of the agents. Keith, for one, knows more enemy agents that he does his own side. When he has to work with a colleague it is usually via phone or letter drop, seldom in person. Since he doesn't know the others or his bosses, he cannot reveal them if caught and tortured.

This means that John Keith is on his own when in the field. He knows if he isn't good, he will be dead. So far, he has been very good.


Number of Books:8
First Appearance:1964
Last Appearance:1971

1 Overkill Overkill
Written by Norman Daniels
Copyright: 1964

John Keith heads to Russia using as cover a public relations role to in turn head to Albania, searching for a rocket scientist who may be trying to start a new world war.

2 The Hunt Club The Hunt Club
Written by Norman Daniels
Copyright: 1964

When General Krolov fled first to Germany and disappeared, with him were top secret documents that could get the Cold War blazing. The Soviets were after him. So where the Red Chinese. John Keith was told to get to him first.

3 Spy Ghost Spy Ghost
Written by Norman Daniels
Copyright: 1965

It seemed many of the leaders of the Soviet Union and its key scientists had become fixated on the occult and John Keith is sent to find out what is behind this strange change of belief.

4 Operation K Operation K
Written by Norman Daniels
Copyright: 1965

The scheme was to get a group of the best criminals in the world, put them to the task of kidnapping a major Soviet Leader, and then leaving proof it was an American plot. The Red Chinese were behind the plot and John Keith had to stop them.

5 Operation N Operation N
Written by Norman Daniels
Copyright: 1966

The agents of A.P.E. have come up against the greatest danger outside of the Iron Curtain it has ever faced, a group of criminals calling itself SPIDER. John Keith is sent to learn as much of it as he can if he can stay alive long enough.

6 Operation VC Operation VC
Written by Norman Daniels
Copyright: 1967

Sent to Southeast Asia, John Keith must track down the people who are rumored to be targetting Saigon with a nuclear weapon as the opening salvo in an attack against the whole world.

7 Operation T Operation T
Written by Norman Daniels
Copyright: 1967

John Keith knew his mission to Australia was vital and deadly the minute he learned that the best agent the Red Chinese had, Chang Chou, was in the country. Keith didn't know what was up but he knew it would be very bad if Chou was successful.

8 Operation SL Operation SL
Written by Norman Daniels
Copyright: 1971

The mission this time took John Keith to Sierra Leone to try and find why there was such a large influx of Red Chinese into that country. Whatever the reason, it bode ill for the continent of Africa unless Keith could stop it.


Without a doubt, Keith is another clone of Bond in just about every respect but that doesn't make the series any less fun. Less original, perhaps, but the more dashing agents fighting both the Communists and the international criminal organizations, the better.

Mr. Daniels was a good and prolific writer, well respected and certainly well selling when you consider the different pennames he used. His success came not just from the quantity of work he produced, which was impressive, but from the fact that he gave the readers what they wanted. His work was formulaic but it was a good formula.

I particularly liked his self-reliance. Since he knows no one else will ever come to his aid, he plans accordingly and with confidence.


My Grade: C+


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