Cassidy_Horatio3 Cassidy_Horatio1 Cassidy_Horatio2 Cassidy_Horatio4
Full Name: Horatio Cassidy
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: John Crosby
Time Span: 1979 - 1989


Horatio Cassidy is a freelance agent with the CIA.

This former full-time operative with the Agency, having served for nearly three decades, is also an accredited professor of medieval history. Though he holds no teaching position at the start of the recorded action, he had been a valued member of the faculty at a prestigious Eastern university even as he worked for the CIA, at least up until the school learned of his second, real job and decided to let him go. That disappointment, coupled with the loss of his wife of many years from illness, came shortly before the Agency suffered a huge budget cut and was congressionally ordered to downsize. Cassidy was one of many casulaties.

As the first book begins, Cassidy is barely scraping by getting odd jobs as they come and doing the occasional task for his friends in the CIA who know how good he is. He is also raconteur, though an aging one, and a sharp wit who enjoys a wide range of friends and a very respectful bar tab. His clothes, once acceptable both in government and in academia, now are a good deal threadbare and his aging face shows clearly that he is hardly in his prime. Only his eyes, and an occasional mischievious grin, reveal that the man's brain is every bit as sharp as it ever was.

Getting work as a bodyguard may seem a strange occupation for a man in his early fifties, as his stated years with the CIA would indicate, but his intimate knowledge of the past as it pertains to castles and sieges as well as the rich and powerful throughout the ages and the ways others have found to eradicate them despite tremendous protections, proves that knowing what is likely to happen more than makes up for not quite having the speed and agility he once had.

One talent he has never lost over the years, indeed it has just gotten better with time, is his knack for appreciating the beauty that is womanhood and wooing more than his fair share of the ladies. The most impressive part to this ability is the fact that he does not go out of his way to exercise it - fate brings the bounty to him and he has the good sense to partake of it and leave contentment in his wake.

It is important to remember, though, that despite having a wry sense of humor, a quick-witted brain and a tongue ready to display it, as well as an eye for the fairer sex and a penchant for gaining their attention, Cassidy is no fool nor is he a fop. He is a highly trained operative who, though at times down on his luck, is never out of shape when it comes time for action.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1979
Last Appearance:1989

1 Party Of The Year Party Of The Year
Written by John Crosby
Copyright: 1979

Horatio Cassidy is hired to tutor and bodyguard a 12-year old Italian heiress. Some time before, her father was kidnapped and held for a large ransom only to be killed in the end. His wife fears for her daughter and wants Cassidy to protect her but Cassidy finds there are many factions involved.

2 Men In Arms Men In Arms
Written by John Crosby
Copyright: 1983

A freelance assignment by the CIA has Cassidy ordered to follow a man for a day but he decides to follow the beautiful woman who was with the man and turns up a ship full of arms that the U.S. does not know about but which many unfriendly groups greatly desire.

3 Take No Prisoners Take No Prisoners
Written by John Crosby
Copyright: 1985

A feud between a Central American dictator and a New York drug lord lands on top of Cassidy and gets him involved in a clash that brings in the CIA who does not know which side it should be backing. Cassidy learns the hard way that the problem reaches as far as the White House.

4 Wingwalker Wingwalker
Written by John Crosby
Copyright: 1989

A computer genius and old friend of Cassidy has managed to infiltrate a KGB satellite and they are not happy about it. When he is shot and lies near death, Cassidy is called in to find out who was really behind it; the KGB, a Columbian drug lord, a faction in the CIA?


Sometimes it seems if you use the expression "thinking-man's spy" you give the idea that it is cerebral instead of action oriented. In Cassidy's case, it is both. He does a lot of thinking and the author does a great job in letting you follow his logic and see things the way Cassidy does, and that is fun. He makes some assumptions at times, like we all do, and sometimes he is wrong but he is always thinking and not just reacting. Also fun is when he does decide to act because it is usually quick and unexpected to those who look upon him as too old and slow to amount to much. They get proven wrong.

It is a lot of fun, too, to read about a spy who is not young and athletic and nie-onto invulnerable. When Cassidy gets going, he often feels the creaks and the pangs and the other things age brings with it. Not so much that you get tired of it - just enough to make you know he is not a whipper-snapper.


My Grade: A-

Your Average Grade:   A+


David A+ 4/19/2014 7:17:00 PM

After Men in Arms I didn't like the series as well as initially, but Party of the Year remains one of my favorite American spy novels of the period, with charm, intelligence, real suspense, and excellent choreography of the events. Several of the non series books are still well worth reading too.

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