A Taste Of Honey

Columbus Alive | October 20, 2005
Way back in the mid 1950s fashion writer Gloria Fickling and her husband, sportswriter Forest, collaborated under the pseudonym G.G. Fickling, and curvaceous private detective Honey West was born. A blonde bombshell with a .38, Honey debuted in 1957’s This Girl For Hire, the first of 11 books chronicling her one-woman crusade to ferret out the dirty secrets of Hollywood’s dark side. It returns to bookshelves this week courtesy of Overlook Press.

The story opens with the murder of a washed-up movie star, bludgeoned to death with his own Oscar, and the bodies pile up from there. Characters are introduced and eliminated within the space of a few pages, and the scams and double-crosses swirl around like the Catalina currents that seem determined to steal Honey’s bathing suit every time she gets near the water.

Admittedly, this is pretty silly stuff, designed to amuse and titillate, but Honey was no mindless bimbo. She was a judo expert, able to hold her own against gangs of thugs twice her size, brainy enough to solve the most obtuse crimes in a couple hundred pages, and she had, you guessed it, a heart of gold beneath her tough exterior and 38-inch bust line. While it would be quite a stretch to call Honey West a feminist, she was a sneaky stiletto step in the right direction, covering the middle ground between Nora Charles and Emma Peel.

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Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
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