RARA-AVIS: Re: Ed McBain

From: JIM DOHERTY (jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 11 Jan 2010

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    Re your question below:

    "I've always wanted to ask the same question about two other McBain books that I've had in my collection for years but have yet to read. In 1975 he wrote a book called Where's the Smoke. In 1986 he wrote one called Another Part of the City. Both are police books but not part of the 87th precinct series. Sometimes they would reprint older books he wrote under the Evan Hunter or Richard Marsten names and credit them to McBain. Both of these books, however, were McBain originals. I've never heard either of these books mentioned by anybody ever. Just out of curiosity, has anyone read them? Comments?"

    I've never read WHERE THERE'S SMOKE, but I have read ANOTHER PART OF THE CITY. It's somehwat unusual in that, not only is it a procedural that's NOT about the 87th Precinct (instead, it's set in "another part of the city"), but it's set in New York rather than a slightly fictionalized New York with a different name.

    It's actually a novelization of the script for an unproduced TV-movie McBain was hired to write. It was designed to be the pilot of a series, but it never came off. Not sure why it failed to get out of the gate, but, in any case, McBain recycled the material into this novel.

    I liked it, but, had it been an 87th entry, I probably would have regarded it as one of the lesser efforts.



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