msmm_aug_84 gunn_christian_bk_bg espionage_feb_85
Full Name: Christian Gunn
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Michael Bracken
Time Span: 1984 - 2000


Christian Gunn is an agent with the CIA.

That is close to all we know about this operative. The two adventures we have of him are short and therefore the amount of intelligence on him is understandably limited.

We know that he, by his own statement, has worked largely in the Middle East and Europe. He indicates that he had worked with a particular French agent "many times in the past" which clearly shows that he has been active for quite a while which would put his age in the thirties, likely the upper half.

Gunn is not described much but we are told he has a thick mat of hair on his chest, has "powerful muscles" in his shoulders and his legs are also very muscular so it is apparent whatever his age is, he takes good care of himself, minus his smoking habit. He is also quite confident in himself as in his talking about a fellow agent who was killed in the line of duty and stating that the agent "made a mistake. I won't make the same one".

He prefers the .9mm Luger worn in a shoulder holster. He sleeps in the nude and is not the least bit hesitant to open his hotel room door to a knock undressed like that wearing only his watch. Holding his Luger at the ready, of course.

Gunn is most definitely a ladies man. In each of the two missions we follow, he meets a sexy woman and becomes intimate with her. He does not express any dissatisfaction with them nor they with him. It is obvious, though, that it is purely physical because there is no sadness expressed when both of them, for different reasons, depart this life shortly after getting to know him.


Number of Books:1
First Appearance:2000
Last Appearance:2000

1 Bad Girls Bad Girls
Written by Michael Bracken
Copyright: 2000

A collection of a dozen stories by the author, most dealing with crime but all dealing with "bad girls". The first two stories in the volume are reprints of the two Christian Gunn spy stories:
With Extreme Prejudice
The Only Good Red
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Number of Stories:2
First Appearance:1984
Last Appearance:1985

The author of these two stories explained in an online article in SleuthSayers (an excellent read, by the way) how he had been told that Althea Flynt, wife of Hustler founder Larry Flynt, working as that magazine's publisher, had been looking for stories with a characters like James Bond - only sexier. Since he was still starting his professional writing career, he saw an opportunity.

He duly wrote the first of the Gunn stories and submitted it but for an undisclosed reason it was rejected. He decided to remove the more erotic parts of the prose and resubmitted it to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and then The Saint Magazine before finding a home for it in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

A second Gunn adventure was submitted to Espionage Magazine. More might have come about him but both MSMM and Espionage shut down around that time and the market for spy stories dried up with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

     At least we have these two.

1 With Extreme Prejudice With Extreme Prejudice
Written by Michael Bracken
Copyright: 1984

Published in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Aug 1984. Reprinted in the collection Bad Girls.
A senior operative for the French secret service was found dead from a gunshot behind the wheel of his vehicle. Christian Gunn is ordered to find out who killed him and why. This will throw Gunn into a mess along with other agents from Britain, Germany, and the Soviet Union.
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2 The Only Good Red The Only Good Red
Written by Michael Bracken
Copyright: 1985

Published in Espionage Magazine Feb 1985. Reprinted in the collection Bad Girls.
Yet again Christian Gunn is asked to find out why a foreign agent was murdered and learn who killed him. This time the deceased is a low-level KGB agent found sitting on the deck of a paddle-boat in the Mississippi enjoying a quarter-pounder and fries.
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I absolutely adore spy-fi short stories and these two are darned enjoyable. The downside to the short form is that it is really hard to give much background on the character, or much character development, when the word count is so critical. Even so, I wish more people had written more series shorts. Ah well.

These are enjoyable, fast, and interesting tales and I recommend spending a few bucks for the collection available in ebook format. The other stories, though crime stories and not spy-fi, are also quite good. Some have been "modified for inclusion in this volume" which, when you know they were originally written for publications like Juggs is understandable.


My Grade: B


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