|First appearance||This Girl for Hire (1957)|
|Created by||G.G. Fickling|
|Portrayed by||Anne Francis|
The character is notable as being one of the first female private detectives in popular fiction. She first appeared in the 1957 book This Girl for Hire and would appear in nine novels before being retired in the mid-60s, with two comeback novels in 1971.
The Honey West character was created by Gloria and Forrest E. "Skip" Fickling under the pseudonym "G.G. Fickling" in the late 1950s.
Forrest Fickling had been a United States Army Air Forces Air Gunner during World War II; he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve after the war, and as a member of that service was called back to active duty during the Korean War. The G.G. represented the initials of his wife, Gloria Gautraud, whom he had married in 1949. The initials were used so the sex of the author would remain vague. Though Gloria said that most of the writing was done by Forrest, he said her ideas helped make the female character more plausible and gave her a good dress sense. Gloria had been an assistant fashion editor at Look magazine and a fashion writer for Women's Wear Daily. Forrest told the Los Angeles Times, "I first thought of Marilyn Monroe, and then I thought of [fictional detective] Mike Hammer and decided to put the two together... We thought the most used name for someone you really like is Honey. And she lives in the West, so there was her name."
- This Girl for Hire (1957)
- Girl on the Loose (1958)
- A Gun for Honey (1958)
- Honey in the Flesh (1959)
- Girl on the Prowl (1959)
- Kiss for a Killer (1960)
- Dig a Dead Doll (1960)
- Blood and Honey (1961)
- Bombshell (1964)
- Honey on her Tail (1971)
- Stiff as a Broad (1972)
- "The Red Hairing" in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine (June 1965)
Authorized Works by Other Writers
- A Girl and Her Cat by Win Scott Eckert and Matthew Baugh (2014, forthcoming)
- "Seer Sucker" by Will Murray in Honey West Commemorative Edition (2011)
The Honey West Chronicles (forthcoming)
- "Naked Truth"
- "Most Dangerous Honeys"
- "Cat's Paw in Heat"
- "Number One with a Bullet"
- "The Education of Honey West"
- "Thunder Kiss"
The character was also the basis for a short-lived ABC TV series in the 1965-66 television season starring Anne Francis and John Ericson. There were 30 episodes. The series was executive produced by Aaron Spelling.
Gold Key Comics released a one-shot Honey West comic book in June 1966. In August 2010, Moonstone Books began a Honey West comic book series, written by Trina Robbins with art by Cynthia Martin then Elaine Lee and Ronn Sutton.
In 2011, the AudioComics Company announced plans to adapt Elaine Lee and Ronn Sutton's three-part miniseries Murder on Mars as a full-cast audio drama, in conjunction with Moonstone Books. Starring audio book narrator Carrington MacDuffie as Honey, the adaptation was released on compact disc and digital download in April 2012.
- Barnett, Colleen Mystery Women: An Encyclopedia of Leading Women Characters in Mystery Fiction, Volume 1: 1860-1979 Poisoned Pen Press, 2006
- Obituary, Los Angeles Times http://articles.latimes.com/1998/apr/11/local/me-38189
- Frederickson, John C. Honey West BearManor Media (June 1, 2009)