Book Review- A Girl and Her Cat: Honey West and T.H.E. Cat by Win Scott Eckert and Matthew Baugh

Title: A Girl and Her Cat: Honey West and T.H.E. Cat

Authors: Win Scott Eckert and Matthew Baugh

Format: Hardcover edition, Moonstone Books

Published: 2013

HoneyWest-Cat_title_FINAL

 

 

As stated previously and likely to be stated many more times, I love mysteries.  And a special sort of mystery I love happens to be the tv tie-in.  When authors are able to take tv characters that I’ve liked or even loved and weave wonderful prose tales of them, I’m always happy.  Now, I’ve tripped over a few that were average or even awful as well, but still even those stay on my shelf just because it’s a tv tie-in.

“A Girl and Her Cat: Honey West and T.H.E. Cat” by Win Scott Eckert and Matthew Baugh qualifies not only as a tv tie-in novel, but it’s a simply told, well presented tale of intrigue and action that hits almost every note exactly right.

Now, before I continue, let me clarify. Moonstone published this novel and I do have a position with Moonstone.  I normally don’t review books from my own company, Pro Se Productions.  I also don’t normally review books from other companies that I had anything to do with, either as a writer, editor, or any other capacity. Yes, Moonstone published this. Yes, I work for Moonstone. No, I had nothing at all to do with this book and therefore feel okay giving my thoughts on it.

“A Girl and Her Cat” features two characters, each leads in their own 1960s television series- Honey West and Thomas Edward Hewitt Cat, better known as T.H.E. Cat.  As a matter of fact, prior to the series starring Anne Francis, Honey West, a female private eye following in the footsteps of her murdered father, actually debuted in a series of novels.  T.H.E. Cat, a master thief turned bodyguard for hire, first appeared on the scene in his series of the same name, played by Robbert Loggia.

In ‘A Girl and Her Cat’, Honey is hired by an Asian scientist to help recover a potentially deadly virus that has fallen into the hands of an evil terrorist type.  Almost immediately, Honey is attacked and the case turns on its ear, as a past lover of Honey’s who works for the CIA shows up.  It turns out that there’s more to the case, the Asian scientist, and even Johnny Doom, the well named lover, than Honey was led to believe, all of that carrying to a point where she is forced to actually attempt to steal the virus for a criminal organization. Enter another friend from Honey’s past, T.H.E. Cat, who teams up with the buxom PI to not only try to save the CIA agent being held captive, but also potentially the world from dying from a horrible plague.

This novel has everything a fan of these series or even just fans of 1960s type spy mysteries would look for.  Great leads, fantastically wild supporting characters, and a plot that involves world devastation or domination, depending on how one looks at it, and even teases its way into other fantastic things beyond that.  The authors didn’t go out of their way to make the story over complicated and that makes it that much better.  It’s an easy read and one that is paced exactly as it should be.  Also, the characterizations of Honey and Cat are dead on perfect, actually allowing me to hear Francis’ and Loggia’s voices as I read it.

There are other characters who make cameos and veiled appearances in ‘A Girl and Her Cat’, characters that are featured in other books, television series, even in films.  This is something I love in stories usually and enjoyed it immensely in this one, recognizing the nods to several other favorite characters of mine.  In this book, though, I felt a little overwhelmed by this in some way as well.  I don’t know if it was that there was more than one or two such appearances, or if when they were introduced in the story was just to close together, but something made that affectation seem a little too much for ‘A Girl and Her Cat.’  Not so much so that it made it a bad book, it’s quite a great book actually, but I did find myself more than once distracted from the story by wondering if a name was used because it was an Easter egg.  Again, this is something I do enjoy, it just felt a little… I don’t know, forced maybe this time around.

‘ A Girl and Her Cat’ rates four out of five pages. Aside from being a slightly overfilled easter basket, this book delivers a fast, action packed, and fun read all the way around.

Five out of six bullets goes to this one, using my personal scale. The authors capture Honey and Cat perfectly and the interactions between the two sing just like a groovy jazz tune.

Book Review – Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book

Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book 2011
Edited By: Clayton Hickman
Designed By: Paul Lang
Hardback

 

With this weekend being the 50th anniversary and all of the longest running science fiction show ever, I figured I should review a book about it, but I didn’t have that brilliant idea until like three days ago, and this was the first Doctor Who book I saw laying around.  Thus, it wins the review.

That’s not a bad thing.

The Brilliant Book is meant to be a companion book to the television series.  There are interviews, factoids, and about ten gajillion color pictures.  Plus, there’s an episode guide that includes a quick write-up, the magic moment, deleted scene, Q&A, and more.  The detailed info about creatures and people is awesome, but the cool thing is you also get bonuses about things like how they did the makeup for Silurians or Arthur Darvill ragging on Matt Smith in an interview.

I assume that they did a series of these, and I only wish I could have a bookshelf full of them.

I give the book a 5/5 companions.  :p

Book Review – Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Complete and Annotated
Luke Dempsey
2012 doorstop… er I mean Hardback

Monty Python’s Flying Circus complete and annotated is the sidetable of all Monty Python books. And when I say sidetable, I mean sidetable. It’s wider, taller, and by far thicker than any book you’ve got sitting around you right now. (Easily half an inch taller and at least an inch wider than the hardback I have sitting here with it.) And how thick? Well, at about 900 pages of extra thick paper, it’s about three times as thick as a normal book as well.

But for mostly good reason.

Inside this book are complete scripts for all 45 episodes of the television show. Along the sides of the script are comments that are really awesome because they explain a lot of the references that you might miss if you’re not current on 1970s Great Brittan. (So, you know, it tells you that you might have missed half the jokes.)

There are lots of pictures and way more bright colors than you’d ever expect to see in a book.

But, there are issues, too. The book is *heavy* – like wicked heavy. So it’ s not one that you’re going to snuggle with and get all comfy. Also, script reading is boring, so after a while I found myself reading the side notes and not any of the script anymore unless I came up to a favorite skit (this parrot is no more!).

Also, as somebody who has written scripts before (disclaimer: I hated it! Also, they’re all unpublished.), I’m pretty familiar with script formatting, and I fully expected to see that here. They didn’t at all bother to format these like scripts, so there’s a weird mish-mash of lines and fonts and whatever else. It makes it pretty but I would much rather have seen the form.

There’s also no new content aside from those side comments, and very little content about those who were a part of this at all. Each of the Monty Python people have one page of bio info, and it’s all tucked away randomly inside somewhere.

The book is $50. If you’re a serious Monty Python fan – remember, TV show, not the movies – buy it, and keep it around for use as an end table, door stop (dude, you could block the doggie door with this thing), or weapon (providing you have the arm strength to throw this at somebody). But as far as reading goes, this isn’t one that you really get a lot of benefit from reading it all in one sitting.

Bottom line, buy it if you can recite the entire Blancmanges playing Tennis skit, but just let it be if you aren’t that into it. (3/5)

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