The disreputable, bigoted, dirty-mouthed but oddly likable Ollie Weeks, a walk-on in Ed McBain's popular 87th Precinct series, gets a book of his own here: not just the mystery of who killed a popular mayoral candidate a few days before the election, but the one Ollie, improbably, is writing. Pity the schmuck who lifts Ollie's only copy of his manuscript from his car--not only is its author in desperate need of what he's sure will be his ticket to fame and fortune, but the befuddled miscreant somehow believes that the caper recounted in Ollie's book is a real one, and that he's in possession of a blueprint for the crime that will allow him to cash in on it. This is a fast, funny read from the master--like a valentine to his fans while they wait for his next big one. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
Even when MWA Grand Master McBain (aka Evan Hunter) isn't in top form, he is very good and such is the case with this 87th Precinct novel, which really belongs to Det. Oliver Wendell Weeks of the 88th Precinct. Fat Ollie, of the gross appetite and the even grosser ignorance of political correctness, played a surprisingly heroic role in the last 87th Precinct novel, Money, Money, Money (2001). Now he claims star billing and repayment of a debt owed by Det. Steve Carella. Two major crimes occur at almost the same time: the shooting of Councilman (and possible mayoral candidate) Lester Henderson as he is getting ready for a rally and the theft of the just completed manuscript of Ollie's first novel, Report to the Commissioner. Ollie enlists Carella's help (Henderson lived in the 87th) and pursues both the murderer and the thief. McBain's broad humor is much in evidence as he pokes fun at detective novels and their readership through excerpts from Fat Ollie's ponderous book. On the other hand, Ollie's outrageous bigotry, like that of TV's Archie Bunker, never seems to hurt or offend anyone and palls over an entire novel. Still, McBain creates wonderfully strange characters, like the transvestite hooker who latches on to Ollie's book, and crimes that are somehow ingenious, stupid and utterly convincing.CWA's highest award, the Diamond Dagger.
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