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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia

Quinto, Gimiendo Hernandez. Gimiendo Hernandez Quinto was created by “James Norman,” the pseudonym of James Norman Schmidt (Oscar), and appeared in Murder, Chop Chop (1942), Inch of Time (1944), and Night Walkers (1946).

Gimiendo Hernandez Quinto is an enormous Mexican who is a veteran of Pancho Villa’s campaigns. That was years ago, however. Now he is in China, training guerrillas for the Nationalists and solving murders when they occur. He is assisted by the Eurasian Femme Fatale known as the “Mountain of Virtue,” a beautiful and deadly assassin and card sharp. Quinto’s other friends are Mildred Woodford, an alcoholic British journalist; John Tate, a portly, cowardly American calligrapher; Lt. Chi, melancholy Hunanese patriot and fanatical and eternally disappointed Brooklyn Dodgers fan; and Nevada, an American cowboy adventurer who is deadly with his six-gun and a failure at love. Quinto solves murders, cracks ciphers, deals with a disappearing train, and solves the mystery of how Chiang Kai-shek’s false teeth disappeared.

* I'm including the Gimiendo Hernandez Quinto novels in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because they're fun reads. James Norman (as he's usually known, the "Schmidt" being dropped) wrote a wide range of material, including journalism, and I can't help but think that the Quinto novels were diversions for him rather than something that occupied the whole of his consciousness for long periods of time. Norman applies a lighter touch to the material, although the setting is a grim one and his cast of characters a serious group of badasses rather than comedy incompetents. The mysteries are suitably mysterious, the solving of them appropriately clever, and the characterization, though two-dimensional, is good enough to make the Quinto novels worth revisiting every now and again. Recommended. 

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