Sunday, May 22, 2016
Crossover of the Week
HONEY WEST & T. H. E. CAT: A GIRL AND HER CAT
P.I. Honey West is visited by Dr. Isabella Fang, who smokes Red Apple Cigarettes. Dr. Fang hires Honey to recover an alleged rubella vaccine she developed, as well as a pocket watch, which have both been stolen by Dr. Karl Stipier. Accepting the case, Honey asks another Los Angeles-based detective named Scott to handle her other cases in the meantime, and travels to San Francisco. Honey’s old flame Johnny Doom, now a CIA agent, comes to her aid alongside two men she dubs Gray Suit and Blondie. Honey and Johnny book a room at the St. Francis hotel, although Gray Suit recommended the Hotel Carlton. Johnny reveals to Honey the “vaccine” is actually a biological weapon of a class the government has codenamed “Satan Bugs,” and Gray Suit and Blondie are members of a worldwide organization that is in regular conflict with a criminal organization and “secret nation” that has tried to form an alliance with an Eastern secret society known as the Si-Fan. Johnny calls another government agent, Derek, for information about Stipier and Fang. Derek says there are fearful whispers about Fang at The Dragon of the Black Pool in Chinatown. Honey tells Johnny she thinks she recognized Derek’s voice from a couple recent cases. Honey and Johnny are abducted by Dr. Fang’s grandfather, Dr. Shan Ming Fu, the leader of the Si-Fan. One of Shan Ming Fu’s minions is a sumo wrestler. At the elder doctor’s recommendation, Honey enlists the help of Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat, former circus aerialist and cat burglar turned owner of the Casa del Gato nightclub and bodyguard, to retrieve the biological agent. Honey came to Cat’s aid in Las Vegas a year ago. Besides Cat, Honey also meets his friend Pepe Cordoza and Captain McAllister of the SFPD. Stipier bought the mansion Silverstone West, which was built in the 1940s by an eccentric multi-millionaire named Tipton, from an employee of the latter’s named Michael Anthony. A man with a bowler hat and an odd rifle attacks Honey and Cat as they flee Stipier’s mansion with the Satan Bug and the watch. Honey’s great-grandfather, James, was a major during the Civil War, and later was involved in government work. Cat did some bodyguard work for a scientist named Dr. Quest last year; Quest’s wife was killed and his son was in danger. An agent for Intelligence One now guards the Quests. Honey was instructed in judo by a man named Macreedy, while Cat was taught how to tie knots by a young escape artist named Tony Blake. Honey arranges for a friend named Ben, who works at County General Hospital, to make a capsule that can pass for the real Satan Bug in order to deceive Shan Ming Fu. Blondie remarks Mr. Baldwin, the head of his organization’s primary enemy’s San Francisco offices, will be disappointed by Shan Ming Fu’s continued refusal to form an alliance with them.
Novel by Honey West, edited by Win Scott Eckert and Matthew Baugh, Moonstone Books, 2014. Honey West is a private investigator featured in novels by “G. G. Fickling” (Gloria and Forest Fickling). In the novel Bombshell, set in 1964, Honey and bounty hunter Johnny Doom are offered employment in the CIA. Honey evidently turned down the offer, as she had several adventures as a P.I. between Bombshell and A Girl and Her Cat, which were depicted in Fickling’s novels, the 1965-1966 Honey West TV series, and several stories and comics published by Moonstone. In the novel Honey on Her Tail, which takes place three years after this book, Honey finally becomes a CIA agent. Dr. Isabella Fang is the daughter of the villainous Dr. Fang, who had his own radio series in the 1930s. Isabella encountered the Green Hornet and Kato in 1964 during the events of Eckert’s story “Fang and Sting” (The Green Hornet Chronicles, Joe Gentile and Win Scott Eckert, eds., Moonstone Books, 2010). In 1974, Isabella and her grandfather would once again encounter the Hornet in Eckert’s “Progress” (The Green Hornet: Still at Large, Joe Gentile, Win Scott Eckert, and Matthew Baugh, eds., Moonstone Books, 2012). Dr. Shan Ming Fu is better known by the nom de guerre Dr. Fu Manchu; Dennis E. Power revealed the Devil Doctor’s birth name in his article “The Devil Doctor: The Early History of Fu Manchu” (found on the website The Wold Newton Universe: A Secret History). The Si-Fan is the secret society run by Fu Manchu in the novels by Sax Rohmer. Red Apple Cigarettes have appeared in a number of films, including Pulp Fiction, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, as well as several other stories by Eckert. The watch is a working (albeit inferior) replica of one of the distorters used by the warring Capellean and Eridanean races in Philip José Farmer’s The Other Log of Phileas Fogg. Dr. Karl Stipier is meant to be Baron von Hessel from Farmer’s Doc Savage novel Escape from Loki; von Hessel also appears under a variety of aliases in other stories by Eckert. The other detective in Los Angeles is Richard S. Prather’s Shell Scott. Gray Suit and Blondie are Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin from the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. U.N.C.L.E.’s greatest foe is the criminal organization THRUSH, which attempted to form an alliance with the Si-Fan in David McDaniel’s novel The Rainbow Affair. The man in the bowler hat is an unnamed THRUSH agent seen in The Rainbow Affair. Ward Baldwin is in charge of THRUSH’s San Francisco offices in McDaniel’s novels. The Hotel Carlton is the home of Paladin in the television Western Have Gun–Will Travel. The term “Satan Bug” is derived from Alistair MacLean’s novel The Satan Bug. Derek is spy Derek Flint from the movies Our Man Flint and In Like Flint. Honey encountered Flint during the events of the Moonstone comic Honey West, Captain Action, and Flint: Danger-a-Go-Go. The Dragon of the Black Pool restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown is from the movie Big Trouble in Little China. The sumo wrestler, Tak, will later battle Fu Manchu’s rebellious son Shang-Chi, as seen in the comic book Special Marvel Edition. Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat, Pepe Cordoza, and Captain McAllister are from the 1966–1967 television series T. H. E. Cat. Honey’s 1966 encounter with Cat was recounted in the two-issue Moonstone comic Honey West and T. H. E. Cat: Death in the Desert. John Beresford Tipton and Michael Anthony are from the television series The Millionaire. Tipton’s estate in that series was called Silverstone; Silverstone West is Eckert and Baugh’s invention. Honey’s great-grandfather is Secret Service agent James West from the classic television series The Wild Wild West. Dr. Benton Quest, his son Jonny, and Intelligence One are from the animated TV series Jonny Quest. Cat’s replacement as the Quests’ bodyguard is Roger “Race” Bannon. Honey’s judo teacher is John J. Macreedy from the film Bad Day at Black Rock. Tony Blake is the title character of the television series The Magician. Ben Casey, a doctor at County General Hospital, is from the television series that bears his name. The Ben Casey episode “For This Relief, Much Thanks” began a two-part story that ended with “Solo for B-Flat Clarinet,” the first episode of Breaking Point, bringing in that medical drama as well.