Alison Gordon is a private investigator.
She is a very successful one, operating out of Los Angeles with a stable of agents under her command and getting business from a wide range of customers, most of whom are well capable of handling the high fees she charges. One of the reasons she is so successful is she is not afraid to take the risks that some times are needed to come through on the often tricky assignments. Many of her actions skirt the edge of legal and, when really pushed, some will move over that line but she does not break any law without a good reason and she is ready to stand toe-to-toe with those questioning her methods.
These methods were learned while serving in the CIA in a capacity, as she strongly points out to a prospective client, decidedly not in a cozy office pushing papers. She points out that for seven years she worked in Thailand, Africa, and Vietnam and what she had to do in that service was sometimes nothing she was especially pleased to do but the mission called for it and she is all about getting the mission done. Doing these things, however, are always handled in a way that does not break her own personal code. She hates bullies and those who plague the weak and the young.
Gordon is said to be of exceptional beauty, something she is not above using in a pleasant, teasing manner, never pushing too far, though. She is too smart for that and she knows that far more important than her looks is the fact that she is highly intelligent, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. She also knows that she can handle most situations with her brains but if her mind and her looks do not handle the situation, her skills with a knife and a gun will. She packs a .357 and can handle the weight and the kick as well as any man she knows.
In her late thirties when the series starts, Gordon thinks of herself as a widow even though her husband has never been confirmed dead. She has moved on with her life, or so she tells herself, but it is not really true until the first adventure when she learns to care again.
She enjoys collecting oriental art and likes to spend much of her free time as a sculptor, being good enough at that to make a name for herself and have her work called for. Her primary work, though, is as the private investigator that gets the job done, no matter how hard it is.
Though Gordon is a former spy and now a private investigator, she is included in this compendium because the first and last of her recorded cases definitely fit within the guidelines and the middle one deals with form of terrorism.