Thomas & Mercer recently announced that it would publish 35 titles from Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series of police procedurals. The first two titles, The Mugger and The Con Man, were released a few days ago as ebooks; the remaining 33 titles will be released later this month, also as ebooks. All 35 titles will be available in new trade paperback editions this coming February.
Ed McBain, a pseudonym used by Evan Hunter, published his first 87th Precinct title in 1956, a series of books that eventually totalled 55 in number. "The city in these pages is imaginary," he tells readers. "The people, the places are all fictitious. Only the police routine is based on established investigatory technique."
In The Mugger, the second book in the series, this mugger is special. He preys on women, waiting in the darkness … then comes from behind, attacks them, and snatches their purses. He tells them not to scream and as they're on the ground, reeling with pain and fear, he bows and nonchalantly says, "Clifford thanks you, madam." But when he puts one victim in the hospital and the next in the morgue, the detectives of the 87th Precinct are not amused and will stop at nothing to bring him to justice.
Dashing young patrolman Bert Kling is always there to help a friend. And when a friend's sister-in-law is the mugger's murder victim, Bert's personal reasons to find the maniacal killer soon become a burning obsession … and it could easily get him killed.
The Mugger was adapted into a short feature film in 1958.
In The Con Man, the fourth in the series, the titular character is plying his trade on the streets of Isola: conning a domestic for pocket change, businessmen for thousands, and even ladies in exchange for a little bit of love. You can see the world, meet a lot of nice people, imbibe some unique drinks, and make a ton money … all by conning them for their cash.
The question is: How far is he willing to go?
When a young woman's body washes up in the Harb River, the answer to that question becomes tragically clear. Now Detective Steve Carella races against time to find him before another con turns deadly. The only clue he has to go on is the mysterious tattoo on the young woman’s hand — but it’s enough. Carella takes to the streets, searching its darkest corners for a man who cons his victims out of their money … and their lives.
Later in 2012, Thomas & Mercer will publish new editions of Ed McBain's other series character, Florida criminal attorney Matthew Hope.