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1. The Pusher
2. The Big Bad City (87th Precinct
3. The Last Dance
4. Hark!: A Novel of the 87th Precinct
5. Fuzz (87th Precinct Mysteries)
6. Like Love (87th Precinct)
7. Nocturne: A Novel of the 87th
8. Money, Money, Money: A Novel of
9. Cop Hater (87th Precinct)
10. King's Ransom: An 87th Precinct
11. Frumious Bandersnatch (87th Precinct)
12. The Heckler
13. 'Til Death
14. Gladly the Cross Eyed Bear
15. Shotgun (87th Precinct Mysteries)
16. Lady Killer (87th Precinct Mystery)
17. Mischief (87th Precinct Mysteries)
18. Lady, Lady I Did it
19. He Who Hesitates (87th Precinct
20. The Con Man

1. The Pusher
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 192 Pages (2003-07-03)
list price: US$12.40 -- used & new: US$24.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0752857932
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Two a.m. in the bitter cold of winter: the young Hispanic man's body is found in a tenement basement. The rope around his neck suggests a clear case of suicide - until the autopsy reveals he'd overdosed on heroin. He was a pusher, and now a thousand questions press down on the detectives of the 87th Precinct. Who set up the phony hanging? Whose fingerprints were on the syringe found at the scene? Who was making threatening phone calls, attempting to implicate Lieutenant Byrnes' teenage son?Somebody is pushing the 87th Precinct hard, and Detective Steve Carella and Lieutenant Pete Byrnes have to push back harder - before a frightening and deadly chain tightens its trip. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars McBain is the McBest lol!!!!!!!
Let me start by saying thatI agree with what everyone posted....and in addition, the story and plot were so well constructed!!! After everything unfolds, you find yourself drawn to the characters also! Great read, and great buy!!!! Sorry this review is soo vague, but I didn't want to give anything away....

5-0 out of 5 stars Old Gold
An early 87 that no fan of the series should miss. McBain had the touch from the very beginning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crime Fiction that stands up to the test of time...
The third book in the 87th Precinct series is a more standard entry into the police procedural genre. But at the same time, it manages to reach an emotional depth somewhat unusual for the time period.

The plot is pretty straight forward. A pair of patrolmen stumble upon a apparent junkie suicide. But sometimes things aren't as easy as they seem, and the suicide squeal quickly turns into a multiple homicide investigation that threatens to become blackmail when Lt. Byrnes son becomes linked to the drug scene. The bulls at the 87th are relegated mainly to the footwork, as most of the behind the scenes action involves Byrnes as he struggles with his son's involvement. Byrnes goes as far as to fill Carella in on the situation, a decision that almost proves to be fatal.

Apart from some of the dated aspects one would expect from a well-reserched police drama from the fifties, the bulk of the novel is your typical expose on the brutal world of the street level drug trade. But as usual, McBain delves into the emotional causes and ramifications of the Heroin users and dealers. The most revealing of these is the personal and professional termoil faced by Lt. Byrnes with the revelation that his son is a Heroin addict. Adding to the emotional doubt of where he has gone wrong with his son, and the constant battle between anger and compassion, is the dilemma of whether or not to cover up his son's possible involvement in a crime, especially when a mysterious third party with knowledge of his son's connection attempts to blackmail him for police protection.

McBain doesn't just focus on the 87th detectives. Glimpses into the lives of low key players in the drug scene shows the many facets of human frailty and desperation and prevents the broad generalizations that many crime dramas easily fall into. Even the closer look at Carella's relationship with stoolie Danny the Gimp is both touching and revealing. But to McBain's credit, none of this detailed attention to the human element detracts from the gritty realism that is typical of this series.

5-0 out of 5 stars 'Pusher'--another McBain winner!
Published in 1956, "Pusher" by Ed McBain, one of the author's famed 87th Precinct mysteries,
may be a bit dated, but the sheer power of writing and the abilitiy of the author makes this one a
worthy read.McBain's legions of fans (most of whom have, no doubt, already read this one)
certainly found this to be a choice selection.

This time we find Steve Carella and Lieutenant Peter Byrnes again up to their precinct necks in
crime.As the title suggests, they're investigating the death of a drug dealer. The autopsy had said
suicide, but Carella and Byrnes know better.

And with the speed of some sound writing style and
excellent plot development, Mc Bain carries his readers full tilt.There's no resting; the pace is
terrific!Aided by first-class dialogue development "Pusher" is quick and easy to read. One doesn't
have to be totally dedicated to McBain to enjoy this one.Remember: it's quick and easy. And good.

5-0 out of 5 stars He Who Hesitates
Of McBain's 70 to 80 books, this is without a doubt his best.This is what storytelling is all about.Simple characters, doing simple things and making it impossible to put the book down . I'm curious to know whether Evan Hunter is still alive or just retired from writing. ... Read more

2. The Big Bad City (87th Precinct Mysteries)
by Ed McBain
Mass Market Paperback: 336 Pages (1999-11-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$1.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671025694
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

In this city, you have to pay attention. In this city, things are happening all the time, all over the place, and you don't have to be a detective to smell evil in the wind.

Take this week's tabloids: the face of a dead girl is splashed across the front page. She was found sprawled near a park bench not seven blocks from the police station. Detectives Carella and Brown soon discover the girl has a most unusual past. Meanwhile, the late-night news tracks the exploits of The Cookie Boy, a professional thief who leaves his calling card -- a box of chocolate chip cookies -- at the scene of each score. And while the detectives of the 87th Precinct are investigating these cases, one of them is being stalked by the man who killed his father.

Welcome to the Big Bad City.Amazon.com Review
Ed McBain is the only American winner of the coveted Diamond Dagger Award,and he is also a past recipient of the Mystery Writers of America GrandMaster Award. So, when a reader picks up the latest installment of McBain's87th Precinct series, the bar is set pretty high. But with The Big BadCity, McBain meets expectations.

In the opening pages, Steve Carella and Artie Brown return to the departmentwith 9 basketball players (the 10th player was murdered) only todiscover a knife fight erupting in a holding cell. It's a steamy Augustnight, and Carella and Detective Parker end up having to shoot one of thefighters to cool things down. Then Meyer and Kling enter the scene;they're hot in pursuit of the Cookie Boy, a thief who leaves chocolate-chipcookies at every crime sight. Before the interminable day is done, Carellaand Brown are called out to Grover Park to investigate a homicide. A nunhas been strangled to death, but she's no ordinary Sister. She's got signsof a breast augmentation operation that hint at a sordid past. Finally,readers are privy to a conversation between Juju and Sonny.Sonny killed acop's dad, and Juju is convinced that the police will bend the rules to seethat Sonny winds up dead. Juju insists that the only way out of the deathtrap is to kill the cop first. The officer's name is Steve Carella. And allof this happens in the first 15 pages.

McBain is one of the artists of the police procedural. Though his city isfictional, it breathes with the darkness and gritty reality of manyAmerican cities. He enters the minds and hearts of his characters touncover the daily insecurities that accompany the work of policemen. Readersnew to the 87th Precinct will want to venture back to such tales as 1956'sCop Hater, 1964'sAx, and 1965's Doll, among the 47installments in this series. Those who've been along for the ride will behappy they did not give up their seat. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Mystery; Superior New York Ambiance
"The Big Bad City" ( 1999)is one in the long series of 87th Precinct mystery novels by Ed McBain.It's set in contemporary times, in "Isola," his take on the wonderful city of New York, and boasts a complex, multi-level plot that should please most mystery lovers.

McBain's cop, Detective Steve Carella, is involved in three cases at once.The Cookie Boy, so dubbed by the city's media, is a careful, professional thief, who leaves white boxes of home baked chocolate chip cookies on the pillows of his victims. But, this time, he has stumbled into an occupied apartment, with disastrous, murderous results.The body of a pretty girl has been found in the park: preliminary investigation reveals that she is a nun, Sister Mary Vincent, born Kate Cochran in Philadelphia, and possessor, strangely enough, of breast implants.And Sonny Cole, convicted felon who killed Carella's father in the commission of a felony but was somehow found not guilty, is following Carella, planning to kill him, as he believes the detective will inevitably try to kill him in revenge.So McBain's juggling these three interesting plots, though it must be said, they are somewhat mannered and artificial.But he works them out, in a page turner that keeps driving forward.

McBain also did a superior job of rendering New York, its ambiance, its speech, its geography and harsh weather: hewas certainly one of the best of the genre writers in thisregard.I do get a bit distracted by his made-up names for streets, boroughs and bridges, don't know why he thought that necessary, but I can live with it. The author, who is deceased,was the only American to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers Association's highest award.He also held the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award.His books, at the publication of this one, had already sold over one hundred million copies worldwide; this figure includes the highly influential The Blackboard Jungle: A Novel, published early in his career under his own name, Evan Hunter; made into a movie under the same name (Blackboard Jungle). He also wrote the screen play for Alfred Hitchcock's famed film, (The Birds (Collector's Edition)).He was a talented guy, and a prolific writer, and "Big Bad City" is an enjoyable read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ed McBain - it is what it is
First of all I am not a huge fan of Ed McBain.
It is a nice read with the true story feel except for the obvious theatrical conclusion.
If you want a semi-boring detective story descriping the failing judicial system, the typical criminal backgrounds and habits while centered around the good cop Steve Carella and his criminal investigation then this book is just the thing.

I am sure I am stepping on a lot of toes here. I am not belittling the author. The story was quite good and you could even picture the sweating duo in their suits a hot day, the less bright cops on the force firing off "as if it was a black kid on a Brooklyn roof with a CD in his hand", as well as the dislikable one who can get things done in a slight different way. But why not make the places more descriptive (=alive) and the stories a little more elaborate. But I guess the format is; a simple cop story, and nothing more.

If you like Ed McBain's books then you should broaden your horizon and sample Sjövall-Wahlöö who also wrote quite a few good cop stories during the sixties and seventies. They actually liked Ed McBain, but created their own style which I find more engaging as they focus more on the story and have more suspense. Again I am sure I am a bit biased being from Sweden. But another major difference is that they didn't use silly aliases such as Isola for Manhattan. I have met Americans that rate their novels very high, even above Ed McBain.

Henning Mankell is another good (Swedish) author in the same genre. Try one of his first books with detective Kurt Wallander. This author carries on the tradition from Sjövall-Wahlöö (and Stieg Trenter before them) into the nineties and the new millenium.

If you want more suspense crime novels then I recommend the Millenium series by the late Stieg Larsson. The first book is a little of a bore as well, but has a great conclusion, and builds up to the next two novels which are simply superb. I also saw the first movie but it sucks big time. The swedes can do first rate commercials, but not motion pictures. They all seem to suffer from the Bergman syndrom (slow and difficult :-)

5-0 out of 5 stars A late arrival to McBain finds hims wonderful
I've arrived late to Ed McBain. The first work of his I read was his last (unless, like the late Ludlum, his estate decides to keep him alive through badly written and truly "ghost" novels).

McBain wrote, I think, 55 87th Precinct police procedurals. "The Big Bad City" was published in 1999. Structurally, McBain seems to have found a forumula and stuck with it - and that's a good thing, because his forumula works.

In a city that stands in as a thinly veiled New York city, the 87th Precinct bustles with activity. The precinct's detectives juggle many cases at a time, some propelled by political pressure, others by the personal involvement of the detectives, some because of happenstance and lucky tips or breaks.

In "The Big Bad City," a burglar dubbed The Cookie Boy by the press because he leaves chocolate cookies behind is on the loose;the man who killed Detective Cardella's father decides to wrap up loose ends by killing the Detective is on the prowl and a woman is found strangled in the park. The latter case rises from the routine when the woman is discovered to be a young nun - with breast implants.

McBain is in flawless. His characters have enough depth to be believable; just enough depth. His police officers run the range from the competent to slovenly and not quite-as-competent. Some are fair-minded, some are bigots. They solve their crimes through good, tedious police work. They don't get miraculous breaks: just those that they develop through their own persistence , diligence, experience and hard-work, aided by the occasional walk-in or phone-in tip. McBain is terrific at describing this often boring, often discouraging work without himself becoming tedious.

The unravelling of the murder of the nun is great storytelling as is the story of the guy plotting to kill the cop. The burglar story is a delight that could easily stand alone as a short story.

I regret having discovred McBain after his death, but he left one hell of a legacy.


3-0 out of 5 stars more of the same from the 87th precinct
If you have read McBain before, you will find more of the same in this novel. As usual in his 87th precinct works that I have read, McBain (pen name of the author) sets out what are basically three short stories that interlink and form into a short novel. All three of these stories are slick no nonsense to the point Dragnet style pieces. They are very readable and enjoyable. If you are a fan as I am and are looking for more of the same from McBain this book will not let you down. If you have not read McBain before, I would suggest that you start towards the beginning of his series even though you could jump in here and it would not effect the enjoyment this work offers in any way. That aside, I am only rating this work as a three star read because it is so formulaic. I can't bring myself to rate it any higher because I feel that the author is just churning this out without much thought (even though he does this quite well). This book is not high literature. It is just something, as are all of the books in this series, to pick up and enjoy for what it is, a mass produced work by a master in familiar surroundings.

3-0 out of 5 stars This is a read that I would recommend, might be 4 stars
The only reason I am being a little hard on McBain here is that one of his numerous Isola city crime novels melds into another with little to make any particular work stand out from the rest. As usual, this book is taught with fine prose and a couple different plots that weave past each other and develop without pain to the reader. As usual the plots are distinct and well scripted while being laced with tidbits of philosophical rumblings by the protagonists. McBain is in my opinion one of the more gifted writers of the last five decades, churning out enough material to encompass several careers. Only I don't think McBain is taking any risks here, he plays it safe and we get more of the same. So that is why I am knocking this book down a couple of notches. Its totally worth reading and I would say that you will not be disapointed by purcasing this book. Its just not ground breaking and I am being hard on the old guy because I think he has it in him to churn out a magnificent read if he desired.

Lastly I would reccomend early Dick Francis novels or Johng MacDonald if you are looking for authors on par with McBain. They are different but similar in approach to their craft. ... Read more

3. The Last Dance
by Ed McBain
Mass Market Paperback: 336 Pages (2000-12-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671025708
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In this city, you can get anything done for a price. If you want someone's eyeglasses smashed, it'll cost you a subway token. You want his fingernails pulled out? His legs broken? You want him hurt so bad he's an invalid his whole life? You want him...killed? Let me talk to someone. It can be done.

The hanging death of a nondescript old man in a shabby little apartment in a meager section of the 87th Precinct is nothing much in this city, especially to detectives Carella and Meyer. But everyone has a story, and this old man's story stood to make some people a lot of money. His story takes Carella, Meyer, Brown, and Weeks on a search through Isola's seedy strip clubs and to the bright lights of the theater district. There they discover an upcoming musical with ties to a mysterious drug -- and a killer who stays until the last dance.Amazon.com Review
Penzler Pick, January 2000: When it comes to the novels of big-city cop life revolving around a single station house's daily dramas, Ed McBain wrote the book--50 of them, in fact. And whatever one thinks of the virtues of NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, or even Law and Order, there's the undeniable truth that McBain was there first, with his wonderfully reimagined New York. (Fans know that Isola is the stand-in for the borough of Manhattan, Riverhead for the Bronx, Majesta for Queens, Calm's Point for Brooklyn, and Bethtown for Staten Island.)

Here, as one hopes and expects, a body turns up within the opening pages. And also, as is often the case, Detective Steve Carella is there to spar with the medical examiner.

But there are other bodies and other police personnel in a story that takes the typical McBain route--no short cuts--that amounts to a crook's tour of the city he loves. With a cast of characters that ranges from socialites to hookers, The Last Dance takes in theater world chicanery, police brutality, and a pizza-joint massacre.

Ed McBain, also known as Evan Hunter, is the only American ever to have won the British Crimewriters Association's Diamond Dagger; he is a grand master of the Mystery Writers of America; his books have sold over a hundred million copies around the world; and he wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, the Matthew Hope series of mystery novels with fairy tale and nursery rhyme titles (Rumpelstiltskin, Goldilocks, etc.), as well as the classic The Blackboard Jungle.

Celebrating the publication of the 50th novel in a series that stays amazingly fresh and incredibly readable is no small thing. This much-loved and seminal writer is a national treasure. If you're a mystery reader, you've undoubtedly read Ed McBain. If you haven't read one for a while, try this one. It's so good it will immediately send you scurrying back for the ones you missed. --Otto Penzler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good story
I wasn't familiar with McBain before coming across this book. It's a really well done mystery ---characters are well drawn and interesting, the events are plausible. McBain also was the narrator for the audio book I listened to, and did an excellent job. Few writers would have a talent for that. An article on him in Wikipedia reveals that he was even more multi-talented than that, working in the movies and TV. His legal name was Evan Hunter. Unfortunately, he died in 2005. It will take a while to read all of his books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Superbly Entertaining
I picked up The Last Dance expecting a detective story and was pleasantly surprised to find a unique take on police procedural.The characters were interesting, the dialog crisp and hilarious.McBain could pen a phrase like no one I've ever read.I found the `stream of consciousness' style of dialog hilarious.Some parts were so funny, I read over it again (like a favorite song you replay over and over when no one else is around). Although all police investigations don't end with a bang, I wanted a bigger ending.However, the characters alone are enough to make me want to check out other books in this series.

5-0 out of 5 stars RIP Ed McBain
He was my favorite author and I believe that anything he has written should be required reading for any fan of mysteries.He had a comic flair and a way with words that engages the reader immediately.Don't miss!

3-0 out of 5 stars More than a 3 but not quite a 4
This book was fast reading and entertaining, yet I felt there were too many characters and too many things happening.Towards the end when another new character was introduced, it was too much.I didn't think it wrapped up well, either.
I will try another on of his books, but he'll have to put a little more substance in his writing for me to become a fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars Everything falls into place nicely
THE LAST DANCE does a nice job of combining solid detective work with the occasional bit of chance to form a nicely constructed 87th precinct novel. All the players are here, including the man we love to hate Ollie Weeks, and the murder here is complicated by a series of events that are indirectly related, yet all lead to the eventual solution. A suicide that transforms into a homicide which ties into a play revival; only McBain can make something seemingly so far fetched work so well.For the 50th book in a series, this one definitely is spry for its age and McBain does his usual fine job making it all work. ... Read more

4. Hark!: A Novel of the 87th Precinct
by Ed McBain
Mass Market Paperback: 432 Pages (2005-10-25)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743476522
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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I'm a Fathead, Men!

I Am the Deaf Man!

Unscrambling the cryptic messages -- anagrams, Detective Carella called them -- delivered to the 87th Precinct confirmed that the master criminal who has eluded them time and again is not only alive and well, but may or may not be behind a deadly revenge shooting. For that matter, the Deaf Man may or may not be deaf. But he's getting through loud and clear with clues drawn from Shakespeare's works -- taunting hints and maddening riddles pointing to his next plan of attack. It doesn't take a literary scholar to know there's no room for misinterpretation. For when the Deaf Man talks, everybody listens...or somebody gets hurt. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

2-0 out of 5 stars Too Vulgar-Too Much Code- No Cell Phones
Ed McBain has written many fine novels.

This is not one of them.

If you are really into code or crossword puzzles or vulgar descriptions of mindless sex, you might like it.

The most surprising thing about the book is that none of the characters has a cell phone.It is after 9/11.People have PCs.But one of his main characters has to borrow a land line at his mother's & sister's joint wedding.

I don't know what all this says about Mr. McBain's personal experiences.But I wouldn't try to reach him on his cell.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful research to accompany a good story. Hark!
So this is my first Ed McBain novel. I realize that it has characters that have appeared in his previous novels, but this story is a good one on its own. I had no real difficulty reading, nor did I feel the unfamiliar territory that someone who has read the other novels would not. I picked it up from a shelf in a bookstore because it has Willy Shakes on the front cover. I know I am not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I didn't have too much time to spend, and I just couldn't pass this one up.

Turns out that I made a pretty good decision. I love the research that must have gone into this novel, all of the little details that form the story as a whole. Ed McBain doesn't use a generic character, as a lot of authors do, to model other characters after. Each one has his/her own personality and it feels nice to read a work that doesn't seem rushed. He obviously thought a lot of the stuff through and put it together very nicely.

To those of you who haven't given the book past its tenth page, please give it another shot. One of my pet peeves is people picking up a book and reading a few pages or a couple of chapters and then stop. Well, I guess it doesn't really bother me if others do it, I just can't stand the thought of myself doing it. In any case, the story is worth reading, the little details that don't seem to make sense, but really do. There are some loose ends in the story that may have been or may be summed up in future novels, I don't know. But the major plot concludes very nicely. I am curious to find out more about these characters from the 87th and so I may be shopping around for a few prequels and sequels, whatever is out there.

It is a short book, I read it and took my time reading it because I wanted to absorb all of the little details from the story. I think the plot is wonderfully crafted, but I don't know if it's a similar one from any of McBain's other books. I would recommend this to anyone who is just appreciative of the time and effort some people are willing to put into creating a story.

1-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Awful
Absolute trash.The plot is senseless.The police detectives are complete dolts, ignoring leads and insulting victims and following no standard police procedure.(Did the detectives really leave the victim's purse, i.d., and handgun sitting untouched in plain view at the crime scene for several days after they found the body??).The villain is a cardboard cutout.The dialogue of the African-American characters is exactly what you would expect to be written by an author who was an elderly suburban white guy.The lead detective needs his pre-teen child to explain the internet to him (mind you the book was written in 2004, so the internet wasn't exactly a novelty).

It occurred to me part-way through that the whole plot was inspired by the fact that the author was toodling around on the internet one day and stumbled across an anagram-creator and a Shakespeare quote-finder. Once you know that, you know everything you need about this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Crude writer
Never got past the first ten pages. Crude depictions of women as body parts turned me off.Pretty foul language.Better writers don't need to use such tactics to present realistic gritty characters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hark
The book is great, but if I ever get an order correct I would feel better about ordering again. I ordered LARGE PRINT and got regular print. This happens on every order I have placed in the past 6 mos. So for the time being I am ordering my books from some where else, or buying them at Barnes and Nobles. This upsets me greatly, because I have ALWAYS ordered our books from you. I might try one more time and if order is wrong again I will NOT order books from you again. It is really sad to see my husband ( who is terminally ill) looking forward to books and then I have to go through the process of returning and hoping the correct item(s) are sent for him.
Sincerely Marsha Ray[ASIN:0786269340 Hark! A Novel Of The 87th Precinct]] ... Read more

5. Fuzz (87th Precinct Mysteries)
by Ed McBain
Mass Market Paperback: 288 Pages (2000-12-01)
list price: US$6.50 -- used & new: US$38.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446609714
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In this great novel set in and around a NYC police stationhouse, Steve Carella finds how two brutal murder cases converge through coincidence in a startling and savage conclusion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic
Mysterious death threats against city officials seem like a joke at first. Then the bullets and the bombs come out, and the boys of the 87th Precinct realize that they're dealing with another caper by their old nemesis, the Deaf Man.

This is an exceptionally well-crafted police procedural. The characterizations of Carella, Meyer, and Cotton Hawes are like being reunited with old friends, and the subplots all dovetail to support the main plot. Another great book by McBain -- fun, interesting, and absorbing.

Reviewer: Liz Clare, co-author of the historical novel "To the Ends of the Earth: The Last Journey of Lewis and Clark"

3-0 out of 5 stars Slightly farcical addition to the case files of the 87th
Ed McBain's long-running series of mystery novels spanned fifty years and over fifty books. Based in the fictional city of Isola (with its eerie similarities to New York), McBain's conscientious cops spent thousands of pages chasing down every sort of villainous behaviour. From 1956 to 2005, readers were introduced to serial killers, money laundering, granny dumping and more.

In Fuzz, McBain's recurring villain, the Deaf Man, returns - but so does everyone and everything else. McBain takes the entire cast out of the box and dusts them off in this one.

While the Deaf Man begins another reign of terror, the precinct also investigates a robbery and a series of attacks on the city's homeless population. The ending (in which all three plot threads combine) is slightly contrived, but the book as a whole is one of the most exciting, with something happening on every page. (Also, per usual, Something Awful happens to the unfortunate Detective Steve Carella).

3-0 out of 5 stars Well Done but Not One of McBains Best
Each of McBain's 87th Precinct novels has a little twist of its' own.This one has another appearance by 'the deaf-man'; whose only hard of hearing but hard to kill.Like all of his stories, there are actually three crimes being followed.The one with the deaf-man has to do with him killing politicians and then extorting money from wealthy men.

Story number two has to do with a robbery that is set-up by two of the dumbest criminals who ever lived, and were overheard planning the robbery in a luncheonette.Someone overheard them and wants a piece of the action, ends up getting caught by the police and he rats on the guys.

Story three is about two young guys who have been poring gasoline on bums and then setting them on fire.One of the bums has died.Steve Carella goes undercover as a derelict to try and catch them.But Steve gets beat up twice for his troubles.Who ever heard of a police undercover action without back-up?!Going by himself Carella deserved to get beaten up.
The ending is just too ridiculous to be believed, it piles coincidence on top of remarkable luck and plain stupidity. Totally unbelievable.

4-0 out of 5 stars FUZZ is Fun
Vintage McBain, and it reads as if it was written yesterday, with some minor exceptions ("fuzz" means police, "dig it", and 60's jargon like that). Keeps you reading, and turning the pages. Definitely worth the 7 bucks I spent.

HOWEVER, the version I read was the online version by Rosetta Books. This publisher does not include the graphics (Deaf Man's letters) in the books, and does not allow you to print out the book. So, I was stuck reading the thing in front of my computer all day. Yuk. I advise you, Gentle Reader, to not buy anything from Rosetta, unless you are seriously hard-up for the book. Oh well. Live and learn.

BTW, I have inside information from a *very* reliable source that Pocket is coming out with 87th Precinct Deaf Man books later this year. Wait for them, and get a *real* book.

5-0 out of 5 stars FUZZ IS A FIVE!!!!
Fuzz is a five, to me anyway. There are really three stores going on at the same time. One is: someone is throwing gasoline on bums as they sleep and setting them on fire. Carella goes undercover for this one and gets burned himself. Another is: who is after John the Taylor? He is to be robbed but different people show up at the time of the robbery. The other story is the main one.A commissioner is killed after a threat. The Deputy Mayor is killed after a threat. The Mayor is to be next. The squad figures it is the "deaf man" again. All the 87th precinct people work on this. Carella considers him to be a "master criminal"--can he be caught???????? Read as the entire group try to bring this man to justice. As usual McBain writes so you can believe you are there.You get to where you have feelings for each officer and really think you know them.This is the 22nd book I have read by McBain and I think there was only one I did not like. The odds are pretty good you will like this one also. ... Read more

6. Like Love (87th Precinct)
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 176 Pages (2005-06-02)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$6.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0752865463
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A young girl jumps to her death.A salesman gets blown apart.Two semi-naked bodies are found dead on a bed with all the hallmarks of a love pact...Spring really was here for the 87th Precinct. Steve Carella and Cotton Hawes thought the double suicide stank of homicide, but they just couldn't get a break.Fortunately Hawes has something else going on in his life at the moment - something like love. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars LIKE LOVE MAKES YOU LIKE ED MCBAIN!!!!
Another good one by Ed McBain. To start with Steve Carella tries to talk a jumber off a ledge. Does he succeed????? The result ends up causing a problem later in the book. Then, Irene Thayer and Tommy Barlow are found dead in bed. Did someone kill them or was it suicide? If you read close enough you can figure it out long before Cotton Hawes does. No, I did not find it out until the end, but it is there. AS usual a book that is short, easy to read and will hold your attention. A very good mystery with a good ending. You get close to these officers and their families. McBain does well!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooked from the opening
This one starts with a bang. A cop tries to talk a young woman off a ledge. McBain provides the usual razzle-dazzle combination of suspense and action. In the end, every clue dovetails together.It's a credit to theauthor that the finale is both suprising and credible. ... Read more

7. Nocturne: A Novel of the 87th Precinct (87th Precinct Mysteries)
by Ed McBain
Hardcover: 320 Pages (1997-05-01)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$0.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446518050
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Detectives Carella and Hawes of the 87th Precinct investigate the murder of an elderly woman, once one of the greatest concert pianists of the century, while 88th Precinct cop Fat Ollie Weeks trails three prep-school boys and a crack dealer responsible for a vicious attack on a prostitute. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ed McBain fan
I don't think Ed McBain has written a bad book.Great as usual. The ending always leaves you guessing.Was disappointed in the appearance of the book.I assume a hardback book has a jacket cover.This one did not.In fact, the binding of the book was what I would call "hard plastic".I would not have spent the money on this book if I had realized it was not a "true" hardback book.

3-0 out of 5 stars its ok. nothing to write home about
Hey Ed McBain is a good author for what he does. I have read over a dozen of the 87th precinct books and have enjoyed every one of them. But when I start writing a review of a book I like to think of how it stacks up against other authors work. Not only that, but I like to think about how this book rates against another book in the same authors over all body of work. So while this is an elegant and simple book in its own right, it is not a literary achievement. In fact I would go so far as to relate this series of books against well-produced TV shows.
This work has a lot in common with Hill Street Blues. Every episode is about like the last one, three stories interwoven in a tight no-nonsense style. All three stories unfold in an engaging though very expected manner. Because McBain is just churning this work out, I can't give it five stars. Very little sweat seems to go into his novels. He comes up with an interesting premise, works out a beginning and end, and then relies upon his underused gifts as an author to hold it all together.
You will enjoy this book, or Ed McBain in general. I recommend him as a very light read. His work holds together and is more gripping than Grisham, Baldacci, most Stephen King's, and others of this ilk. Try Lawrence Block, Hammett, Jim Thompson, Dick Francis, Tony Hillerman, or Michael Connelly for a better read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite
However, there are so many of the 87th precinct books, I wasn't worried about not enjoying this one as much. I suppose it was the ending bummed me out. It was like...huh? I was kinda let down. It was good though and Ed McBain's references to THE BIRDS and other works of his (that some readers may not be aware that he wrote) cracked me up. The book does age itself with many popular references but that's ok. Sometimes, due to the fact that the series takes place over such a LONG SPAN of time, it's kinda nice to catch up.
I enjoyed the infusion of Ollie Weeks...though I thoroughly dislike that man! I did enjoy the way he was allowed to solve the case involving Marie--though I would have rather had my guys from the 87th do it! (smile)All in all I enjoyed the book as much as Romance--another book that was just 'okay'.
I did enjoy Carella speaking the Italian, however. Nice touch.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooked at once.
I have only recently "discovered" Ed McBain's "87th Precinct" novels, and have been reading them in random order. Like all the others, "Nocturne" was a rapid paced page-turner.

The two simultaneous plots are filled with characters with jaunty attitudes on both sides of the law---hookers, pushers. cops, wackos, pimps.

The two cases crisscross and dovetail into the same place. The ride to that place is filled with suspense with lotsa twists and turns.

Along the way, each cleared suspect leads to another and another until all the pieces meld into the solved puzzle. It is police procedural at its best.

I was hooked in no time and could not put "Nocturne" down.

2-0 out of 5 stars What is all the hype about???
I had never read an Ed McBain book before. After reading all the hype about how great this book is and how great the author is I plopped down my money and took it home. The first two-thirds or so of the book was interesting and did indeed capture my attention. The main features of the plot were four murders, two sets of which seemed unrelated, and various side issues which seemed at times to be a tad irrelevant. However I plodded on, my interest firmly grounded in the belief that this would all tie together into some sort of clever master yarn. I was suckered. Nothing of the sort happened. The story had all the cleverness of Jack Webb reading a Dragnet script without the actors. Actually it was more like bouncing back and forth between TWO unrelated Dragnet episodes. Just the facts. No tie-ins. No clever ending. In fact we don't even find out what happened at all to at least 4 of the culprits. What a disappointment. I feel like ==> I <== was robbed! Where's a cop when you need one?! ... Read more

8. Money, Money, Money: A Novel of the 87th Precinct (87th Precinct Mysteries)
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 384 Pages (2003-04-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$18.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743254457
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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It is Christmas in the city, but it isn't the giving season. A retired Gulf War pilot, a careless second-story man, a pair of angry Mexicans, and an equally shady pair of Secret Service agents are in town after a large stash of money, and no one is interested in sharing.

The detectives at the 87th are already busy for the holidays. Steve Carella and Fat Ollie Weeks catch the squeal when the lions in the city zoo get an unauthorized feeding of a young woman's body. And then there's a trash can stuffed with a book salesman carrying a P-38 Walther and a wad of big bills.

The bad bills and the dead book salesman lead to the offices of a respected publisher, Wadsworth and Dodds. This is good news for Fat Ollie, because he's working on a police novel -- one written by a real cop -- and he's sure it's going to be a bestseller.Amazon.com Review
Steve Carella, Meyer Meyer, and Fat Ollie Weeks having been working the 87th Precinct for more than 40 years, but they're still the top dicks in town for devotees of Ed McBain's absorbing police procedurals.

When a pretty, red-haired, ex-military pilot is killed, the boys in blue blunder around for a few chapters before they unmask her secret life as a drug courier. By then the burglar who broke into Cass Ridley's apartment and stole the "tip" she got for her last run has already tried to spend one of the $100 bills from her stash, attracting the attention of the Secret Service. The "superbill" is phony, and by the time Carella and his crew uncover the international counterfeit ring behind it, McBain has notched up the action with a terrorist plot to bomb Clarendon (read Carnegie) Hall, where an eminent Israeli violinist is performing. There's also a conspiracy involving a publishing company whose sales reps are so venal and violent you might think they were the creation of a writer who blamed them when his last book failed to sell. Not so McBain, who can't have too many complaints in that department. His publisher's reps have been living well for decades on the commissions earned on McBain's books (including those of Evan Hunter, his alter ego).

That he has kept this series going for so long without tricking up the plots, turning his characters into stereotypes, or sacrificing their humanity is a tribute to his authorial gifts: expert pacing, sharp-edged dialogue, authenticity, wit, and confidence. There's only thing getting old in this, his 51st book in an evergreen series: the fictional convention that locates the 87th in a place called Isola instead of midtown Manhattan, where it so clearly is set. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

3-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre late installment in long-running series
Ed McBain's long-running series of mystery novels spanned fifty years and over fifty books. Based in the fictional city of Isola (with its eerie similarities to New York), McBain's conscientious cops spent thousands of pages chasing down every sort of villainous behaviour. From 1956 to 2005, readers were introduced to serial killers, money laundering, granny dumping and more.

Most of the final (2000-2005) books were characterized by an exceedingly-clever, self-aware style, in which the long-established characters took a back seat to intricate plot devices. The method of storytelling also shifted away from the police and on to the other (short-lived) characters.Money, Money, Money (originally published in 2001) is a good example of this style.

Detectives Steve Carella and Fat Ollie Weeks both serve as hosts to the book, but the story actually follows the criminal cast around from scene to scene - a drug courier, a drug dealer, a petty burglar, etc. etc. The action is recounted from a dozen different points of view, with the police serving as a framing device.

Money, Money, Money also has Something Awful (actually, quite a few Somethings) happen to the oft-victimized Carella, who, for the first point in the series, is starting to feel a bit put-upon. Fortunately, this swiftly blows over. Carella is an excellent and noble everyman, and should really avoid the depressing thoughts (even after being savaged by lions).

5-0 out of 5 stars Why couldn't McBain live forever?
The first Ed McBain novel I read was the last he ever wrote. Fortunately for me there are more than 50 87th Precinct novels for me to work through: this is my third or fourth.

McBain seems to have written to a formula, but he executed that formula brilliantly. Several stories going on at once. Each of the characters is sharply defined, but a few get extra detail, like Detective Steve Cardella. Cardella has a deaf (yeah, I know: politically incorrect) wife, twins who grow up fast, a sister (in this one) about to be engaged to the prosecutor who let her (and Steve's) father get away with murder, an aging mom who falls in love. Some of the other characters we know nothing about, but like a good movie, McBain keeps them all moving.

This story is about a dashing young woman who winds up naked in an enclosure filled with hungry lions; a lot of dope dealers; a book salesman who winds up very dead in a garbage can; a burglar out for the big score and a few terrorists.

No sense in giving away the whole book: just go read it and have a nice, time courtesy of the late and lamented Ed McBain. It will be a while before we see his likes again.


3-0 out of 5 stars Aintricate 57th Precinctmarred by Fat Ollie and Carella!
A nice solid procedural about counterfeiting is constantly interrupted by silliness. Escaped lions at the zoo, Carella's anger and whining (so out of character) about his mother and sister's choice of beaus, and of course, any story featuring Ollie Weeks is guaranteed to be filled with its share of stupidity. McBain's books are always worth a read, as they are well-constructed, with rock solid plots and a storylines that are always filled with enough complexity to be satisfying, but this is a fairly weak entry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Really, very entertaining.
This was my first McBain book and I loved it.As an old-time fan of Joseph Wambaugh, I found much entertainment in the character, Fat Ollie.He was animated, but real.I find myself chuckling as I think about him, even while I write this review. The plot was interesting, although the Al-Qaida connection is very spooky (released before 9/11).

I am headed out to get another McBain book as soon as I'm done with this review (Fat Ollie's Book)

3-0 out of 5 stars Money Makes The Eight-Seven Go Round
Ed McBain's 51st entry in the 87th Precinct series shows the author in fine fettle, robust even. It's an enjoyable, somewhat unusual novel, a good page-turner as McBains nearly always are. If it's less than his best, it's not from lack of trying.

Someone is moving funny money through the streets of Isola. A woman gets fed to the lions. A guy turns up dead in a garbage can. A peaceful burglar gets an odd visit from a Secret Service agent. A group of terrorists from the Middle East plot an explosion at a city landmark. Just another day at the office for the 87th Precinct.

There's a lot to chew on here, and like the poor woman in the lions' cage, it ends up getting scattered in many directions. Focus is usually one of McBain's strengths, but after a promising start, it kind of gets lost. Perhaps it is because he wanted to tell a story that had little to do with the 87th Precinct, a story about counterfeiters and spies and terrorists. The novel begins rather oddly on a dirt runway in the American Southwest, and the 87th Precinct detectives don't even show up until the book is well underway. They take a back seat for much of the ensuing narrative, while McBain focuses his attentions on one of his more interesting villains, a nasty coked-out drug dealer named Wiggy The Lid, and a white-shoe publishing house where all is not as it seems.

Even this gets tangled up, however. I'm not sure I understand what happened in the novel, why this person did that, but as best I can tell, the pieces don't all connect in the end the way these books usually do. The resolution feels muddy. There's some noises made about government conspiracies, which frankly reeks of Oliver Stone paranoia but grabs you all the same, then it's just dropped without further mention. "Money, Money, Money" feels like an experiment, at times a worthy one, but as a novel it's more than a den of lions can chew on.

The introduction of a terrorist subplot is notable. The copyright of "Money, Money, Money" is 2001, and I suspected McBain threw the subplot in because of a wish to acknowledge 9/11. Yet "Money, Money, Money" hit the bookstores earlier that summer, which renders his take on a group of al-Qaeda operatives plotting to detonate a bomb in a concert hall rather eerie. "We are teaching them we can strike anywhere, anytime," the terrorist leader explains. "We are telling them they are completely vulnerable."

More eerie is the fact this subplot has no apparent purpose in the novel. It doesn't connect with the other plot threads, except that it seems this particular al-Qaeda group has the benefit of counterfeit cash in funding their deadly work. McBain just throws the terrorist plot in there, it seems, because he sensed it was something important that needed to be dealt with. He was right, of course.

But "Money, Money, Money" is not a better book for this Nostradamian turn. It's certainly interesting, vibrant, readable, at times funny, with Fat Ollie Weeks, the miserably uncouth and bigoted cop, getting more center-stage attention than usual. Reading "87th Precinct" novels is always worthwhile, and this is no exception. But this is no standout, either, however elevated its ambitions. ... Read more

9. Cop Hater (87th Precinct)
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 272 Pages (2010-10-15)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$12.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1451623232
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Swift, silent, and deadly -- someone is knocking off the 87th Precinct's finest, one by one. The how of the killings is obvious: three .45 shots from the dark add up to one, two, three very dead detectives. The why and the who are the Precinct's headaches now.

When Detective Reardon is found dead, motive is a big question mark. But when his partner becomes victim number two, it looks like open-and-shut grudge killings. That is, until a third detective buys it.

With one meager clue, Detective Steve Carella begins his grim search for the killer, a search that takes him into the city's underworld to a notorious brothel, to the apartment of a beautiful and dangerous widow, and finally to a .45 automatic aimed straight at his head.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cop Hater is great
can't believe I waited so long to start reading McBain \ 87th Precinct mysteries - get this - read this - you'll be hooked

4-0 out of 5 stars Good start to a fantastic series
I think it was the introduction to 'McBain's Ladies' where Ed McBain wrote that 'Ice' (a later book in the 87th series) was "a far cry from Cop Hater", and that he was "an appallingly bad writer" in the early days. McBain does himself a grave disservice here. Despite a few rough edges, McBain's first 87th Precinct novel is a great book and worthy member of the long-running series.

The characterisation and settings are already well worked out. Carella, Kling, Willis, and Teddy are instantly recognisable, while the city of Isola and the various neighbourhoods of the 87th are clearly established and described well. It's interesting to see the familiar faces at such an early stage; for example, Steve Carella and Teddy Franklin are not yet married, and Kling is still a wet-behind-the-ears patrolman. We also meet detectives such as Havilland who were only present early in the series, while even those cops that are killed off in this book are given some depth and character.

Note that the distinctive and engaging narrative style is present right from the outset, and in particular note the way in which the weather is almost a character itself (typical for many 87th novels). As with some "debut" books, McBain is a little self-conscious about assuring the reader that he really knows his stuff. There are quite detailed descriptions of police procedures, scientific tests, and so forth that are not generally seen in his later books.

The plot itself is very clever, and provides an interesting twist toward the end. The revelation of the motive for the killings makes perfect sense in hindsight, but McBain's ability to lead us astray and dangle red herrings mean we never consider it beforehand. A note the climax of the book: McBain once commented that he made Teddy deaf because he wanted her to be a good "victim", with heroic Steve Carella bursting in to rescue her. He quickly abandoned this line in favour of making Teddy a stronger character, but you can see his original idea playing out here.

So, really, this is a great book, both on its own merits and as the starting point for a long-running series. Many of your favourite characters and elements are in place, and the story itself is clever and well-told. "Appallingly bad writing" this is not!

5-0 out of 5 stars McBain puts the "M" in Man!!!!!!!
Let me start by saying that I heard of the series through one of the most profitable writers in Hollywood, Shane Black. I aspire to attain to his level of success and purchased a copy of this novel. It held my interest from start to finish! It was well structured and well written, I would recommend this novel to anyone.......!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Debut for a Time-tested Series
© 1956, New American Library, New York (1st Signet printing October 1973)

I knew that I'd found a copy of Ed McBain's first 87th Precinct novel at this year's book fair. Somehow it was misplaced for a couple of months, but I found it, and it is a superb introduction to the boys of the 87th Precinct.

In this early installment by the master of police procedural writing detective Steve Carella and company find themselves investigating the senseless murder of their colleague Mike Reardon. The early murder of this cop is followed quickly by the death of his partner David Foster, and culminating in the murder of Carella's own partner Hank Bush. Who is the cop hater that's killing off the 87th? Is it members of the gang known as The Grovers? Is it an old con, just released from prison after having been put away by one or more of the dead cops? Is it a recently released headcase? Or just a lunatic who has it out for cops?

This gem, besides introducing us to Carella and Lt. Byrnes, also provides some of the back story for Carella's relationship with his wife, Teddy--a character who provides some relief from the mundane daily grind of police detection for both Carella and the reader. Again I highly recommend this installment from the 87th. Five reading glasses.

--Benjamin Potter, October 26, 2009

4-0 out of 5 stars McBain Saw Something New
Visionaries are those people who look at nothing and see something. They are inventors of things, pioneers of the possible. Our history is teeming with visionaries: larger-than-life figures who stepped onto the stage and made a difference. You might even argue that they knew that they would be remembered. Pulp writers are not usually associated with this type of forethought. I don't think Edgar Allan Poe consciously thought he was creating a new genre when he wrote his August Dupin stories. I don't think Mark Twain thought he was creating something new when he wrote Huckleberry Finn. The same holds true for Hammett, Chandler, or any of the other pioneers of crime fiction.

Ed McBain seems to be different. I have a 1989 edition of his first 87th Precinct novel, Cop Hater, and he writes a new introduction. He remembers that in 1956 he looked at the landscape of crime fiction and saw a hole, a blank spot. No author was writing fiction that focused on a group of detectives. The large majority of crime fiction featured single-character series many of whom were PIs. PIs or lawyers are not supposed to investigate a murder, McBain thought, detectives are. Then he got an idea: why not feature a series of books about a group of detectives. One detective would take center stage in one book and another guy who step up in the next book. Thus was born the 87th Precinct, the precursor to Hill Street Blues, Patricia Cornwall, Law and Order, CSI, The Wire, Joseph Wambaugh, and others.

And it all started with Cop Hater. In my review of The Postman Always Rings Twice, I wrote that James Cain, in two pages, sets up the entire novel. Well, it takes McBain only three pages. And it's a wallop. McBain shows Mike Reardon, regular guy, getting up for work, kissing his wife, seeing his kids sleeping, sipping coffee, and slipping quietly out of the house. Next thing you know, half his face has been blown away from a .45. That's not the coup de grace. The last sentence of the chapter is: "Mike Reardon was a cop." If that doesn't wake you up and grab you by the collar, I don't know what does.

With the murder of one of their own, the detectives--or "bulls" as they are known by the criminal element--attack the case with the gumption of a cop. Steve Carella and Hank Bush emerge as this story's lead characters. And they do their cop thing. Anyone who has read the books or watched any of the `real' cop shows on TV know what I'm talking about. Carella and Bush talk to bar owners, youth gangs, snitches, a woman who thinks alien cockroaches are invading Earth (seriously). Reardon's murder was bad but it got worse when Reardon's partner was also gunned down. Now, they had something more on their hands. A cop killer, a cop hater, and each man on the squad--and their loved ones--started wondering if they'd be next.

The prose style of this book is unlike anything I've read to date in my exploration of crime fiction. It's quick, terse even, a direct contrast to the plodding nature of the 87th's investigation. In certain interrogation scenes, there are two, three pages of mere dialogue. No prose except the occasional attribution just to help the reader. These scenes clipped along, rapid fire, just like guys in the old movies. It's not unlike Erle Stanley Gardner's use of continuous paragraphs by the same speaker without any prose to get in the way. It works well.

One thing that did not work well was the narrator. Ed McBain, as most everyone knows, is a pen name for a, what, pen name? The man who was born Salvatore Albert Lombino had, by 1952, officially changed his real name to one of his pen names, Evan Hunter. Got all that? Anyway, Cop Hater has a narrator and he sticks his authorial nose in the middle of the prose often. The narrator needs to but in when talking about procedural stuff that the characters would know by heart. But other times, the narrator literally shows up and comments on the action, like a Greek chorus. For example, after a page and a half description of a bar Carella and Bush are going to in order to ask some questions, McBain writes this: "So what did those two big jerks at the end of the bar want?" It was weird because most of the action and thought stay in the head of whatever character leads off the chapter or section.

And speaking of character, the City is a character. Many folks have commented that Pelecanos's DC, Lehane's Boston, Connelly's LA, or Hunsicker's Dallas are characters in their own books. Yes, they are, but the city of Isola--a fictionalized version of New York--seems to breathe on its own. There were numerous sections where McBain started off a chapter with what Isola was doing or what its citizens were doing. It was the prose equivalent of a wide screen shot. It was almost like McBain was playing tour guide for us in his own town. Regarding the fictionalizing of NYC, with just one book under my belt, I didn't like it. Folks who live in New York can smile knowingly when the characters talk about the river or the docks on the East side because New Yorkers have a frame of reference. I don't. I'm one of those readers who likes his crime fiction to be based in reality. It's what sets the Marvel Comics characters apart from their DC Comics counterparts. Spider-man lived and worked in New York. Batman lived in Gotham which is and isn't New York. Just set the story in NYC and be done with it.

Joy in writing is something you can feel when you read a book. If the author loves what's being written, you're going to know it. Ed McBain certainly has a wonderful way with words, especially his pulp fiction verbs. With a book as short as Cop Hater, every word counts. Here's that elevator in the downtown police headquarters building: "The elevator crawled up the intestinal tract of the building. It creaked. It whined. Its walls were moist with the beaded exhalations of its occupants." With one metaphor, McBain puts more in your brain than a paragraph of description. He does this on almost every page. It's refreshing to have a writer channel his inner thesaurus with good results.

McBain's gift is bringing these characters to life. They are presented as real, honest, living, breathing, humans and all the baggage that entails. Real people talk about random stuff even when they are focused on something else. This kind of randomness shows up in movies like Pulp Fiction or Saving Private Ryan, television shows like The Wire, or books like those of Pelecanos. It's here in Cop Hater. The detectives just talk about stuff, women, booze, the weather, whatever. It makes them more three dimensional. Late in the book, Carella goes in to talk with his lieutenant, a man named Byrnes. The lieutenant is on the phone with his wife. In the hands of another novelist, Byrnes would hang up the phone instantly and get down to business. Not here. He finishes his call--like any regular person--and then the two men commiserate on women. Only after that does Carella relate to Byrnes the update of the case. This kind of realism is superb and makes you like these guys even more.

Even for 1956, McBain took some bold choices. The graphic descriptions of the gunshot victims surprised me. The overlty sexual nature of some of the scenes surprised me, too. But what surprised me most was the choice of Carella's girlfriend. She's deaf and mute. You just don't see that kind of attention paid to folks with disabilities unless the person in question witnessed some crime and the killer now stalked them. The scenes between Carella and Teddy were sweet, not cloying at all. It was two people in love and that love came through, even when, say, Carella had always to look directly at Teddy so she could read his lips. With this being the first of the series, I look forward to seeing how their relationship develops.

Which is to say I will certainly be reading more 87th precinct novels. In the past three weeks, I have examined Perry Mason (80 books), Cool and Lam (29), and the detectives of the 87th precinct (54). I enjoyed these characters and books immensely. I have already applied some of the traits of these accomplished writers into my own fiction. If I read nothing else but these three series, it would take awhile and y'all would become quite bored with my reviews. The thing is, I wouldn't be bored at all. I'd be in crime fiction heaven. [...] ... Read more

10. King's Ransom: An 87th Precinct Mystery
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 176 Pages (1981-06-02)
list price: US$4.50
Isbn: 0451159330
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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When the son of wealthy Douglas King's chauffeur is kidnapped and the ransom for the boy could ruin King's biggest business deal ever, King is faced with a difficult choice and the detectives of the 87th Precinct race against time to rescue the boy. Reissue. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, solid read, but lacks the depth of High and Low.
King's Ransom seems like a very unlikely source of material for Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, better know for his samurai epics. However, Kurosawa pulled it off brilliantly, making one of his best films. The source book, by Ed McBain, is solid and well written -- and exciting read. However, it lacks the depth and the staying power of High and Low. The story, as told by McBain, is a straightforward detective story. There are no larger issues contemplated than whether Douglas King should pay the ransom for his chauffer's son, mistakenly kidnapped in place of his own son. Kurosawa, in contrast, turned the story into an indictment of Japanese society with its rigid views of where everyone fits in the caste system. We understand Douglas King's motivation, but he never generates the sympathy we feel for Toshiro Mifune's equivalent character in High and Low. It's a good book, but unlike High and Low, it doesn't really stay with you afterwards.

4-0 out of 5 stars such a good book!
this book is really nice. it's easy to read, but they have too much coversation between the characters. and also there is too many charaters, which can make you confuse. inside the book there is to much details about business, so it's hard for the children to understand. the story pace too slow.
the language that used in this book is fine because it's easy to understand and not to complicated.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT READING!!!1
I know of no one else who can pack so much action into such a short period of time. This is book ten and I am trying to read them in order. The story in nearly all the books take place in a day or two. The books are short and make for a quick read. They are very enjoyable. A boy is kidnapped, but it is the wrong boy. They were supposed to get the son of Douglas King, a very wealth man, but they got the son of his chauffeur instead. King has all his money tied up in buying controling interest in a shoe company and if he pays the ransom he loses the shoe company. The men from the 87th are trying to find who took the boy but if King does not pay they think the boy will be killed. Every thing moves at a very fast pace, will King do what is right and pay up? Will Carella and company find the boy? Makes for a good read. ... Read more

11. Frumious Bandersnatch (87th Precinct)
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 384 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$23.99 -- used & new: US$16.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439194335
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The kidnapping was audacious,

and there were plenty of witnesses...

But no one attending the dazzling launch party for up-and-coming pop idol Tamar Valparaiso knew what they were seeing when, halfway through her performance, masked men whisked the sexy young singer off a luxury yacht and into a waiting speedboat. Now, the evening that was supposed to send Tamar's debut album, Bandersnatch, skyrocketing with a million-dollar promotional campaign has instead kicked off a terrifying countdown for Steve Carella and the detectives of the 87th Precinct. Time is their enemy in the race to find Tamar's abductors -- before the rising star is extinguished forever. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

2-0 out of 5 stars Tarth it with Your Vorpal Sword
When I had finished reading McBain's previous 87th Precinct Novel ("Fat Ollie's Book") I figured that every writer was due a bad book from time to time.Having read all of McBain's previous 52 "87th" books and enjoyed most, I just went on to the next.But if McBain had filled out "Ollie's" with the prose from the 'supposed' book, this one was even worse.Not only does McBain repeat parts of the Lewis Carroll "Jaberwocky" time and again, he has added enough adjectives and reminisces to fill out half the book, but the 'crime' is so pathetic as not to make a good L&O or CSI episode.

In the original forty or so books, the police procedural was the main idea.In this book, the main idea is to put out enough pages so that the book can be published.So much in here is plain idiocy that I found it almost camp.That Steve Carella is now forty is itself funny, since the first book was published in 1956, forty-eight years ago.Carella is supposed to be a twenty year veteran at this point, but his Police Academy friend Charles "Corky" Corcoran is a Lieutenant while Steve is still a Detective second-class.Steve originally had fought in Korea, and Meyer Meyer in WW Two, that would make them both over seventy.In one of the look-backs, it's mentioned that Steve was drafted to fight in an 'overseas' war.Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1987 were the only operations at that time, and by then the military had become a 'volunteer' force.No one has been drafted since then.

It's sad that at the end of his career (there are two more books), McBain/Hunter seems to have begun to live off his name and forgot about that the procedures are what made this a strong series. Very sad.

Zeb Kantrowitz

1-0 out of 5 stars Not impressed with the obscenties...
I used to love to read McBain's early 87th Precinct novels. I hadn't read any in years, so I decided to give this book a try. The language was so disgusting I quit reading this book.Doesn't anyone write a good cop or detective novel any more without using gutter language?We all know it exists, but we don't have to wallow in it. Amazon should have a obscenity rating on all its books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Praise from a beamish (old) boy
I have enjoyed all the 87th Precinct novels, and this one perhaps most of all.For the most part the series has been a straight forward set of police procedurals, but this book feels completely different.It includes some of the bizarre humor one might expect from Lawrence Block or Donald Westlake.Lewis Caroll's surrealistic poem may have had some influence in that direction.

I won't rehash the plot.The criminal behind the kidnapping is a trifle obvious to any experienced reader of crime fiction.That's my only fault with the entire book.The characters are well drawn, the urban setting feels real, the dialogue is superb.

Too bad this writer is no longer with us, in all his writing names.

3-0 out of 5 stars ...and shun [this entry in the series]
What Ed McBain didn't know about modern pop music is written all over The Frumious Bandersnatch, the 53rd in his ever-popular 87th Precinct series. McBain was obviously not a fan of modern music, but his writing (at least at the beginning) suggests that his research consisted entirely of reading gossip magazines (his description of the music video delves into every modern cliche).

I almost didn't finish the novel because of it. Then I realized I don't seek out McBain's work for social commentary, but because his work is the best at presenting a realistic look at the daily grind of America's big-city police officers.

Carella and company are back when new singing sensation, Tamar Valparaiso, is kidnapped during the launch of her debut CD, Bandersnatch. (The title song, and first single, is simply Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" set to music.) Meanwhile, Ollie Weeks (from the 88th precinct) is given his own subplot once again, this time pursuing his romance with fellow police officer Patricia Gomez (who, to me, seems rather dim, but that could only be the way her dialogue is written).

The Frumious Bandersnatch is a weaker entry in the series (the early, more tightly written books are definitely my favorites), but McBain's easygoing skill with words (and Ron McLarty's reading of the audiobook) makes it enjoyable nevertheless, especially during the actual investigation scenes.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment
I hate giving low marks to an Ed McBain book, particularly an 87th Precinct novel, one of the most uniformly brilliant and long running series in history, but I guess any author has a low point now and then, and this is Ed McBain's.

First of all, McBain is a master of the insane but insanely logical motive. I will never forget the guy in Lightning who was raping women because he wanted to get them pregnant in order to rub their noses in the supposed hypocrisy of their anti-abortion point of view. But in The Frumious Bandersnatch both the motive and the villain are obvious very early in the book. Because this is so, much of the suspense is drained away, subsumed into the simple hope that the victim will be recovered alive. There are many pages of pointless dialogue (it's still good dialogue but I still wound up skipping pages) and the usual sub-plots in the series, those revolving around the lives of the cops in the 87th, are glossed over, except for that of Ollie Weeks and his blooming romance.

In the end, this was a depressing, as well as boring book. Let's hope the next one is better. ... Read more

12. The Heckler
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 176 Pages (2004-09-02)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$34.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0752863789
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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All over town, phones were ringing. Shopkeepers and merchants were being threatened by anonymous cranks. And the threats were getting more and more serious. When the angry victims started yelling to the local cops for help, Steve Carella and the boys of the 87th Precinct didn't know what to make of the whole thing. Were they facing a plague of harmless pranksters - or the danger of a city-wide wave of violence? All they had to go on were the constant attention of "the deaf man" and the knowledge that if they didn't catch their cold-blooded callers before the end of the month, the prophecies of murder and mayhem might prove all too true. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read pillar of a must-read series
Ed McBain's long-running series of mystery novels spanned fifty years and over fifty books. Based in the fictional city of Isola (with its eerie similarities to New York), McBain's conscientious cops spent thousands of pages chasing down every sort of villainous behaviour. From 1956 to 2005, readers were introduced to serial killers, money laundering, granny dumping and more.

The volume, The Heckler (originally published in 1960), introduces the Deaf Man, who would rapidly become the criminal nemesis of the 87th Precinct.

The Deaf Man is their total antithesis - he's callous (almost inhuman) and a methodical planner, while the detectives rely on emotion, legwork, and (invariably) luck. McBain tries not to make the Deaf Man a sympathetic character (at least, at first). The criminal mastermind is, however, irresistably cool. He wins at poker, makes women want him through the force of his superior mind alone, is a crack shot, and gives rousing speeches on the laws of probability.

He's also a monster, with no regard for human life. In later appearances, he becomes more and more overtly sadistic - perhaps changing with the times. Still, the Deaf Man is the star of this book. In The Heckler, the 87th is entirely clueless, and the eventual resolution (such as it is) of the case is entirely reliant on luck.

The book is entertaining enough (and the Deaf Man new enough) to make it a captivating read, but as a mystery, it lacks the punch of the better books in the series. It also marks one of the many occasions where Something Awful happens to Steve Carella, one of the nicest detectives in fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comments from a satisfied customer.
I have always enjoyed reading Ed McBain, and THE HECKLER is no
exception. Mr. McBain's style of writing is a 'page turner', and I
am anxious to finish reading this book in order to start the other
two that I ordered.
Thank you for the prompt attention that you give to every order.
Richard Sheldon

5-0 out of 5 stars What is the original date of this book ?
The publishing date of this volume of "The Heckler " is a RE-Publish of the novel of the same name done years ago. To suggest that this is a new or current 87th Precinct novel is misleading

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book
As the other reviewers noted, this is the first appearance of the Deaf Man the infamous villian who haunts the 87th Precinct and Detective Steve Carella.This book has a very clever plot and keeps the reader on edge until the ending.The Deaf Man is one of the most interesting characters in McBain's books because he is such an enigma.
McBain gets right to the point.He does not waste any words at all on description.As a reader I have always found his books impossible to put down. Indeed, description would be superfluous.

5-0 out of 5 stars The 87th Meets Its Moriarty
Someone is making threatening phone calls to various upright citizens. The 87th Precinct meets the Deaf Man for the 1st time in this excitingprocedural.Thismastermind always hatches a convulted scheme to pull offhis crimes and the 87th is usually roped in. We also get Bert Klingtrying to find the vicious thug behind the brutal beating of a beautifulwoman.This is among the tops in the early entries in the series. ... Read more

13. 'Til Death
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 176 Pages (2003-12-04)
list price: US$12.40 -- used & new: US$5.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0752857959
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The groom in question is Tommy Giordano - and he's about to marry Steve Carella's sister, Angela. So the wedding party suddenly becomes a deadly game of hide-and-seek for Steve and the boys of the 87th Precinct. Tommy is "it" and Steve has only a few hours to find a killer and prevent Tommy from being tagged out for good. But how do you find a murderer with hundreds of wedding guests to choose from? Is it Tommy's best man, who would collect everything the groom owns if the killer finds his mark?Or Ben Darcy, who is still madly in love with the bride and would do anything to get her back? Or what about the crazy ex-GI who swore he'd get revenge against Tommy? Carella has to work fast, or someone is going to make Angela a widow on her wedding day... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Nothing like a little excitement on a Sunday, is there?"
"'Til Death", Ed McBain's ninth 87th Precinct novel, is a bit of a departure for the series, introducing Steve Carella's parents and sister for the first time as more than one person is about to join their family.Steve and his pregnant wife, Teddy, attend the wedding of Steve's sister Angela to Tommy Giordano, a good-natured young man whom someone apparently wants dead.A poisonous spider is delivered to his house that morning; his limo is sabotaged, resulting in a potential accident; and a mysterious sniper observes the festivities.But who wants to make Steve's sister a widow before she becomes a bride?Could it be the weak, hulking man with the blond bombshell girlfriend who blames Tommy for his buddy's death in Korea?Angela's old flame, who is in denial that she actually loves someone else?Or Tommy's best friend, the sole beneficiary of his will?Whoever the culprit is, not every member of the wedding party will make it through the day alive...

"'Til Death" continues McBain's practice of keeping us interested in his characters by gradually revealing more about them in each book.In the previous story, "Killer's Wedge", we learned that Carella's father is a baker; now we meet the whole family."'Til Death" can, in fact, be criticized for revealing too much too quickly; it's something of a shock for these characters to appear all at once after their total absence from the previous books, even when Steve was married ("Cop Hater") and seriously wounded ("The Pusher").There's also a return appearance by Christine Maxwell, the bookstore manager from "Lady Killer", now in a relationship with Cotton Hawes; and, for the first time ever in the series, we get a complete list of the sixteen detectives assigned to the 87th Squad, nine of whom we have never met yet.

"'Til Death" makes excellent use of McBain's ensemble cast.Brown and Byrnes never appear, and Hal Willis only gets one scene, but Carella, Kling, Hawes, Meyer and the recently-introduced Bob O'Brien are all integral parts of the story.While "'Til Death" may not rank among McBain's absolute best, it is, like all the 87th Precinct novels, a gripping read.

5-0 out of 5 stars MCBAIN NEARLY ALWAYS GOOD!!!!
I think only Ed McBain could take only one day and write a whole book that would hold my attention. Steve Carella's sister is getting married and maybe, just maybe someone is trying to kill the groom. Who and why? It could be one of several people but Steve and his buddies from the 87th are running out of time to find the killer. Bert Kling and Cotton Hawes are off duty but agree to come to the wedding to help. Myer Myer and the ones on duty are working on another angle. Also, Teddy, Steve's wife is expecting a baby any time. Does she have it in this book or maybe the next one, have to read to find out. You will not want to put this one down when you start it. A quick easy to read good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Professional and Personal
This is one of my favorites of the 87th precinct. McBain changes his usual venue and direction a bit in this one.We get to see Carella's loving relationship with his family. With his sister's wedding and his wife'spregnancy, Steve's got lots of family concerns to worry about. That doesn'tmean "Til Death" in anyway lacks suspense.The pleasantries of abig Italian wedding continue in the backgroud while Carella must play catand mouse with a killer. ... Read more

14. Gladly the Cross Eyed Bear
by Ed McBain
Mass Market Paperback: 336 Pages (1998-07-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446604941
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Lainie Commins, a freelance designer of children's toys, hires attorney Matthew Hope for a lawsuit against her old employers, Brett and Etta Toland. At stake are the lucrative rights to Gladly, a teddy bear with crossed eyes and corrective lenses. It's a straightforward case--until Brett Toland is shot in the throat aboard his luxury yacht and Lainie becomes the chief suspect.Amazon.com Review
This time around Matthew Hope finds himself in southern Florida andin a mess. A woman he's representing is suing a toy manufacturer she saysstole her idea. The problem is, the president of the toy company wasmurdered, and guess who's the prime suspect? The other problem--orproblems--is that Hope's primary private investigator winds up on a boatkidnapped by drug runners leaving Hope, who is still smarting from gunshotwounds he collected in other adventures, to contact by himself the subjectsfor the investigation, all of whom reside on boats. Got that? He does getsome help, in the form of an old-school PI named Guthrie Lamb, who throws inhis techniques to try to crack this rather nutty case. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars A teddy bear murder
Still recovering from a near-fatal shooting in his previous outing ("There Was A Little Girl"), Calusa, Florida, lawyer Matthew Hope finds a trademark case escalating into murder.

The eponymous bear is the creation of his toy-designer client, Lainie Commins, whose former employers, Etta and Brett Toland, have produced a similar cuddly toy and are about to destroy her big chance with their greater market clout.

Naturally, when Brett is found murdered aboard his boat, with plenty of witnesses attesting to Lainie's presence, and her scarf found near the nude body, she is the prime suspect.

Matthew's investigation proves increasingly damaging to Lainie, whose story changes with every telling. Meanwhile, Matthew's cohorts, Warren Chambers and Toots Kiley, in an entirely seperate subplot, are engaged in a drug battle on a drifting boat.

McBain's laconic, mannered prose lends a familiar rythm to this well-paced story laced with moral ambiguities, some of which are Matthew's own.

4-0 out of 5 stars More CarefullyWritten Than 87th Precinct Books
I enjoyed reading this book.I am pretty sure that McBain takes more time writing his Hope series. There's liitle of the flippant dialogue and other narrative devices that often mar the putative reality of the 87th books.McBain's novel (not McBain necessarily) wants you to examine the complexities of human beings--in this novel: Hope, Laine--both in some depth. But all characters invite consideration and really seem to blend seamlessly into the narrative (e.g. Guthrie, Diaz, and Tootsie). The casual connection between pornography and a unique children'steddy bear merits a second (third) look. Characters in this book are generally not nice, but are a mix of good and bad, right and wrong.Many readers will pooh-pooh the secondary plot with Warren and Tootsie, but it is in this world (the boat out on the open sea is a microcosm of our world) that seems so surreal, but really is "life-lived" and the "thing itself" that
we glimpse a human being staring intently at evil (crack and/or cocaine) and saying "you aren't going to beat us this time" He stands strong, helps his addicted friend and gave me some hope that good still may triumph, at least aspirationally, in this world, where my 50 plus years on earth has seen a lot of nastiness, betrayal and other unalloyed forms of evil.But a little good along the way. I read Money, Money, Money just before this one. I enjoyed it, but Gladly has legitimate edginess (not too overdone for a novel) and a kind of crunchy soulfulness that makes you applaud what Etta did to her husband. Again right over wrong; good over evil.Money also had its virtues but was too jauntily frivilous about certain things (lion) and maudlin about human relations: Carrella, mother and wife. My first Hope book; hope others are as good. Oh, I almost forgot. McBain's handling of Hope's coma was excellent and was wrapped up beautifully (understated and clever)at the end of the book. I have read 9 McBain books; Gladly (and just a little of Vespers) is the only one where when I finished the book, I said a little prayer and reached for Yeats's poems. WEll Done.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment
I am a big fan of Ed McBain / Evan Hunter, expecially his 87th precinct books. They have set the standard for the police procedural framework. I have been luke warm towards his Matthew Hope works, feeling that there are lots of lawyers-as-detectives out there. This particular book I found slow developing and the plot was not that gripping. To be honest, I didn't finish the book, so maybe it picked up towards the end. I hope so.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fun read for a night or two
Ed Mc Bain prose, teddy bears, boats Florida country-club/marinas, a pretty girl and murderous rogues. The toy industry and copyrights/patent scheme turns on the profits from the "must have toy" of the year. Just the book for a chilly evening, comfy chair and your favorite beverage.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gladly we read Ed McBain
Ed McBain is the best and this is one of his best.Matthew Hope has two cases, but only one client.The first case is Lainie Commins' battle with a big toy company over trademark rights to a cross-eyed teddy bear.The second is defending her aginst charges that she has murdered the owner of the toy company. He is also battling the after-effects of his own recent near-death experience. Matthew has to work through all these difficulties without the help of his favorite PI's Warren Chambers and Toots Kiley who are embroiled in a life-threatening subplot of their own. This complcated story is played out against the backdrop of McBain's beautifully rendered city of Colussa, Florida. ... Read more

15. Shotgun (87th Precinct Mysteries)
by Ed McBain
Mass Market Paperback: 208 Pages (2000-12-01)
list price: US$6.50
Isbn: 0446609730
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A psycho has butchered a nice young couple and he's loose somewhere in the 87th Precinct. He has a name, an address and an identity. Walter Damascus is a third-rate lothario who likes his women well off, well built and dead, along with their husbands. Sooner or later he will surface. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars WELL WORTH FIVE STARS!!!!
Another great one by Ed McBain. There are two different crimes going on at the same time. Two people have been shot in the face with a shotgun. Another womean has been stabbed to death. Carellla and Kling catch the first one and Myer and Hawes the second. With very good police work the men go after the one or ones who did these two deeds. McBain uses his usual good writing to move the case forward. He makes you feel like you are there and these things can actually happen. There is a very good twist at the end or it was to me. We even have Roger Broome back from a previous book, number nineteen, I think. If you like a good mystery that will hold you attention and make you not want to put the book down, you will enjoy this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars McBain at his Best
The 87th Precinct in the fictional city of Isola is hopping...two murders in one day.The first, a married couple found dead in their apartment, unrecognizeable, two shotgun blasts to the face of each.The second, a middle-aged woman found on her kitchen floor with a bread knife sticking out of her chest.The hard-working detectives of the 87th tenaciously follow leads and clues as they circle closer and closer to the truth.....Shotgun is Ed McBain at his best and nobody does it better.This is a police procedural that has it all...great memorable characters, tight, compelling plot, spare, gritty writing and unrivaled, true to life dialogue.Easily read in one sitting, the story pulls you in from page one and doesn't let go.And after finishing Shotgun, it's easy to see why McBain is considered "the best crime writer in the business."

5-0 out of 5 stars Makes you wonder what's up
I enjoyed the book very much. I just couldn't put it down, as with all of McBain's books. The 87th precinct series are very realistic, as is this book. He goes into great detail. The story is very believable ... Read more

16. Lady Killer (87th Precinct Mystery)
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 160 Pages (1987-04-01)
list price: US$4.50 -- used & new: US$10.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451150821
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The detectives at the 87th Precinct have twelve hours to find out to whom the mysterious crank letter writer was referring when he wrote ""I will kill the lady tonight at 8. What can you do about it."" Reissue. NYT. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very intriging
This book kept me very much in suspense. I enjoyed it very much. I just couldn't put it down. I could not figure it out for anything ... Read more

17. Mischief (87th Precinct Mysteries)
by Ed McBain
Mass Market Paperback: 480 Pages (2003-07-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743463099
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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A punk wielding a spray can is no match for a killer armed with a gun -- and a deadly aim to knock off the city's graffiti artists. One by one, the young scribblers are found murdered, maliciously coated with paint and blood. Detective Steve Carella can't see the writing on the wall -- yet. Meanwhile, the Deaf Man, the 87th Precinct's longtime tormentor, is leading its cops, clue by maddening clue, to uncover a heinous crime that will make the graffiti killer look like an amateur. It's all primed to go down at a raucous rock and rap concert -- but who's going to take the rap? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Trouble at the 87th
The men of the 87th precinct are being sent strange, cryptic messages from "The Deaf Man" who issues guarded warnings about a disruptive event which is about to take place, but couches these warnings in the form of pages from a sci-fi novel. The event is actually a huge rock/rap fest where thousands will be present at an outdoor venue. Much of this story centres on a rap group and the author offers a few of his examples of this genre, none of which does anything for me personally but...to each his own! The other main story surrounds the murders of graffiti writers who deface public and private buildings with their ugly scrawl and who are now being shot by a person unknown. It ewas an ok story but lacked the zip and sizzle of some earlier ones.

3-0 out of 5 stars Life Goes On Day By Day...
In the 87th precinct of an imaginary city named Nowhere, the evildoers were at it again.The one based in New York was blamed with being the instigator, while that one in Denver and one of the two principals in L.A. were co-conspirators in this game of defeating the underdog.The Deaf Man was busy and, thank goodness, he could not hear that awful music -- if you can call it that.It wasn't on Valentine's Day, but a couple of weeks later, that the onslaught on one's ears started and kept on and on for months.It was meant as just a bit of 'mischief' in the beginning but blossomed into a bombshell of hatred.

He'd planned it initially as a taunt because he wasjealous of the admiration she had for the sensitive one who had been her 'friend' when her world was coming apart which seemed like forever.He gave her a reason to live when he came to her aid concerning Better Luck Tomorrow, worst than the awful music, if one could call it that.Thank God he cared enough to intervene.But that was then and this time the insensitive one entered the fray with his pleasure of a little torture from afar to build his ego.We don't always get what we want.She thanked God that he was there for her; thank you more than you know.

They did not expect her defiance and she proved to be a force to be reckoned with as the one she cared for took the path of least resistance.After all, he is getting old now and had too many bad memories to deal with adequately.That one with evil on his mind had made the situation somewhat compromised.It hurt too mcuh to lose a love; you have to grieve for what you loved and lost and remember the love without feeling the loss.Grief is part of healing.

Looks were deceiving and she was hurting more than she showed outwardly.So, now they were back to square one and she had to strive to pick up the pieces and get on with her life, such as it was without him.It was just a case of general principles.Once I was asked, "What's the matter here?" and my response was "It's a matter of principle."It's too bad that he failed her this time as he did not stand behind his principles as he had regaled her about his wonderful pastor.No, that's the other one in L.A.Hallelujah!

The 87th Precinct novels are many and still coming.Some titles include 'Framious Bandersnatch,' 'Fiddlers,' 'Vespers,' 'Heckler,' 'Hark,' 'Shotgun,' and 'Ax.'I enjoyed Evan Hunter's novels when he started many years ago.This one is another in the graffiti-hater series.

5-0 out of 5 stars A magical, marvelous novel
Mischief has the Deaf Man as its main character and what a main character he is.Is there a smarter character, hero or villain, in crime fiction than the Deaf Man? No way. (Is he McBain's DARK alter ego, as Hope and Carella are his "good" alter ego?)As per usual, bad things are happening in the big bad city.But the Deaf Man creates special problems for the 87th.He provides (and harrasses) Carella and his mates with clues etc. to his upcoming nefarious action, which will take place on a grand scale.But the best part of this story concerns a black rap band and its leader--no p.c. condescension in his treatment of the band, the rock concert of which they are to be a major act and their plot action, just honest, good and accurate writing about our "in trouble" society and about the individuals whose stories actually make this society come to life. A killing near the end of the story takes your breath away and gives much "haunting" food for thought.Much mischief in the city. Cops really are having trouble capturing and containing the bad guys. No plot spoilers here.Read the book.It is great.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Deaf Man, mayhem, and atrocious rapping!

The Deaf Man and a killer of graffiti writers are the sources of MISCHIEF in this McBain installment. Kling and Parker are pursuing a possible serial killer who is targeting "writers" with one victim not quite fitting in, and the Deaf Man makes his return with one of his far-fetched schemes to sew chaos in order to make a big score. The one big mistake in this otherwise solid addition to the series is the McBain's sorry attempt to create a rap band, in this case one called Spit Shine; a band that is important to the plot but is one more example how many writers are "tone deaf" to rap. Reading McBain's attempts at rap lyrics are painful to say the least and embarrassing to say the most. Docked a star for the weak lyrics, this is still a good addition to the series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Could have been better.
This book is almost like reading three books in one. One of the stories is about people with Alheimer's Disease who are being abandoned at hospitals all over the city.

Another story is about a serial killer who enjoyskilling people who like to spray paint on walls.

Third--and best ofall--is about a man who calls himself the Deaf Man. He is a criminalmastermind. I think McBain would have done better by leaving out theserial killings, which were just being done to cover up another crime, andhe should have also left out the Alheimers cases and made the Deaf Man theonly story in the book. It was the only story that held my attention. TheDeaf Man was intriguing and charismatic, a very clever crimal genious. ... Read more

18. Lady, Lady I Did it
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 192 Pages (2005-01-07)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$50.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0752864106
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October on the 87th Precinct. Indian Summer. Telephones ring lazily in the police squad room. Tired cops slump at their desks, measuring their hours with cups of coffee. Then it happened. A multiple murder in a downtown bookshop. Four people are dead, and one of them is Detective Bert Kling's fiancee. The summer was over. There's no time for tears - and Kling was the first to admit it. There are clues to find, leads to follow, people to see. And Kling was going to get the sonofabitch who murdered the only person in the world he cared for. For him, it would be a long, cold winter... ... Read more

19. He Who Hesitates (87th Precinct Series)
by Ed McBain
 Mass Market Paperback: 160 Pages (1996-11-01)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$36.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446601470
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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As Roger Broome tries to muster the courage to visit the 87th Precinct to talk about Molly, the woman he had met in a bar and took home, but Amelia, a pretty Spanish girl, leads him to forget his intentions, and with his every hesitation, the countdown on a innocent woman's life continues. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars One That Got Away
"He Who Hesitates" is too incomplete to recommend to 87th Precinct fans and too odd to recommend to anyone else. It is another interesting experiment from an author who never wrote a book the same way twice, but it just doesn't come off.

Roger Broome checks into the big city of Isola to sell some family crafts, but soon finds himself in trouble, the kind of trouble only the law can deal with. Trouble is Roger isn't too sure he wants to involve the police. So he hovers indecisively near the imposing front of the 87th Precinct station house, glimpsing and overhearing characters known from other books in the series, trying to decide what to do next.

It takes us nearly two-thirds of the book before we find out what the trouble is, though it's clear beforehand that Broome is a bit of a nut. Published in 1965, "He Who Hesitates" suggests some inspiration from Hitchcock's then-recent "Psycho" as Broome shares many qualities with that movie's Norman Bates. He's an insecure man-child with some heavy Mommie issues, dangerous when attracted to women, but endearingly sweet and not without redeeming features.

McBain plays up Broome's naïveté well early on, as when he is propositioned by a homosexual outside the stationhouse and doesn't cotton to what's going on. But his denseness, as channeled by McBain, quickly makes for a wooden narrative with the 87th boys regulated to the sidelines and Broome's biggest dramatic moment stretched out in broken-up flashbacks.

I liked the idea of an 87th crime mystery where the crime itself is kept a mystery for a while. And McBain always has rock-solid moments, like Broome's barside meeting with a woman who knows she's ugly but still hopes the right guy will come along, a moment McBain exploits with all the cruelty of a puppy-mill owner.

But the story never really gets going, and the ending, while obviously part of the experiment, feels a cheat both to 87th Precinct readers and anyone who gets involved in Broome's story.

I on the other hand felt a bit cheated well before the end. McBain's strength wasn't just his willingness to experiment, but his craft with a story, a craft largely missing here. It may be worth reading this if you're an 87th buff looking for something different after a classic like "The Mugger" or "Tricks," but there are too many good McBains out there for most people to waste their time here.

1-0 out of 5 stars PLEASE HESITATE TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!
Trying to read these in order, I have now read 19 of the 87th Precinct book. I think this is the first one I did not give a five star rateing to. There is no police work in this book. No Carella Kling, Hawes, Myers, Willis or any of them doing much of anything. The book is all about Roger Broome who comes to the city, committs a crime and spends the whole book trying to work up enough courage to tell the police about it. Really, that is all the book is about. I would say, SKIP THIS ONE IN THE SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars An unusual McBain
This is the most unusual novel in the great 87th Precinct detective series in that instead of being told in the third person like the rest of the books, it is narrated by one of the perpetrators.The perp in question isalso one of the more interesting and psychologically tormented of theentire series.This is not the 87th Precinct novel to start with, but ifyou are a fan of the series, you'll love this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engrossing story told from a new perspective.
A new and interesting twist to the series of the 87th precinct.It has an originality that only Ed Mcbain can work with, and draw the reader into the minds of the villain, rather than the detectives themselves.It gives anew glimpse into the lives of the detectives as seen by others, and notonly from what is read.It keeps you in suspense about what is to happen,and also, what has happened.There is true genius in this piece of work.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent -- two pens up
I loved this story.It felt like a short story, but the characters he drew were fantastic.It was a see-saw,a tugging at the unknown that made this a page turner for me. ... Read more

20. The Con Man
by Ed McBain
Paperback: 160 Pages (2003-12-04)
list price: US$12.40 -- used & new: US$231.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0752857940
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A trickster taking money from an old woman for his own private charity. A cheater fleecing the businessmen of their thousands with the oldest gimmick in town. A lady-killer after the ladies' dollars with just a little bit of love...The guys of the 87th Precinct thought they knew every trick in the book - so why are there bodies still washing up on the shore? The Con Man: handsome, charming - and deadly. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Con Man
Ed McBain wrote 55 "87th Precinct" novels between beginning in 1956 and going until his death in 2005. "The Con Man" is the 4th in the series and was written in 1957. There are many cons going on in the city ranging from a young girl being conned out of $5 to a businessman losing $600 in a con game. Steve Carella of the "87" is investigating the murders of 2 girls who have washed to shore and are termed floaters. They are part of an even more sinister con man who lures young women into marrying him, cleaning out their bank accounts, and them murdering them. Will Carella be able to nab this con man before he kills another girl? Carella's wife, Teddy, is instrumental in helping he husband solve the case. If you are familiar with the series you will know that Teddy is a deaf mute. Other detetives in this one include Arthur Brown, Meyer Meyer, and Bert Kling. This is another great early novel by the master of the police procedural, Ed McBain. "The Con Man" is highly recommended

4-0 out of 5 stars Life is a Con
The fourth book in the 87th Precinct series, the title says it all as the members of the 87th attempt to track down con men preying on the weak and naive members of The City, as well as involving themselves in a few cons of their own.

Written in 1957, my favorite dated aspects of the narrative:

*When talking about pretty girls, it is noted that no one cares if you are smart "so long as you have a beautiful phizz."

*Pointing out the absurdity of something, it is stated that it "takes the brass bologna" and "wins the fur-lined bathtub."

Main man Steve Carella and his deaf/mute wife Teddy (who is yet again involved in a crime relating to Carella's investigations) track down a deadly Lonely Hearts killer, the impatient Brown attempts to stop a pair of street smart confidence men, and rookie Kling helps out while helping his college student fiancee Claire con her school into granting her an early vacation with Kling. The mischevious Meyer Meyer and violent Havilland take to the background in this short entry into the series.

As always, McBain's characters are all three dimensional and compelling, and he manages to explore the emotional and philisophical aspects of crimes, victims of crimes, and their protectors in a way that few ever match. The theme of the The Con is throughout the novel, from the obvious and dangerous to the subtle and benign, and as his opening states and story demonstrates, life itself is a con, and to some degree we are all Con Men.

4-0 out of 5 stars An early call at the 87th Precinct
The 87th Precinct and the guys who staff it must be better known to police procedural mystery readers than any policing establishment in the world. The locale and the guys were presented for the fourth time by author Ed McBain in this short 1957 read.He already opts for the reliable formula: quick changes of scene, colorful dialogue, gruesome murders, suspense, and a chase to effect a last split-second capture at the end.McBain presented several confidence tricks occurring here.Some now seem so obvious and so transparent that one wonders how anyone could fall victim.Nevertheless, for me, McBain's story-telling skill never fails to keep me fascinated.

5-0 out of 5 stars ITS GREAT AND THATS NO CON!!!!
McBain has done it again. Another great book. Steve Carella is investigating the murders of young women who are floating to shore. Can Steve catch him before he strikes again???? There are several different cons going on at the same time. The others involve money and not murders. A tattoo artist gets in the middle along with Mrs. Carella. A good, short read that will make you want to read very fast. I nearly just scanned thelast twenty or so pages because I wanted to find out what the ending was. I think you will enjoy this very much.

5-0 out of 5 stars The perils of Teddy Carella
I confess, I've been in love with Teddy Carella for years which makes thisbook a special treat.Her presence is felt all through this book as theguys at the Precinct find themselves faced with all manners of con men. Oneof them is a serial killer who targets lonely women.When she recognizesthe killer, Teddy follows him while trying to leave clues and messages tosignal husband Steve. First published in '57, we get to see AfricanAmerican cop Arthur Brown facing off against a hotel clerk who won't serveblacks and we meet tattoo artist Charlie Chen who is not a Chinesedetective but also has several worthless sons like the venerable CharlieChan.This is another terrific entry in the best cop series around. ... Read more

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