22614125 (1)With his Crag Banyon series, author James Mullaney likes to take P.I. cliches, stand them on their heads, and give it all a bit of a twist. In his books, he’s solved a murder mystery in Santa’s North Pole workshop, a stalking case for the God of the Sea, and been hired by a demon to find someone, some thing, that had escaped from Hell. Among others. He has an elf assistant, inherited from the Santa case, named Mannix and an incompetent secretary by the name of Doris Staurburton.

Here he takes a case for Minus, the city’s newest superhero, all of two weeks, who’s already caught an arch nemesis: one Dr. Cohen. The only description is a wild mane of white hair. He wants Banyon to find the villain.

The only problem is the phone book lists sixteen pages of Dr. Cohens.

At the same time, he;s fielding a minor case of a woman who suspects her husband is cheating on her. All Banyon can see is a mild little bank official. The most suspicious thing he ever does is check into a cheap motel, alone, and later leave. No one ever visits him.

A hilarious series of adventures illustrated by this bit from FLYING BLIND. When Dr. Cohen places a nuclear bomg somewhere in the city, here are his demands:

“He wants five hundred million dollars in unmarked bills, his student loans forgiven, and his own parking spot at the opera house, along with season tickets.”

Love Crag Banyon’s adventures. Can be ordered here.