Boysie Oakes

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Boysie Oaks
First appearanceThe Liquidator
Last appearanceA Killer for a Song
Created byJohn Gardner
Portrayed byRod Taylor
OccupationSecret Agent

Boysie Oakes is fictional secret agent created by the British spy novelist John Gardner in 1964 at the height of a period of fictional spy mania.

Character Biography[edit]

Oakes is a richly comic character who is inadvertently taken to be a tough, pitiless man of action and is recruited into a British spy agency. He is, in actuality, a devout coward with many other character flaws who wants nothing more than to be left alone.

An example of the endearing points in these novels is the continuing appearance of monogrammed "BO" gifts from his mother - shirts, handkerchiefs, cigarette lighter, and so forth. He would never dream of not using them, even though he resents them.

The cowardly Oakes starred in another seven novels over the next 15 years and eventually, once again by inadvertence, becomes the head of the secret agency that has caused him to be in a constant state of terror for so long.


The first novel in the series, The Liquidator, was made into a feature film of the same name in 1965, starring Rod Taylor as Boysie Oakes.

Boysie Oakes novels[edit]

  • The Liquidator (1964)
  • Understrike (1965)
  • Amber Nine (1966)
  • Madrigal (1967)
  • Founder Member (1969)
  • Traitor's Exit (1970)
  • The Airline Pirates (1970) - published in the U.S. as Air Apparent
  • A Killer for a Song (1975)

Two Boysie Oakes short stories appear in The Assassination File (1974): A Handful of Rice, and Corkscrew.
Two Boysie Oakes short stories appear in Hideaway (1968): Boysie Oakes and The Explosive Device, Sunset At Paleokastritsa.

External links[edit]