Maasten_Nicholas3 Maasten_Nicholas2 Maasten_Nicholas1
Full Name: Nicholas Maasten
Nationality: British
Organization: The Department
Occupation Agent

Creator: Owen Sela
Time Span: 1972 - 1973


Nicholas Maasten is a part-time agent for the Department.

As the series opens, Maasten is a partner in an antique store in England which is barely surviving. His source of many of the items, especially knickknacks and small figurines, might be questionable if examined too closely, but for the most post he is reputable. He wasn't always quite so.

For a couple of years, Nicholas Maasten plied an "honest" living flying cargo between Africa and Europe. Usually the items were general goods but often there were other items onboard not mentioned in the bill of lading or the custom declarations. Never far from a jail cell and often living hand-to-mouth, it was nevertheless fun and exciting.

He got a bit of a reputation that he did not want to have when the plane he was flying over the Congo, loaded with illegal arms, crash landed near Brazzaville in an area where a mercenary band was stationed. This group, named 15 Commando, was in need of a radio operator and, in exchange for help getting out, he gave his services. This gave him more action than he wanted but it also resulted in a fair amount of money to take back home. Maasten put it into a garage, part ownership of a strip club, and the antique shop.

But before that, there had been the job with Air Chartel, a cargo flight service in and around Nigeria hauling anything and everything. And there was the Department, an unnamed British Intelligence group which operated the air freight business as a cover and who used men like Maasten to carry items with them on their journeys. He did it for a few years before deciding he could do better on his own.

Maasten would soon learn that once the Department learns what you can do, they do not forget. And when it comes to need someone to do it for them again, they always know where to reach you.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1972
Last Appearance:1973

1 The Bearer Plot The Bearer Plot
Written by Owen Sela
Copyright: 1972

Nicholas Maasten had always loved the non-violent hobby of stamp collecting and had learned to make a profit at it. He didn't think the sale of a rare stampt would get him involved in espionage and put his life at risk.

2 The Kiriov Tapes The Kiriov Tapes
Written by Owen Sela
Copyright: 1973

Adrian Quimper knew that someone was leaking top-secret information and hiring mercenary killers but when he tried to find out who, his life was put in danger. Nicholas Maasten just didn't want people messing with his sidelines.

3 The Portuguese Fragment The Portuguese Fragment
Written by Owen Sela
Copyright: 1973

Agreeing to go to Asia to help out in some simple smuggling of art, Nicholas Maasten again finds himself over his head in trouble linked to a long-buried treasure off the coast of Ceylan (Sri Lanka).


Poor Maasten. He is not a spy, he is a pilot. He does not want to be a spy; he wants to fly. He wants to flirt with the ladies, sip a brew, put his feet up, and not worry about money. He does not want to sneak documents or cargo or people into places where they and he are not really wanted.

Unfortunately, he seems to be good at it and the Department never forgets that. And when his other activities sometimes gets him into some hot water and the Department helps him out, well, they expect something in return.

This usually means some one is taking shots at him or getting him into car wrecks or otherwise causing damage to his already scarred body. All for a few measly pounds.

Poor Maasten.

I actually like Maasten. He gets caught up in things he does not want and he manages to get out again without any bravado or pleading. He is a good read.


My Grade: B


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