Carlos Bannon
Created by Kenneth Gavrell

One of the few (the only?) P.I.s hailing from Puerto Rico, CARLOS BANNON is a "detective privado" who makes his home in San Juan. He smokes Camels, is partial to Palo Viego white rum, and he's been around. He was born Carlos Bannon Santiago, sole offspring of a Puerto Rican mother and a gringo father. He divided his childhood between Salinas and New York. After a stint in Vietnam doing his duty for Uncle Sam, and a failed marriage, he headed back to San Juan, where he runs a small detective agency. He has a part-time secretary, Maria, who tries her best to keep Carlos honest, and a sometime assistant, Raul, a young guy who handles some of the scut work. And, occasionally, he calls in his girlfriend, Raquel Nieves, for backup. She's a private detective herself, for the considerably larger Athena Detective Agency.

It's a pretty volatile relationship, but it adds a nice little extra touch of humanity to Carlos' character. And, God knows, he needs it. He's awful darn cynical at times, even downright fatalistic at times, and he tends to be rather cold and emotionless. Mr. Deadpan.

Besides Raquel, Carlos depends on his trusty Browning BDA .380 or .357 Magnum, and the occasional juicy tidbit from Roberto Burgos, his pal in Homicide. Mostly, though, Carlos works alone. His cases take him all over Puerto Rico, from the meanest barrios to the tourist traps and even to the El Yunque national forest preserve. Great locations, and a cold as ice detective who's in danger of becoming human are plusses. The plots, however, are pretty run-of-the-mill. Still, these short stories are interesting. They've been running in AHMM for about fifteen years now, so somebody besides me must enjoy them. It would be interesting to see what Carlos and Raquel could do in a longer adventure.

SHORT STORIES

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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