The Spy With the Blue Kazoo is more silly swingin’ sixties style smut from Lancer Books – the fine people who brought the world The Man From ORGY. The title says it all really. Well, maybe it isn’t quite as smutty as some of Lancer’s other publications, and that is probably because it was written by Dagmar.
I must admit I didn’t know who Dagmar, the author, was (although it wouldn’t surprise me if it was ghost written – Lou Cameron (?)) – so I had to do a little bit of research. My first port of call was that indispensable font of all knowledge Wikipedia , which informed me that:
Dagmar (November 29, 1921 – October 9, 2001) was an American actress, model and television personality of the 1950s. As a statuesque, busty blonde, she became the first major female star of television, receiving much press coverage during that decade.
Dagmar became one of the leading personalities of early 1950s live television, doing sketch comedy on Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater, The Bob Hope Show and other shows. On June 17, 1951, she appeared on the Colgate Comedy Hour with host Eddie Cantor and guests Milton Berle, Phil Foster and Jack Leonard. In 1951, she made a TV guest appearance with Frank Sinatra, which prompted Columbia Records producer Mitch Miller to record a novelty duet with Frank and Dagmar, “Mama Will Bark”. That same year, she was featured in a Life cover story with Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photo of her on the July 16, 1951 issue. For the interior photo essay, Life photographers followed her to rehearsals and accompanied her on a vacation back to her home town in West Virginia.
The Spy With the Blue Kazoo concerns a female super spy (and musical entertainer) named Regina, known as the Blue Queen. Her assistant is a fellow named Randy Kidd. Regina is a freelance agent, who in the past, has mysteriously just happened to be in the world’s hot spots when a major incident has gone down. Coincidence? Not likely. Kidd is ex-army. In fact he is ex-everything – CIA, Police Force etc. He has worked for all sorts of law-enforcement agencies but keeps losing his job after sleeping with his superiors wives.
As the story begins, Kidd is being interrogated by the police after a night of passion. A girl has committed suicide by hurling herself from Kidd’s seventh floor hotel window, onto a wrought iron fence below. Making matters worse, the girl was actually a French Secret agent, Marie Arnould,
It seems the girl was coerced into doing this by an evil genius known as Dr. Fang. Regina and Kidd were not working on an assignment to bring Dr. Fang in, but it appears that Dr. Fang is not aware of this, and is now trying to set Kidd up on a trumped up murder charge.
The story then moves to central America, and to Los Perros, which is a veritable ‘nest of spies’. Regina and Randy don’t have to do much investigating, as all sorts of thugs, and secret agents come after them from all sides – Russian, Chinese and even American. Despite being a spy story, the story plays out like an old-time, wise cracking detective novel, with each new character introduced, either coming to a strange end, or being used for a few quick laughs.
There is a twist toward the end as our dynamic duo finally track down the arch-fiend Dr. Fang, but really it is so obvious that if you don’t see it coming then you are not really paying attention.
As the title, and the celebrity author would indicate, this is a novelty book – and to be truthful, not a very good one. The pacing is patchy with odious passages of dialogue, readers are expected to find funny. Maybe forty years ago, it was funny. I understand and appreciate how times have changed, and humour has changed with it. I guess humour is subjective, and you have to make up your own mind. Here’s a brief sample of the hijinx in The Spy With the Blue Kazoo.
From page 63:
“…How are you coming with that drink, Randy darling?”
“Found the gin and the tonic,” he answered. “Got any ice?”
“Should be some in the fridge.”
Randy went over to the small refrigerator, opened it, and said a most unprintable word.
Regina looked up and said, “Randy! That was hardly called for -” And then the Blue Queen saw what was in the refrigerator and added a few unprintable thoughts of her own.
Seated in a fetal position, starring out at them glassily from the interior of the otherwise empty refrigerator, was the man that Randy had shot with the blue kazoo. Hennesy was very pale, very dead, and, for some reason, grinning from ear to ear!
If that passage tickled your funny bone, then maybe The Spy With the Blue Kazoo may be the book for you. I am afraid it seemed rather forced to me, and as such, even as a light piece of throwaway smut, I couldn’t really recommend this book to you.
And to finish – a SPOILER for those who are curious and just HAVE to know what the blue kazoo is. Despite any suggested innuendo that may suggest there are spies running around in this story with blue penises, the blue kazoo is actually… well, it is a blue kazoo – the annoying musical instrument. However these kazoos have been modified to fire poison darts, which cause the target to engage in aberrant, and ultimately fatal, sexual behaviour.