The Revenge of Kali-Ra

K. K. Beck, Author Mysterious Press $21.5 (240p) ISBN 978-0-89296-670-7
Beck rightly dedicates this zany parody of 1920s exotic adventure fiction to Sax Rohmer, E. Phillip Oppenheim, the Baroness Orczy and their ilk, who created the genre. Movie superstar Nadia Wentworth reads The Wrath of Kali-Ra, written decades ago by the long-forgotten Valerian Ricardo, and determines to produce a film about the eponymous cruel dominatrix, Queen of Doom. Immediately, Nadia is besieged by a horde of greedy claimants to the Kali-Ra copyright and by others scrambling for a financial piece of the movie: Ricardo's possessive widow; his naive great-grandnephew; a scheming, possibly illegitimate granddaughter; an inquisitive academic authority on Ricardo; a luckless British screenwriter; a feckless lawyer representing a crook hiding in the Caribbean; an inept security adviser; a washed-up crooner with Mafia connections; and a mysterious ""slave"" of Kali-Ra. Melanie Oakley, Nadia's assistant, must sort through this dazzling hodgepodge and protect Nadia's project. Mistaken identity, accidents, fights, a stabbing and an abduction proceed apace, studded with hilarious excerpts from Ricardo's melodramatic novels. After a grand finale in which the copyright ownership is cleared and nearly all the characters pair off, readers will still be chuckling at this dead-on sendup of Hollywood and pulp fiction. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
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