Baum_Alfred1 Baum_Alfred2 Baum_Alfred4 Baum_Alfred3
Full Name: Alfred Baum
Nationality: French
Organization: DST
Occupation Agent

Creator: Derek Kartun
Time Span: 1983 - 1989


Alfred Baum is an agent with the French DST.

The Direction de la Securite du Territoire (DST), being France's equivilent of the FBI and MI-5, is tasked with stopping foreign acts of espionage, terror, and other activities harmful to the security of the nation. One of their best agents is Alfred Baum but his methods are so low-keyed at times that he is often overlooked by his superiors. When this near-sightedness extends to the people Baum is after, however, that myopia tends to be fatal.

Baum is most decidedly French but all four of his recorded cases has him working closely with agents from either Britain or Israel. In the case of the second adventure, Flittermouse, the main character is a British agent and Baum is just along for the ride for most of the story though his role is crutial in the end. Working as he does quite often with the British, Baum regrets on occasion that his command of English is not what he would like it to be but in the four recorded adventures that has not ever been a real problem.

For someone with such an organized, logical mind as Baum, the self he shows the world is that of an often crumpled suit with ash invariably dropping onto it from a cigarette he usually has dangling from his lips. Well into his middle age, Baum is very happily married and would be content in general if the troubles at work did not pull him from his peaceful home. He has no desire for action or adventure and while he finds the mental challenges of his assignments interesting, the emotional toll they take usually sends him to the antacid container. His wife is a very forgiving person when it comes to the sudden departures he often has to make, content to stay at home with her knitting and her small circle of friends. He, too, would prefer to remain at home where he is an important part of the Versaille Cat Club but the duties of being one of the senior DST agents do not give him that luxury.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1983
Last Appearance:1989

1 Beaver To Fox Beaver To Fox
Written by Derek Kartun
Copyright: 1983

The thing which confused Alfred Baum the most about the series of terrorists attack across France was that he could not tell if they were the work of the extreme Left or the extreme Right. Either way, they were being done by experts determined to undermine the current government.

2 Flittermouse Flittermouse
Written by Derek Kartun
Copyright: 1984

When the French Foreign Affairs Minister commits suicide in England, British Intelligence send an agent named Carey to France to learn his past. He needs the help of Alfred Baum but just as they begin to gather interesting facts, someone decides Carey has lived too long and should be killed.

3 Megiddo Megiddo
Written by Derek Kartun
Copyright: 1987

Chatila is the name of an Arabic terror group determined to destroy Israel and wanting nuclear weapons to do so. In that aim, they launch a series of unusual attacks all over Europe which seem to be more training exercises than anything else. Baum teams up with an experienced Mossad agent to stop them.

4 Safe House Safe House
Written by Derek Kartun
Copyright: 1989

The Soviet military defector came on his own without bidding from anyone and without any desire on the part of the French to have him. But now Baum must analyze the man's story to see if he was for real or a last-ditch effort to shore up the ailing Soviet Union.


An American agent really dominates one book while an English agent does the same in one, possibly two, and yet the series is about a French agent. Yep. And he is an interesting agent more so because he does not try to dominate. He just pushes here and there and gets people where he needs them to be.

I liked Mr. Kartun's almost laid back approach to his agent, letting the other characters take such positions of power. This keeps Baum from being an in-your-face, shoot-from-the-hip operative which would never have fit the man at all.

Sometimes I wish there were more of a series but in the case of Baum, I believe that what the author gave us was pretty good.


My Grade: B


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