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THE SALT MINE

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Full Name: David Wilson and Teresa Martinez
Nationality: American
Organization: The Salt Mine
Occupation Agency

Creator: Joseph Browning
Time Span: 2019 - 2024

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Salt Mine is a top secret American Intelligence agency.

We are told a tad about it in a blurb on many of the adventures we have of it: Welcome to the Salt Mine, the secret organization that monitors and manages supernatural activity from its headquarters in the deep mineral deposits underneath Detroit, Michigan, USA. When magic is real, someone has to keep it in check."

Working out of an aged complex on Zug Island in Detroit, the site for over 100 years of a salt mining operation, the company of Discretion Minerals is the cover for those working for the Salt Mine, obviously named that due to its location and appropriateness. The highly secure facility was open only to those who worked there or who could prove having ample reason for visiting but it is was not the structure that would be of interest to intruders; it was what was beneath it that was the real secret. The HQ was a multi-level mine dug out of huge salt deposit several hundred feet down.

"Unbeknownst to the general public, the CIA had owned and operated Discretion Minerals for over six decades. Carved in its depths-metaphorically and literally-was the Salt Mine, a black ops agency that monitored and managed supernatural activity. Unofficially, the Salt Mine was funded by both the FBI and the CIA, although it was never a cited line item on even the black budgets' books. Technically, the Salt Mine didn't exist, because everyone knows that magic and the supernatural didn't exist. Except it did, and it rarely played nice."

The head of the organization was known as Leader - don't bother trying to find out any more about her because numerous highly trained and skilled operatives who worked for her have over the years and all of them came up empty. She was very good at keeping her anonymity.

At its peak in the 1950s, there had been nearly six hundred employees, but staff was now down to a little more than a hundred, of which only six were field agents. This reduction in force made the huge cavern floor housing the offices for the operative seem even more gigantic than ever. Throughout the many adventures available about the work that the Salt Mine performs, most of those agents will make an appearance but there are two that will dominate the activity:

David Wilson - codename Fulcrum - this veteran has been an agent with the Salt Mine for well over a decade, coming over from the CIA, and has soon too many things to be surprised by virtually anything.
Teresa Martinez - codename Lancer - she is brand-new to the Salt Mine though hardly new to her original employer, the FBI.

BOOKS

Number of Books:23
First Appearance:2019
Last Appearance:2024

1 Money Hungry Money Hungry
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2019

Teresa Martinez, experience FBI agent but brand new to the Salt Mine, is given a baptism by fire when she accompanies veteran agent David Wilson investigating a string of deaths among the heads of several pharmaceutical companies.
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2 Feeding Frenzy Feeding Frenzy
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2019

What has caused a good number of animal attacks in zoos across the U.S. And why is the Russian version of the Salt Mine, the Ivory Tower, so interested? That are two questions to be answered by David Wilson and Teresa Martinez.
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3 Ground Rules Ground Rules
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2019

"A popular paranormal investigation TV show publicly announces that it has crystal-clear video footage of a ghost attack while filming in Britain with plans to show it on the next broadcast. The Salt Mine can’t let that happen, so agent David Wilson—codename Fulcrum—is sent to destroy the evidence and find out why the ghosts of Great Missenden have breached the Pacification Treaty by attacking a human."
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4 Mirror Mirror Mirror Mirror
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2019

"When a local magician is found dead within hours of calling in a tip to the Salt Mine, agent Teresa Martinez - codename Lancer - delves deep into Detroit’s magical community for answers. Little does she know it is just the first of a string of deaths.
As the mortality rate climbs, Martinez calls upon her colleagues as well as unlikely allies: a Goth club owner, a succubus, and a retired shaman in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula."
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5 Bottom Line Bottom Line
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2019

"An underwater lab off the West African country of Cape Verde explodes, followed by the sinking of a nearby Russian spy ship. The twenty-four-hour news coverage struggles to find a mundane connection, but the Salt Mine and their Russian counterpart, the Ivory Tower, know better. Something magical stalks the salty waters."
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6 Whip Smart Whip Smart
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2020

"When jammer Slashy Sadie of the Detroit Roller Derby is found dead in her loft, Detroit PD is on the case. After all, what’s supernatural about being stabbed in the chest?
But nothing is as it seems when the dead woman’s magically booby-trapped journal ends up in the hands of agent Teresa Martinez—codename Lancer. In Fulcrum’s absence, Martinez has taken over esoteric surveillance of Detroit, and the knotted mess of Freemasons, witches, and hell’s politics will push the boundaries of her fledgling magical skills."
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7 Rest Assured Rest Assured
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2020

"Agent David Wilson wakes up from his encounter with Baba Yaga to find that she’s shunted him to Avalon, a realm fit only for the honorable dead…except he is very much alive.
In a desperate bid to escape, Wilson calls upon Hor-Nebwy, the eternal mummy and creator of the Valley of the Magi, for assistance. A deal is struck, but to the mummy’s chagrin, he finds that he’s been burgled! Unable to keep his side of the bargain without his mummified cat servant Mau, Hor-Nebwy reluctantly calls upon Salt Mine agent Nalin Buchholz to retrieve his missing cat."
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8 Hen Pecked Hen Pecked
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2020

The discovery of two mutilated deer hunters in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula pings on the Salt Mine’s radar. What animal can gut armed men and rip out their eyes before they can fire a single shot?
Leader assigns agent Teresa Martinez to investigate. While Native American supernatural creatures are suspected, Martinez learns this case isn’t as simple as it first appears after a visit to the Upper Peninsula’s Magh Meall.
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9 Brain Drain Brain Drain
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2020

During a televised British quiz show, Asher Leek dies of a brain aneurysm but not before reciting esoteric Sanskrit verse with his dying breath. How the twenty-one-year-old had the atrophied brain of a ninety-year-old is beyond the medical examiner, but Asher’s grandmother has her own ideas.
The matriarch of the Yorkshire Leeks reaches across the pond to the Salt Mine for arcane answers, and one doesn’t ignore a summons from one of the oldest and wealthiest magical families in England."
David Wilson is given the assignment.
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10 Bone Dry Bone Dry
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2020

"When five women disappear in Lafayette, Louisiana under strange circumstances, agent Teresa Martinez gladly leaves the Michigan winter to investigate. Upon arrival, she finds all is not well on the bayou.
As the missing persons become skeletal remains, agent Clarence Morris takes lead, and Martinez is given a crash course in ghosts, poltergeists, séances, the land of the dead, and summoning the undead."
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11 Vicious Circle Vicious Circle
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2021

"The discovery of a badly-decomposed body covered in butterflies in a Los Angeles park raises an alarm at the Salt Mine. It’s been sixty years since the last spate of butterfly murders and Leader sends agent David Wilson to investigate. If history repeats itself, there will soon be more bodies and she needs her best agent to eliminate the emergent threat."
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12 High Horse High Horse
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2021

"When an unprecedented running of the Kentucky Derby is followed by a suspicious death, Leader sends agent Teresa Martinez - codename Lancer - to investigate. Her FBI credentials open official doors, but the inner circle of owners and magical security at Churchill Downs is a harder nut to crack. Fortunately, Alicia Moncrief - codename Clover - is already on site because what could be grander than a day at the races?"
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13 Fair Game Fair Game
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2021

"While the local branch of the Institute of Tradition performs their yearly ceremony before the start of the Minnesota State Fair, the resident ghosts send out an S.O.S. Leader responds by assigning David Wilson - codename Fulcrum - to investigate, but when his liaison cancels at the last minute, suspicions flare. After Wilson’s initial examinations, Clarence Morris—codename Deacon—is called in to provide assistance as only he can."
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14 Double Dutch Double Dutch
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2021

"After the death of Graaf Hendrik van der Meer, Aaron Haddock - codename Stigma - is sent to retrieve enchanted writings from his library before it falls into the unwitting hands of the Nation of Luxembourg. Stigma’s routine mission takes a turn when he encounters agents of the Ivory Tower, the Russian counterpart to the Salt Mine, busy with their own mission.
As the stakes ramp up, Teresa Martinez - codename Lancer - is called in to assist and provide cover as Interpol."
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15 Dark Matter Dark Matter
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2021

"A series of unprecedented squid attacks against lobster fishermen ping on the Salt Mine’s radar as worthy of investigation. Leader sends Agent David Wilson - codename Fulcrum - to coastal Maine and finds that there’s more lurking off the shore than ever imagined. In the pressures of the depths and in the black void of space, dark matters will arise!"
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16 Silent Night Silent Night
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2022

"Ivory Tower agent Alexander Petrovich Lukin thought heading a secret research program was his ticket to advancement out of the field. However, he learns he’s been set up to fail after he gets a tip that not everything in the program is as it seems. Things only take a turn for the worse when Salt Mine agents Nalin Buchholz and Joan Liu arrive on the scene and find themselves in a race against the clock in the frigid silence of the Siberian winter."
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17 Deep Sleep Deep Sleep
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2022

"People are falling into unexplained comas across the United States. The Salt Mine sends agent David Wilson - codename Fulcrum - to investigate and end the sudden spate. With the help of Chloe and Dot, the Mine’s resident librarians, they dive into the world of myth and discover there are forces far older than they imagined still at work in the world."
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18 Home Grown Home Grown
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2022

"The recent death of a college student sparks social media attention when it is recorded by other partygoers and let loose upon the internet. No one believes a seven-foot-tall green monster could be real, but the Salt Mine knows better. Leader sends agent David Wilson - codename Fulcrum - to investigate and determine if a rogue summoner was responsible or if something had stepped into the Mortal Realm of its own volition."
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19 Better Half Better Half
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2023

"When the death of a Mexican national brings Detroit PD to Leader’s doorstep, she assigns Teresa Martinez - codename Lancer - to the case. It’s a bloody mess that no one can make heads nor tails of until a second victim is discovered in Mérida, the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán. Lancer heads to the land of the Maya and discovers that ancient history is never truly buried as long as today’s headlines are rooted in the travesties of the past."
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20 Mortal Coil Mortal Coil
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2023

"One death via heart attack is nothing unusual, but two at the same time? This strange occurrence among the night guards at the main building of the New York Public Library draws the attention of the Salt Mine. Leader sends out Clarence Morris - code name Deacon - to investigate. What he finds is incomprehensible until chance sends him away from the East Coast and into the glitz of Las Vegas and the barren dessert surrounding it."
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21 Import Export Import Export
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2023

"It’s not every day a firefight occurs in the garden of the American embassy in Beijing, and once the perpetrators are identified as Ivory Tower agents, the Salt Mine is on the phone. Leader dispatches Aaron Haddock–code name Stigma–to the scene and he finds it only gets weirder from there as clues lead him to an international smuggling ring and eventually out of the mortal world entirely. Everything may be for sale in Duncith, the fabled Magh Meall city of rogues, including lives, but Stigma’s determined not to be on the auctioning block."
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22 Numbers Game Numbers Game
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2024

"It’s Christmas time in Detroit and the A&E Mall is festooned in seasonal cheer, but all is not well beneath the decked halls. The joyous mood is broken by a series of fights, culminating in a hospital stay, and owner Aloysius Hardwick calls in a personal favor from Teresa Martinez—codename Lancer. Unbeknownst to him, she’s on a field sabbatical while recovering from her last mission in Mexico and isn’t quite at one hundred percent. However, Martinez can’t resist the call of fieldwork and she steps in to help. With one hand tied behind her back, will Martinez be able to get to the bottom of the trouble at the A&E Mall before someone else gets hurt?"
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23 Dirty Deeds Dirty Deeds
Written by Joseph Browning, Suzi Yee
Copyright: 2024

"A shakeup at the highest levels of the Ivory Tower leaves everyone wondering about the direction of the Salt Mine’s oppositional organization. Three days later, the annual meeting of the Dawn Club at the Yorkshire estate of Buttercrambe Hall is interrupted by a murder and a magical bomb. Agent David Wilson—codename Fulcrum—is assigned the case. With two powerful organizations effectively kneecapped in only three days, will it be long before the Mine itself is the target of enemy action?"
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MY COMMENTS

At first I planned to make the series about Teresa Martinez but then decided it would be better to make it a partnership entry with her joined by David Wilson. I finally stepped away from that to go with the entire agency as some of the tales are about other agents, enough to justify putting the Agency on the virtual marquee.

But make no mistake that it is Martinez and Wilson who really run the series and it is they that make the series so much fun. Especially Teresa Martinez. I would follow that lady anywhere to watch her in action - well, until the restraining order or the beat-down.

Fun action-packed series.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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SpyGuysAndGals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and links with the Buy from Amazon button are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.