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Pontivy, Papa. Papa Pontivy was created by Bernard Newman (Tiger Lester, Inspector Marshall) and appeared in sixteen novels and short story collections from 1939 to 1965, beginning with Death to the Spy.
Papa Pontivy is an agent for the French security service, the Deuxième Bureau. Formerly he was a member of the Sûreté, and he thinks of himself as both policeman and spy, but the vast majority of his work is in counterespionage, in catching spies, first German and then Communist. He works out of Paris and directs a staff of agents, but he believes, with some justification, that he is brighter and more capable than anyone who works for him (or who he seeks to catch). He is a patriot and has no compunctions about subjecting men and women to interrogations which are “remarkably successful if quite illegal.”
He is “a nondescript little man, half-bald, with a disgraceful moustache which had an unpleasant tendency to dribble.” He is known for his own hand-rolled, “sloppy” cigarettes.
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