R.B. "Ax" Axton

Created by Doug Allyn

R.B. "AX" AXTON is a sometime-licensed private investigator eking out a living on the fringes of Dearborn, Michigan. But he also does collections for local loan sharks and snatches for bail bondsmen, not to mention gigs as a bodyguard, bouncer, bartender and even a hotel night clerk. Whatever pays.

This is the way he tells it in "Hitler, Elvis and Me":

"Blew in from Mississippi in '85, green as okra, playing bass in a blues band. The group broke up, but I stayed on, jammin' around town, tending bar, whatever. Hoping. Until I dumped a motorcycle and rearranged my face, and the mirror told me it was time for a career change."

He's a big bruiser, and with his "money face," as he calls it, folks tend to back off and take notice. And he still dresses like a biker leather coat, T-shirt, jeans.

"I never threaten. That would be extortion. And I usually don't talk that much. You see these scars on my face? I took a header off a motorcycle a few years ago. My face took nearly a year to heal. I didn't have the money for plastic surgery then, and I'm not sure I'd get fixed now even if I could afford it... When people look at me it reminds 'em how... uncertain life can be. If they owe somebody, they usually decide to pay up. I don't threaten them. I don't have to."

With a collection of friends and clients haunting the pool halls and seedy clubs of Dearborn, "Ax" seems to be able to afford his one passion in life -- he collects vintage electric guitars.

It's a damn good series, with an enjoyably consistent hard edge, and great use of the Detroit area setting. So far, Ax has only appeared in short stories, but I'd love to see a full-length adventure. Recommended.

SHORT STORIES

  • "Mojo Man" (October 1990, AHMM)
  • "The Sultans of Soul" (March 1993, EQMM)
  • "Blind Lemon" (May 1996, AHMM)
  • "Money Face" (December 1996, EQMM)
  • "Unchained Melody" (January 1999, EQMM)
  • "Miracles! Happen!" (December 1999, EQMM)
  • "Hitler, Elvis and Me" (October 2000, AHMM)
  • "Valhalla" (January 2003, EQMM)
  • "Long-Lost Love" (May 2004, EQMM)
  • "The Top Ten list" (March/April 2006, EQMM)

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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