Books in the series are Not Exactly Dead, Not Exactly Innocent, Not Exactly Allies, Decidedly Not Official, and Not Quite Home.
"Durand? Is that you?"
"Who wants to know?"
"Sorry. Hugh here. Did you know men and women see things differently?"
"Well, yes," Leandre Durand said at last, slowly, obviously not quite sure where his British friend was leading with this phone call.
"Sorry, I didn't put that very well."
"What I mean to say is that women not only put their own spin on things, they actually see differently. I've been studying it. You should see some of these studies. They put a group of girls in a room and drop hundreds of dollar bills all at once, and the girls see everything at once and rarely grab a bill. They just jump and giggle and grab thin air, mostly. You put boys in the same room, drop an equivalent flurry of bills, and they can isolate them and wind up with booty."
"My Perrine says such experiments only show that men like to prove their prowess and women are happy just to play."
"That's a new twist. I hadn't thought of that."
"Or perhaps the people performing the experiment have, one hopes inadvertently, prepared the girls differently leading into the experiment. It is hard to say. Certainly boys and girls are different, but children like to please grownups who pay them the least little attention, and psychologists, alas, are prone to pet theories."
"I'd have to say I'd noticed that. Odd theories, too, some of them."
"But of course. You cannot make your name with a discovery of something that makes sense. Not in some circles, at least. Excuse me a little minute, if you please."
Richard Hugh was astonished to hear gunshots and glass shattering. Being experienced, he held his tongue. Durand would get back to him when he could. If he could.
To kill time and to feel like he was doing something, he tried to trace Durand's phone and pin it down with a satellite reading. The French, he unhappily noted, were still being obnoxious and stubborn and blocking all the ways that British intelligence services had given their field agents to use in such situations. If it were not Leandre Durand being shot at, it would probably serve the French right for insisting on going their own way, Richard thought, with a bit of peevishness.
"All right. I am back," Durand said. "Now what is it we were talking about? Ah, yes. You were instructing me on the differences between males and females, was it not?"
"Oh, do not be so touchy, M. Hugh. It is Hugh this week, is it not? That is what you just said, I think. And Richard is it? Or do we have a new forename for my aged brain to try to remember?"
"Pull your only-50-something brain into focus, will you, old sport, and tell me if that was gunshot and massive physical destruction in the background just now."