Kettle_Sebastian1 Kettle_Sebastian2 Kettle_Sebastian3
Full Name: Sebastian Kettle
Nationality: British
Organization: MI6
Occupation Agent

Creator: James Dillon White
Time Span: 1974 - 1979


Sebastian Kettle is an agent for British Intelligence.

Having been an agent for many years, and a very good one at that, he yearned for the time when he could retire. When he is pushed out by his bosses for being too old and too soft-hearted to make a good spy anymore, their thoughts not his, he suddenly found he missed it. At least he missed the pay he had earned, better than the meagre living he was making on the outside using his engineering skills to repair the odd television or radio.

Then he got a call from his boss with an offer for another chance. Kettle knew that while he probably was too kindly to make a ruthless spy, he was by no means stupid. Something had to be up to get the call to come back and that inevitably meant that his real job would be as a sacrificial lamb. Still, he could use the money.

Kettle is in his late forties at the start of this three-book series. He had been married for too few years to a woman named Myrtle and figures he probably still is as the papers were never signed but that was a while back and he never sees her. He still misses her, though. And thinks of her often. On the few times when he is near other women, she comes back in thought. There is no great angst involved; just a reasonable amount of melancholy.

As he returns to the Service hoping to live long enough to earn a pension, and long enough to enjoy it, he does so knowing that no one really cares what happens to him with the possible exception of his cat, Wilson, and who can say how cats truly feel?

Still, Kettle proves on more than occasion that he may be aged and unappreciated but he is still very good at his craft. He doesn't fight very well and he has no love of guns at all but he is clever, observant, circumspect, and even-keeled. He holds himself in check, neither getting angry nor excited. The fact that others around him do only makes his job that much easier.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1974
Last Appearance:1979

1 The Leipzig Affair The Leipzig Affair
Written by James Dillon White
Copyright: 1974

Approached by the man who sacked him from the department years before, Sebastian Kettle has no interest in the job offer to go to East Germany and try to entice a defected scientist to return to Britain. The money, though, was interesting. And needed.

2 The Salzburg Affair The Salzburg Affair
Written by James Dillon White
Copyright: 1977

With the promise of a desk job and continued employment, Kettle reluctantly accepts the mission to contact an old adversary in the GRU with word of a plot to kill the US President and blame Russia.

3 The Brandenburg Affair The Brandenburg Affair
Written by James Dillon White
Copyright: 1979

Finally able to retire, Kettle is not at all interested in the last "final" assignment his boss is pressing on him but in the end takes it. An agent recruited by Kettle in Berlin to monitor the rail lines has been killed and another has gone missing.


I think I would like to know Sebastian Kettle and I think he would have liked me. I certainly liked the excellent job that the author, James Dillon White, did in presenting the three adventures. More known for his tales of the sea-faring Kelso in a series of novels about the 18th century naval officer, Mr. White presents a world of espionage in a steady, even-handed manner which befits his main character. Impressively, while the stories move along on a steady clip, they never lag or become tediuos.

There is far more cloak than dagger to this series. Agents for the other side can prove to be friendly and useful when it benefits them as well and they can be ruthless and cunning when needed. Kettle remains calm and collected throughout most of the activity. The thing I liked best about the series is that Kettle is almost always truthful with the people he meets. It is the amount of truth that he tells, however, that makes it so interesting. He knows well that it is usually better to tell some of the truth than to tell a lie.


My Grade: A-


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