Police – past procedural

The Mugger by Ed McBain
 

Sure,
he’s considered the granddaddy of the modern police procedural, but does anyone
really read Ed McBain anymore?
I’m
thinking: just barely. (Yeah, so maybe I’m wrong.)
And
even though I love me a good workplace book, and some of my best friends
favorite books are police procedurals*, I’d never read McBain’s classic 87th
Precinct series.
Probably
because they seemed a little bit dusty. I mean, the series began in the 1950s.
(My parents still were children then, for the love of Mike!)
But the series
raged on into the 2000’s, so heck. Someone must’ve been reading them.
When I
finally succumbed, I went with the second book in the series: The Mugger, from 1956.
And
man, the thing felt retro. With regard to gender stereotypes, it was so dated
as to be laughable.
But the
mystery itself hung together, and some of the plot developments were pleasantly
surprising. The New York setting was nicely evoked, though cloaked in a
different name.
And I
can see the appeal of the series offering a huge cast and then returning in
each book to focus on a different cop or two. If you like the ensemble cast
concept, this series just might be the thing for you.
*Edward
Conlon, where oh where is your next book? Craig Johnson, thank you for
publishing one a year plus the occasional bonus book. Such favors assure your
first place position for quite some time.

by

Reader, librarian, & happy little geek

2 thoughts on “Police – past procedural

  1. I've worked in 3 different public libraries and those books stayed checked out. We could barely get them on the shelves before they were back out again. I've never read any Ed McBain, but I'd like to.

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