Re: RARA-AVIS: An ignoramus enquires....

From: Jim Beaver (
Date: 24 Oct 2001

After years and years of crime-novel reading, I finally read my first 87th Precinct novel a couple of years ago (right after seeing an obscure film based on Cop Hater). I started at the top of the series (The Mugger, I think--Cop Hater is second, IIRC). I liked it pretty well and enjoyed the police procedure stuff. I've read about six so far and have no intention of stopping. Haven't been bored yet, and have quite liked several. (Of course, I read them partly for relaxation between books in my current project of reading biographies of each U.S. president, from first to now, so any light reading is going to be fairly enjoyable even if it isn't quite Twain.)

I've never had the urge to throw one in the trash can (a book in a trash can--my idea of obscenity), nor have I yet been as disappointed as I ultimately got with Robert Parker (and even him I haven't quit yet).

Jim Beaver
> Pursuing my current mad project of investigating all my personal 20th
> century crime writing gaps, I recently bought a 2nd hand paperback of an
> old 87th Precinct novel called - wait a minute while I look in the waste
> paper basket - Cop Hater (1956). A long time ago, admittedly. I believe
> that the author went on to write a number of others, and that a lot of
> people liked them??
> Is or was Ed McBain a real person, or a syndicate? As the series
> continued, did the books become more interesting/less adolescent? Could
> some enthusiast here suggest a probably-more-recent title which I could
> try without being assured of groaning repeatedly and falling asleep in
> Chapter 6, right in the middle of the unconvincing sex scene?

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