Raja Williams, PI

Raja Williams considers himself a Caribbean Creole. Like many from the Caribbean islands, his racial ethnicity has been lost in the crossroads of culture that the West Indies has been for many centuries. His ancestors fought successfully to throw off the shackles of the colonial Spanish caste system that discriminated against many groups. Although he can trace his ancestry to native Taino Amerindians, French, Spanish and West African sources, what percentage of each he had no clue. Raja is almond-skinned with steel-blue eyes, high cheekbones, moderately fine features and heavily-waved chestnut hair. It’s an exotic look that is catnip for the ladies.

Raja’s ancestors had worked the sugar cane fields dawn to dusk until they had saved the money to seed a small Cuban molasses label called Raja’s Molasses, meaning the king’s molasses. After building a substantial business, his grandfather had wisely cashed out to a sugar conglomerate before Cuba fell to Castro. Smart investments in coffee futures did the rest. Raja was named for that original company. When his parents’ plane went missing in the Bermuda triangle, Raja inherited everything, leaving him with more money than he could count.

His father had told him stories of the revolution in Cuba. How Castro and the freedom fighters said they fought to stop the starvation and sickness that claimed so many lives. Then after the bloody military coup took over the country, the purging began. Rioters tore down the homes of the wealthy, and dragged their dead bodies through the streets. Those who got out could do little to help those trapped on the island but pray for their immortal souls. The survivor’s guilt had left Raja’s father empty inside for the remainder of his life.

Seeing the toll on his father made Raja realize that a man could be haunted as much by what he did not do as he could by what he did do. Perhaps more so. Raja decided that he would be an active force for justice and would use his resources to help others in need.

Rather than the typical down and out, broken, alcoholic private investigator found in many stories (admittedly a successful character, rich in nuance), Raja Williams is an independently wealthy, Oxford-educated private investigator with a mission to bring justice to the underdogs he encounters. He does not carry a gun but he knows how to use one, and he has a sixth sense that leads him straight to trouble. Raja has an ethical code of conduct that his partner calls  “Raja’s Rules.” Following his rules sometimes throws Raja into a worse tangle of trouble than he should tackle but, lucky for him, he has some very resourceful friends.

His main investigative partner is Livinia Moore, a strong female character whose top-level hacker skills help Raja crack his cases. The button-down, Oxford-educated Raja Williams and the hipster, wild-child hacker Vinny Moore make a strange pairing but they work hand-in-glove and are best of friends. The two of them do whatever it takes to bring justice to those who have nowhere else to turn.

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The Caribbean Caper (When Raja Met Vinny)


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