The Pink Tarantula: A Novel in 9 Episodes
Author: Tim Wohlforth
Narrator: Stephen R. Thorne
Unabridged, Length 6 hours
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc 12/30/13
In this novel of nine closely related episodes, we join Crip and
Henrietta, as unlikely a detective duo as ever hit the streets.
and Henrietta aren't your typical California private eyes. For one
thing, Crip's real name is Tom Bateman. His sometime sidekick with body
piercings and spiked green hair, Henrietta, calls him "Crip" because
he's in a wheelchair. When she isn't mocking him, Henrietta grows
marijuana, hangs with jailbirds, and brings in cases that reek of
trouble - and weed - at first sniff. Henrietta's idea of a favor? Well, a
couple of crazed fighting dogs need a home.
In these episodes,
we watch Crip and Henrietta's relationship grow as both characters
struggle to bridge chasms of bitterness and mistrust. The private eye
business in California hasn't gotten this kind of a reworking since
Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler planted their gumshoes onto these
The episodes in The Pink Tarantula would make a fantastic adult animated series starring this unusual detective team, Tom Bateman, a private eye on wheels and Henrietta, with her green spiked hair, green nails and green panties showing through ragged jeans. Henrietta calls Tom "Crip" and enjoys insulting him. Tom doesn't actually like Henrietta but finds life without her dull. She is constantly dragging him into unusual cases, such as an investigation into the murder of her friend Jesus Christ who had been living in her bushes. One of the reasons I chose this book was its unusual title. The Pink Tarantula Beauty Salon shows up in the eighth episode as a murder scene. The murdered hairdresser is Henrietta's friend so naturally she calls Crip. The unusual duo are colorful and interesting but seem one dimensional. That may be why I kept visualizing their actions in a comic book or adult animation.
Narrator Stephen R. Thorne has a perfect voice for Crip but not so much for Henrietta. If this novel is ever made into an animated series, they should get Thorne to do Crip's voice.
I would give The Pink Tarantula three stars all around. There was a lot of repetition and it didn't really hang together as a novel, but man, would I love to see it as an adult animation! It would have to be rated R, of course, due to the graphic violence and Henrietta's language. Henrietta would need a nickname too, perhaps Hinx. The series could be named "The Adventures of Crip & Hinx." I'd be hooked from the first episode.
Review copy provided by Blackstone Audio