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Lady Killer [Mass Market Paperback]

Ed Mcbain
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 1981 87th Precinct
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.

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Review

'Familiarity with the cops of 87th Precinct breeds something like devotion: the more we know about them, the more we want to know. Their puzzles are our nightmares.' Newsweek 'Simply the best police procedurals being written in the United States.' Washington Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ed McBain's real name is Evan Hunter and he has written best-selling books under this name. McBain has won numerous awards including the CWA's prestigious Diamond Dagger Award and the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual McBain Has Strong Pace, Weak Punch April 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Lady Killer" was written early in the history of the 87th Precinct series, during a nine-day period in the summer of 1957 while vacationing in Martha's Vineyard. As he wrote in a funny introduction to the Armchair Detective Library edition, he wanted to get it done before some house guests arrived, and almost managed to do so.
It's an unusual 87th entry for several reasons. Those expecting lots of violence and profanity will be surprised by how tame this reads compared to later editions. It's the only 87th novel I've read where Steve Carella was not the main investigator, as Cotton Hawes, a background character in other volumes, strides to the fore. Most notably, there is a very compressed time frame in this book, just over 12 hours from the time a mysterious boy hands a note to the 87th's desk sergeant that states someone's plans to kill "The Lady" to when the note says the killing will take place.
I have a hard time believing that the Isola crime lab would or could respond so quickly to what seems a likely crank note, developing prints and precisely identifying paste and paper. Also, the resolution was unsatisfactory. The would-be killer, who we get shadowy glimpses of before the full reveal, seems to be one type of person before we find out he's another. Maybe Ed just didn't like keeping his guests waiting, but a couple more days would have helped make for a better resolution.
But the pace of this book is great. It has a real kind of moment-by-moment vibrancy with assorted diverting detours like the hunt for the mysterious kid and various leads on who "The Lady" might be. While reading it, you don't want to do much of anything else. Food and bathroom breaks seem unwarranted intrusions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very intriging May 6 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual McBain Has Strong Pace, Weak Punch April 13 2004
By Bill Slocum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Lady Killer" was written early in the history of the 87th Precinct series, during a nine-day period in the summer of 1957 while vacationing in Martha's Vineyard. As he wrote in a funny introduction to the Armchair Detective Library edition, he wanted to get it done before some house guests arrived, and almost managed to do so.
It's an unusual 87th entry for several reasons. Those expecting lots of violence and profanity will be surprised by how tame this reads compared to later editions. It's the only 87th novel I've read where Steve Carella was not the main investigator, as Cotton Hawes, a background character in other volumes, strides to the fore. Most notably, there is a very compressed time frame in this book, just over 12 hours from the time a mysterious boy hands a note to the 87th's desk sergeant that states someone's plans to kill "The Lady" to when the note says the killing will take place.
I have a hard time believing that the Isola crime lab would or could respond so quickly to what seems a likely crank note, developing prints and precisely identifying paste and paper. Also, the resolution was unsatisfactory. The would-be killer, who we get shadowy glimpses of before the full reveal, seems to be one type of person before we find out he's another. Maybe Ed just didn't like keeping his guests waiting, but a couple more days would have helped make for a better resolution.
But the pace of this book is great. It has a real kind of moment-by-moment vibrancy with assorted diverting detours like the hunt for the mysterious kid and various leads on who "The Lady" might be. While reading it, you don't want to do much of anything else. Food and bathroom breaks seem unwarranted intrusions. Maybe it's because the book is such a tight read, at well under 200 pages, but it feels like a really good episode of "Law And Order" or "24," though you'd have to call it "12" instead.
Add to that McBain's wicked sense of humor, his canny ear for dialogue, and his brilliance in observed detail, and you have a recipe for a terrific crime fiction read. Too bad he didn't finish what he started, but maybe you will find the ending more satisfying than I did.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LADY KILLER IS A KILLER BOOK!!!!!! March 9 2002
By Mac Blair - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I don't know any one but McBain that could hold my attention in a book that last for only a one day period of time. He is so good. The 87th Precinct gets a note one morning saying The Lady will be killed that night at 8:00. What lady???? Who could the killer be and why? There are millions of people in the City, is it possible to find The Lady and the killer before the deadline? The usual bunch try their best, Bert Kling, Steve Carella, Cotton Hawes, Myer Myer and Hal Willis give it all they have. It is a very good book on the way good police procedure will win out. The book will hold your attention, you can feel like you are part of the action going on, you can see in your mind the sweat and concern as the dead line draws closer. It is not about blood, guts and gore but will be a very good fast mystery read for you. I am trying to read these in order, hard to find some of them but think it is worth the try.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early, brilliant effort from the 87th Precinct Jan. 9 2009
By J. Shurin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.

One of the early ones, Lady Killer focuses entirely on Detectives Carella and Hawes. The two detectives receive a note that 'The Lady' will be killed tonight. With a city full of ladies to choose from, there's a lot of floundering about to be done. The book is a bit more procedural than most - the detectives tap their informants, brush up on fingerprinting, mull over some criminal psychology and even use a sketch artist.

As a side effect, there's actually very little chance for the reader to solve the mystery themselves - instead, we're just along for the ride. There's also some entertaining nods to 1950's sensibilities involved. Hawes hits on everything in a skirt (or, more daringly, those ladies in pants). A good one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good March 5 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read Ed McBain for years and always enjoy his 87th Precinct stories. It is fun to follow the same Characters from book to book.
2.0 out of 5 stars McBains Folly Jan. 24 2014
By JEANNE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I could call this McBain's Folly or how about an introduction to the 87TH Precinct. McBain wrote this book in 1957, it took him 9 days and it shows. One of the early 87's, the characters are less defined as in later books along with his writing. He tends to pontificate a little more in the early books and use the so called hip language of the time which seems a little dated now. The story itself is not bad but after reading his later books where everything came together it was hard to get through this one. In this book It's almost as if he had a clump of clay and had just begun to mold his characters. He along with his characters have made the journey together.
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