Burns Bannion
Created by Earl Norman (1915-2000; pseud. of Norman Thomson)

Is he turning Japanese? I really think so...

BURNS BANNION is an American GI who stayed in Tokyo as a Karate student after World War II. He became a PI entirely by accident when he was originally mistaken for a real private investigator from California. He went on to work the "private eye bit" in a string of paperback originals written by Earl Norman in the late fifties and early sixties.

In Burns' case, one or two cover blurbs are worth a thousand words. They tout him as a "blood brother to Shell Scott and Mike Hammer" (though more Hammer than Scott) who "keeps running into his two favorite pastimes -- gorgeous girls and deadly killers." Racial stereotypes abound, and I'm sure even back then many readers found such phrases as "slant-eyed babes" offensive.

Still, if you can get past the politically-incorrectness of it all, these are enjoyable, albeit definitely in the so-bad-it's-good school of detective writing. Say "Cheese!"

I really think so...

Earl Norman was actually Norman Thomson, a radio, stage and film actor who worked as an entertainment supervisor for U.S. military bases in the Far East after the second World War, spending 30 years in Tokyo.



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Al and Dale for putting me straight on this one. And Geoffrey wants to let it be known that he wouldn't mind getting in touch with other Bannionites.

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