The central character in Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s crime novels is Hector Belascoaran Shayne, a former engineer who got a “certificate in detection” through a correspondence course. Belascoaran is a cynical, bumbling private eye who marvels at the chaotic street life unfolding around him in Mexico City.
Taibo’s detective novels veer in and out of reality. Historical figures mix with fictional characters. Things happen or maybe they didn’t. One novel, The Uncomfortable Dead, is actually co-written with Subcomandante Marcos, the former leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. And the story includes a fictional cameo appearance by Marcos himself.