This is a lost gem that uses SF to do a send up of the hardboiled genre. Something to offend almost everyone in this story of a P.I. searching for a missing girl who is a victim of Thalidomide. Don’t let the awful cover keep you away.
The scene is New York City in the 1980’s. A nuclear generating plant exploded and mutants have been appearing ever since. It’s known as the Nuke Fluke. Keith Savage has been hired by a woman to find her sister Muriel. Due to Thalidomide she doesn’t have arms or legs. She’d written letters to an astrologer named Joel Uranium who works out of a comic book store. Keith goes there and meets Davey who is reading “Spiders From Mars.”
Davey gives him a copy and Keith heads for Joel’s apartment. He lives there under the name Sunshine. Keith gives him the book. When he opens it a Mexican jumping spider jumps out and bites Uranium. Keith kills the spider and calls the cops.
The cops smoke a few joints and have some beers with him and then work him over. They arrest him f0r murder and work him over again this time with a stun gun. They finally let him go since Uranium is still alive but in a coma.
Keith goes back to the comic book store and sees a man in a car watching the place. He’s been hired by a woman who says she’s Muriel’s mother. The man goes to Davey’s apartment. Keith gets there and sneaks in. He discovers the murdered bodies of the man and Davey.
Keith goes to Muriel’s parents house. He finds out that she was probably taken out by a man posing as an air conditioner installer. Something wasn’t right about him. His name tag said Buzz, He’s the same man who killed Davey and the other P.I. Muriel had an obsession with doing paintings of insects..
His next stop is to see Muriel’s pen pal. He’s gone and the man in his apartment is owed money. Meanwhile Buzz and his pal Crabby ride around in a blue van and do some very strange things.
Muriel’s parents received a ransom note. Ten thousand dollars is to be wrapped in honey and dropped in a rowboat in the middle of a lake. Keith and Muriel’s mother rent a boat. They do the drop. Back on shore Keith spies on the boat with a telescope. He can’t believe his eyes. Ten bumblebees the size of beer cans pick up the money.
The bees fly back to the van and drop the money off inside. Later another phone call. This time the kidnappers want all of Muriel’s insect paintings.
This book is full of kinky sex, drugs, freaks, a tabloid reporter, a mad scientist and astrology. This should really see the light of day again. It’s got humor, action, horror….the list goes on and on. Hopefully if it’s ever rediscovered a service will be done to author Marks and a decent cover will be designed.