vincent_johnny_bk_tmt vincent_johnny_bk_toa
Full Name: Johnny Vincent
Nationality: Australian
Organization: ?
Occupation Agent

Creator: Jason Calder
Time Span: 1979 - 1981


Johnny Vincent is a part-time private investigator.

I am not sure he is particularly licensed as such, per se, but when he gets involved in the pair of adventures we have of him, that is the role he is filling so the description works.

We discover early on that Vincent had spent several years in the Vice Squad in Sydney, Australia, rising to the impressive rank of Detective Inspector in that organization. It was then that he "realised the Great Australian Dream" in that he "won a raffle .. He won a first prize. A quarter of a million dollars".

Winning the lottery put him in an interesting position. He enjoyed his work a lot and routinely spent many off-hours pouring through old police records, a hobby really. Unfortunately, he knew that had he stayed in the Force everyone would have looked at him strangely and thought him odd, being "too rich to have any future" there, so he did the expected thing and resigned. That was five years before we meet him for the first time. During that half decade, he "spent a great deal of the money, but invested some as well. He travelled. The usual things one would expect of a major prize winner. He is still quite well off, but he gets bored. So on occasion he does some work for [a private enquiry agency]".

Vincent is described as having a "broad frame, his dark hair and darker eyes, and a once broken nose which had not quite mended and gave him an intangibly raffish air". He is a reasonably good looking man who has kept himself in quite good shape, getting himself routinely appreciated by the opposite sex. He is definitely not opposed to returning the compliment but his years in Vice has made him able to discern attraction from avarice - he tends in the latter case to smile nicely and look the other way.

Regarding his newly-found work as a private eye, Vincent works on a job-by-job basis for a firm which has been known at times to saunter onto the other side as far as legality goes, bruising a few noses as well as egos as called upon, but Vincent has made sure that he kept on the correct side of that line; he sleeps easier that way. That does not mean that he will not be ready to defend himself, as we will watch him have to more than once.

Good Lines:
- Sipping a drink while flying first class, Vincent muses, "Even rich men enjoy what they don't have to pay for, or at least make sure they get it".


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1979
Last Appearance:1981

1 O'Rouke Affair, The O'Rouke Affair, The
Written by Jason Calder
Copyright: 1979

"Johnny Vincent who had achieved the Great Australian Dream, had no good reason to go to New Zealand. But Sir Henry Wynnne had lost his personal assistant in suspicious circumstances, and Sir Henry was not the kind of person whose requests you turned down. So, Johnny Vincent, ex-member of the Sydney Vice Squad and man-about-town, took the next flight to Wellington and became entangled in a conspiracy which involved senior officials, transvestites, and a strange religious sect in the lonely hills of the South Island."

2 Target Margaret Thatcher Target Margaret Thatcher
Written by Jason Calder
Copyright: 1981

"Will Britain succeed in expelling a troublesome left-wing African country from the Commonwealth, or will the showdown be something far more dramatic - the assassination of Britain's leader at the Prime Ministers' Conference? Only Chief Inspector Coltman knows what is being planned, but he cannot reveal his sources without endangering his own position in Special Branch. It falls to Johnny Vincent, late of the Australian police, to track down the elusive professional killer the Africans are employing. Yet he cannot know that Daumier, the ageing recruiter of mercenaries, has selected a woman to eliminate Margaret Thatcher, not because of a perverse sense of humour, but because Madame Nicole is one of the coolest and most efficient professionals in the European underworld."


This is a very enjoyable albeit short series about a private investigator (of sorts) who gets drawn into a couple of international operations and handles himself rather well.

What makes this series of a bit more interest to me was that I had up to this point not had much experience (that I can remember) with a private eye from Down Under. That, and the easy writing style that the author uses to make the books flow swiftly and easily, makes the reading an enjoyable event.

The author did not, from what I could find out, write many books - just these two and two stand alone detective adventures. They are worth checking out.


My Grade: B


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