Hi Rejecter. What about if a well-known and successful best-selling author who has read some of your work, (because he happens to be a mate) gives you the direct phone number to an agent he knows, whom he thinks will like your work, and tells you to give this agent a call, mentioning that you are a friend of his? Wouldn't it then be churlish and insulting to assume that you, as a first time novelist, know better and to use another form of communication?
I don't know what this "direct phone number" is (all phone lines are pretty much the same), but I've had this happen before, where a friend of a client of the agent or a friend of a friend of the agent calls in. The appropriate way to do it is to have your author friend give the agent a heads up that you'll be calling and make sure the agent agrees to the call. Your friend should be the one initiating the phone relationship. Otherwise, just mention the author in your query letter.