Monday, 25 February 2013

Book Report #57 - 'Til Death by Ed McBain

First published in 1959 this is the 9th book in the 87th Precinct series.

It was a little bit different for a police procedural in that the scene of the crime was an ongoing wedding reception.  Some points in the book did not stand the test of time too well; there were some glaring things that happened that would be unthinkable today.

A murder takes place in a secluded part of the Carella property, while the outdoor wedding reception for his sister and brother-in-law is going on.  In an effort not to ruin the party Detective Carella convinces the local police to process the scene from the neighbors yard, out of sight of the festivities.  Really?  I'm not convinced he'd be able to pull that off, even in 1959.

The brother-in-law is the target of some nasty death threats and Steve Carella convinces two of his colleagues to help provide security for the groom. Suspicion falls to an ex-platoon-mate from the Korean War who blames Tommy Giordano (that's the groom, soon to be brother-in-law) for the death of another platoon member.

But there is more to it than that; somebody else wants Giordano dead and is trying to make it happen at the same time.

There is an unsatisfying dangling plot element, either I missed the connection or it was left unresolved on purpose, but there is a rather stunning blonde accomplice in the story who's motivation is never explained.

The book was okay, certainly not one I'd read again, but it did have good dialog, humor and the story moved along nicely.  I'd have to say that missing this book would do you no harm, unless you are on a mission to read them all.  It's 211 pages, that's the Perma Book 35 cent edition, and won't hurt you to read it.

It is important if you want to read about Steve Carella's important life event.  Okay, I'll tell you; his wife, Teddy, gives birth to their twins!

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