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JOHANN GUNTHER

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Full Name: Johann Gunther
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: Hock Hochheim
Time Span: 2011 - 2021

ABOUT THE SERIES

Johann Gunther is a private investigator.

According to the blurb on most of his adventures, he is "a German immigrant, a West Point graduate, ex-U.S. Army officer and former Oklahoma lawman. At the turn of the 20th Century, he runs a problem-solving agency in Ft. Worth, Texas called Remedies, Inc. where if the fee is right, he works as a private detective, a gun fighter, bodyguard and all-around trouble-shooter for hire. He operates in a new world of changing politics, inventive science and exploding technology".

He was born in Baam, Germany. According to his old friend and former commander, Teddy Roosevelt, he "immigrated here from Germany as a young boy with his family. Married way too young. Suddenly, the boy had two children! As if he weren't barely a teenager himself. Living in the slums of Brooklyn. Bleak life! Bleak. Went out for cigarettes one afternoon and never once returned. Joined the Army!"

Further information from the Chief Executive added, "Mister Gunther was an Oklahoma lawman, a West Point grad, saw action in Africa and the South Pacific. And of course, volunteered with me in Cuba. I myself have used him a time or two for problems...I like to use him because he is not handicapped by the ... rules".

Standing tall and thin, Gunther sports a bushy head of cornsilk blond hair. He is ruggedly handsome and not adverse being told so by the female company that he always seems to attract. He loves to travel and adores adventure; combining the two he is willing to drop whatever he is doing and head somewhere new or different or dangerous. This is what would take him to Paris, Texas, to be a lawman for a while and then to join Roosevelt's Rough Riders. After a bit more wandering, he ended back in Texas, this time in Fort Worth and his new profession.

Gunther's best friend, partner in his Remedies, Inc. business, and faithful companion is Jefe Cocoy. Jefe has been Gunther's military aide-de-camp while Gunther was serving the U.S. Army in the Philippines. Gunther honestly says of Jefe, "I don't do much without him".

BOOKS

Number of Books:5
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2021

1 My Gun Is My Passport My Gun Is My Passport
Written by Hock Hochheim
Copyright: 2011

The year is 1906.
"When U. S. Army Colonel Vito Latissimo and his unit disappear on an discovery expedition in Afghanistan, President Theodore Roosevelt suspects an international, criminal conspiracy. He asks his former Rough Rider Lieutenant, Gunther to act as his free-lance agent and accompany the follow-up British and American mission to locate this officer. Along for the investigation are Latissimo's ill, angry and deserted wife, her beautiful caretaker niece, an aged cavalry company, geographic society's photographers, a reckless English Commander, his British Lancers and a division of Indian Sepoy soldiers. After the assassination of the U.S. contingent's leader, Gunther reluctantly ends up in charge of the American unit. They find Latissimo alive, well and scheming, and Gunther uncovers a plot to assist Russia in the Great Game of disrupting Britain in both India and Afghanistan, plus a traitor's mad scheme to become king of the far Khyber Pass."
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2 Last of the Gunmen Last of the Gunmen
Written by Hock Hochheim
Copyright: 2016

The year is 1908.
"The United States is floundering deep in the struggle to recover from the financial Panic of 1907 and the San Francisco earthquake. Then someone murders a philanthropist tycoon on the streets of Fort Worth. 
A flamboyant police detective stands accused of the crime. While he languishes in jail, a gang of killers murder his beautiful, exotic wife in a daring daylight robbery. In the process, they also kill a former Louisiana judge who gets in their way. The killers? Members of a minor league baseball team who commit an assortment of sadistic crimes across the country while on tour with their team.  Meet the first criminal biker gang and Texas Ranger Chester Winch, the mastermind behind their deadly killing and robbery sprees.
Who can the Texas governor call for help? Who does the accused police detective call for from his jail cell? Johann Gunther of  Remedies Detective Agency. 
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3 Rio Grande Black Magic Rio Grande Black Magic
Written by Hock Hochheim
Copyright: 2020

The year is 1915.
During a routine mission to purchase guns for a security job, Gunther, Jefe, and the Whittle boys head to Tremboro, Texas, near the Rio Grande.  In Tremboro their paths collide with Pancho Villa and his band of revolutionaries who are in town to recruit mercenaries. As events unfold, Gunther discovers Villa’s plans to steal much-needed guns and supplies. Villa is angry about the American Government’s rejection of him and has revenge on his mind. In Tremboro, with his activites cloaked by the Day of the Dead Celebration, Villa and his band of outlaws and misfits threaten, blackmail, rape, shoot, and steal.  They plan to take whatever they want and leave a wave of destruction and dead bodies behind.
It’s up to Gunther to stop Villa and save Tremboro. But to stop Villa, Gunther must uncover and then foil his plans. Gunther battles Santa Muerte witches and their magic, revolutionaries, and mercenaries to save the innocent citizens of Tremboro."
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3.5 My Gun Is My Passport - The Collection My Gun Is My Passport - The Collection
Written by Hock Hochheim
Copyright: 2020

A collection of the first three Johann Gunther adventures:
My Gun Is My Passport
Last Of The Gunmen
Rio Grande Black Magic
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4 American Medieval American Medieval
Written by Hock Hochheim
Copyright: 2021

The year is 1916.
Young Johann Gunther had been a lawman in Paris, Texas before the Spanish American War. Now, @23 years later he must return to Paris, Texas yet again and fight an international gang war, vendetta, and save his old French police chief while attempting to save the whole city from a fiery destruction."
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5 The China Alamo The China Alamo
Written by Hock Hochheim
Copyright: 2021

The year is 1900.
"Three young doctors celebrate their graduation from medical school with a dinner on the San Francisco docks…until they’re kidnapped and Shanghaied to China. The doctors’ families are rich, and they entice Vice President Teddy Roosevelt into organizing a secret, rescue mission. Teddy dispatches his former Cuban War veteran officer, Major Gunther from the Philippines to run the top-secret mission, but not without first destroying the rotten shanghai operation on the bay."
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MY COMMENTS

Having a series in which the main character is both a private investigator and a sometime government agent is not super common but hardly an oddity. Having that fellow do both around the turn of the 20th Century, though, is so unusual that I was instantly intrigued.

Once I started reading, I was completely hooked. I have always loved both Westerns and spy-fi and having the two combined is a hoot. When they are penned so enjoyably as these about Johann Gunther, well, I saw right away I was in for a really good time. Stayed that way through all five of these adventures. Would not have minded more, too.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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