Appleton Porter is an agent for British Intelligence.
He knew that as a member of the British Secret Service, he was "like many other faceless agents attached to the secret services, each man with a specialty that might be needed no more than once a year, from safe-breaker to lip-reader, from acrobat to hypnotist. He was invaluable - once in a while."
Porter's specialty was languages. When not called upon by the Intelligence community, he was a senior official at the UK Philological Institute where he plied his trade in linguistics. He spoke six languages fluently, another five with skill though his accent was off, and he could function adequately in another seven.. The Service, when he was called upon, used him to occasionally scan items for nuances, write a foreign love letter or other missive, and, even rarer, act as a simultaneous translator at a conference.
Porter had certainly not been a field agent during the eight years that he worked with the Service after graduating from college. Though he dreamed of the idea and liked to imagine himself as a hard-fighting, hard-drinking, hard-womanizing man of the world, he was in truth not really what anybody would think of as a spy.
Porter stood 6'7" tall and was very thin. Very thin! Sandy colored hair, cut neat and short, made him blend in but his green eyes and freckles gave him a strange and boyish appearance. But even more than his height and appearance, the thing which kept him out of the field was, according to his dossier, that fact that he blushed easily, and often.
But for a man who was not really agent material, Porter soon finds a way and thus begins a delightful, light-hearted series about a most unusual agent.