Daw, Sept 2001, 6.99, 352 pp.
By 2057, technology enables people to drive hovercrafts and teleport to different places. The last private detective in the world Zachary Nixon Johnson, knows that HARV is a computer projection. However, that does not stop him from playing backgammon with it, talking with it or listening to it.
When HARV informs Zach that they need an infusion of capital to pay the rent, he reluctantly takes on the case of BB Star, ex stripper and now the CEO of ExShell, one of the most powerful conglomerates in the world. BB has a doppelganger named BB-2 an artificially intelligent android that is angry, psychotic and dangerous. She has a plutonium core, which makes her a powerful weapon that must be deactivated if BB is to survive. Even knowing that the press will hounded him, thugs will beat him, and he will look like a fool, Zach takes on the case rather than face living on the street.
Abbott and Costello meet a futuristic crime noir is the context underlying the amusing THE PLUTONIUM BLONDE. When HARV and Zach are talking to each other, especially during their numerous crisis, readers will laugh until they cry. It is impossible to believe HARV, the real star of the book, is only a hologram projected by Zach's computer because he seems so human. The mystery is fun too, but the entertainment and uniqueness of this tale are the relationship between the two stars (that is Zach and HARV not BB and BB-2).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner