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Full Name: Trip Callaway
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Other - Musician

Creator: Phil Swan
Time Span: 2017 - 2023


Trip Callaway is a musician.

He blasts a pretty impressive trumpet in gigs all over the country, wherever someone is willing to pay to have a trumpet blasted and people wanting to be entertained by someone as talented as he is, which is quite a bit. While Callaway is still relatively new in showbiz, we are told that he has plans and aspirations when we read in the blurbs about his adventures which call him "the young, wise-cracking musician with dreams as big as the Hoover Dam".

Callaway has seen that impressive wall of concrete since he is living in Sin City when we first meet him in 1965. He has a gig playing at the Sands Hotel and Casino and while he is grateful for the work, he hopes it is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things with the fame and fortune he would love coming with it.

Our first meeting with him will not be one of the 'better' times since Fat Tony is out of patience to get the money that Callaway owes him and has sent Vinnie and Knuckles to show Callaway how serious he is, said proof resulting in Vinnie's fist - the size of an oil can - meeting Callaway's body. In case you were wondering, that meant "I was getting the bejeezus beaten out of me, and it hurt like the dickens".

Which begs the question why a horn player in mid-60s Las Vegas being shown yet again that loan sharks have no patience should be a member of a compendium about spies. Well, that sort of gets explained a bit into the first recorded adventure when Callaway runs into an old acquaintance from Indiana University named Ken and Ken has some trouble with the secret facility where he works and needs a bit of help and, hey, it was Ken who knew a guy who knew a guy and that is how Callaway ended up in Vegas playing at the Copa so he kind of owes Ken a lot.

What Callaway did not know was that the kind of problem Ken was dealing with and which Callaway sort of get mixed up in would also very much involve the CIA and once those fellows know about you and know that you can be pretty flexible where you work as long as the music is flowing and so is the money, well, they kind of never forget you.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2023

1 Cold War Copa Cold War Copa
Written by Phil Swan
Copyright: 2017

"A blonde bombshell floats face down in a swimming pool. Is it a love affair gone wrong? Or is something far more sinister afoot? 
Las Vegas, 1965. Gangsters, showgirls, the Rat Pack, cool is king, and everything swings. Especially Trip Callaway, a young, wise-cracking trumpet player working the Sands.
But when people around him start getting knocked off, Trip is thrust into a ridiculous maze of secrets, lies, murder, and Cold War intrigue, where nothing is how it seems and no one is who they say they are."
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2 Mekong Delta Blues Mekong Delta Blues
Written by Phil Swan
Copyright: 2018

"A ruthless Chinese crime syndicate has infiltrated Las Vegas. Heroin is on the rise in Sin City. So is murder. Sounds like a job for a trumpet player.
Las Vegas, 1965. Hot off the heels of his last adventure, Trip Callaway .. has reluctantly agreed to go undercover and do some light spying for the government—light spying, as in report on who’s hobnobbing with whom in the casinos along The Strip. But when Trip is asked to pose as a trumpet teacher to the thirteen-year-old step-son of a notorious crime boss, he quickly realizes he’s agreed to more than he bargained for."
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3 Tinseltown Tango Tinseltown Tango
Written by Phil Swan
Copyright: 2020

"Los Angeles, 1966.
Hot off the heels of his last adventure in Mekong Delta Blues, Trip Callaway .. takes a break from his steady gig on the Vegas Strip to do some easy undercover work in Hollywood for his secret agency benefactors.
It’s Hollywood; how dangerous could it be? But as Trip quickly discovers, The Dream Factory can also be a nightmare."
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4 Ships & Salsa Ships & Salsa
Written by Phil Swan
Copyright: 2023

"Miami Beach, 1966.
Hot off the heels of his last adventure, Trip Callaway .. is forced to take a break from his steady gig on the Vegas Strip to soak up some rays and mojitos in the Sunshine State courtesy of Uncle Sam. The only caveat? Trip must lay low and stay out of trouble. Yeah, right."
Without meaning to, he will find himself "neck-deep into Cuban gangsters, salsa music, and a murder mystery with global consequences. A crime where whodunnit might not be nearly as important as why?"
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This series is hip! I maybe have my slang wrong for this particular timeframe but ... I'm cool, you dig?

So is Trip Callaway and that makes this series a hoot to read and since the author has just released another adventure as of this writing, well, I am hoping there will be more because Callaway gets into the neatest spots and somehow, don't ask me how, finds a way out.

Plus the dude blows a trumpet and for a short while in junior high, that was my instrument until the bandleader thought he had too many of them and put me on the french horn. Good instrument but not as cool. Definitely not Trip Callaway kind of cool.


My Grade: B+


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