Created by Bruce Cook
Mexican-American ex-LA cop turned P.I. ANTONIO CHICO CERVANTES works the familiar Southern California settings. Not the first (Cleve F. Adams' Nevada Alvarado beats Chico by fifty years or so) but amazingly, still one of the few Mexican-American private eyes around, it's about time someone else wrote about a shamus down there who actually speaks Spanish fluently.
Chico went to UCLA for a while, before joining the LAPD. Tired of being constantly passed over for promotions, he went private. A lucrative first year working the private side of the street brought him his dream car, an Alfa Romero, and a downpayment on a small condo right off of Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, but since then, he's had to more or less scramble to make ends meet.
Chico's not some superman -- he's often endearingly human, and prone to mistakes -- but he is persistent. So is his girlfriend, the very likable Alicia Ramirez, who seems determined to stand by her man.
Unfortunately, this solid series, despite its affable cast and its fresh perspective never quite caught on, coming to a close after only four books with 1994's The Sidewalk Hilton. But under the pseudonym of Bruce Alexander, Cook (a veteran critic and journalist) wrote several acclaimed mysteries featuring 18th-century British historical figure Sir John Fielding, a blind magistrate and founder of London's first police force.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.