East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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In Cairo with OSS 117

s-l300Strangely enough, secret agent 117 was born four years before secret agent 007.
It was 1949 and French writer Jean Bruce published Tu parles d’une ingénue, the first of the eighty-eight novels he’d write featuring agent OSS 117 before dying an untimely death in 1963.
At this point, his wife Josette took over, penning another 143 volumes in the series between 1963 and 1985. At that point, Josette’s daughter Martine took over, and wrote the remaining 23 books in the series, between 1987 and 1992.
Through a total of 254 novels, Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, an American of French descent, born in Louisiana, goes from working for the Office of Strategic Services to the CIA and finally the NSC, basically doing a hardboiled version of the James Bond thing but, as noted above, being actually the one that started first. Continue reading