PAUL BISHOP “Bandit Territory.” PI Blue MacKenzie. Novelette. First published in Paul Bishop Presents… Bandit Territory: Ten Tales of Murder & Mayhem, edited by Paul Bishop (Wolfpack Publishing, paperback, 2019).

   What I cannot tell you, first of all, is whether or not this is Blue MacKenzie’s first appearance in print, or if it so happens that it is, whether there are or will be future cases for him to tackle.

   Blue may be the first fictional PI to also be a bodybuilder, as well as a Vietnam veteran and a former CIA agent. Now at a formidable 275 pounds of pure muscle, he certainly isn’t the kind of guy I’d care to have been hired to track me down.

   In “Bandit Territory,” the lead story in the anthology edited by Bishop with the same name, he’s been hired by a music producer to find his number one client, a singer by the name of Charity Ross. Her latest CD is almost ready to released, but she’s disappeared and is now completely out of sight.

   The trail leads Blue to a defunct bodybuilding outfit being investigated for fraud by the FDA. While the connection is not clear, the owner has disappeared the same night as Charity. No coincidence that.

   Paul Bishop, the author and a 25 year veteran of the LAPD, has also written a number of full length crime novels, and his smooth, easy style of telling a tale, even short ones, goes down well, with an every so often knack of coming up with an especially pungent observation or clever choice of phrasing. If there are other stories about Blue MacKenzie, I’d definitely like to know about them.