A “gripping” collection of crime stories from the author of the acclaimed 87th Precinct novels (People).
Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct is “perhaps the finest police procedural series of all time” (Publishers Weekly). But before he turned to novels, McBain wrote short crime fiction under various names, for pulp magazines including Manhunt and Argosy. Collected in this anthology are twenty-five of these early stories, organized under headings such as “Women in Jeopardy,” “Private Eyes,” “Loose Cannons,” and “Gangs.”
For fans of Ed McBain, the author’s introduction to this anthology will be just as exciting as the stories themselves. There and in his introductory notes to each section, he offers valuable insight into his writing and his singular career.
The 25 crime stories the late MWA Grand Master (1926 2005) wrote between 1952 and 1957 and selected for this thematically arranged collection display in embryo the style and techniques that he would later hone into perhaps the finest police procedural series of all time: the 87th Precinct. Born Salvatore Lombino, McBain (Fiddlers) changed his name legally to Evan Hunter, one of three names these early stories were published under in magazines like Manhunt and Argosy. McBain's entertaining general introduction points to the wide range of his subject matter: "Here were the kids in trouble and the women in jeopardy, here were the private eyes and the gangs. Here were the loose cannons and the innocent bystanders. And here, too, were the cops and robbers." Equally illuminating are his introductions to individual tales like "See Him Die," which, greatly expanded, became the 13th book in the 87th Precinct series. This is an essential volume for McBain fans, an inspiration for aspiring authors and a treasure for both.