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Fat Ollie's Book (87th Precinct #52)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  861 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Murders happen every day in the big bad city. They're not such a big deal, you know. Even when the victim is a city councilman as well known as Lester Henderson. But this is the first time Fat Ollie Weeks of the 88th Precinct has written a novel, ah yes. Called "Report to the Commissioner," it follows a cunning detective named Olivia Wesley Watts, who, apart from being fem ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published December 24th 2002 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,346)
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James Thane
Those who follow the 87th Precinct series know that Fat Ollie Weeks is a bigoted, misogynistic, sloppy and (considerably) overweight detective from the neighboring 88th Precinct. He has an inflated sense of his own importance, and is a living, breathing, mass of contradictions, blind to his own considerable faults. This is best illustrated when we occasionally see Ollie waddling down the street and noticing a person who is overweight. Ollie, who often eats two large pizzas at a single sitting, p ...more
Cathy DuPont
Oct 17, 2014 Cathy DuPont rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Listening to Fat Ollie in Car
Listened to this in the car and sometimes it's difficult to concentrate while had to go back once or twice or more.

It was good, though, the usual McBain. Clear, uncomplicated writing, good fun story about Detective Oliver who happens to be a big guy. And he enjoys his food; his three meals a day...surprise, surprise.

Not reading any (I don't think) of the 87th Precinct series I'm not all that familiar with them but Fat Ollie is from the 88th Precinct and works with the 87th on thes
Tony Gleeson
Dec 22, 2009 Tony Gleeson rated it really liked it
87th Precinct number 52! I finished this with mixed feelings. Part of me really liked it, part of me wasn't so sure. I decided to give it a low 4. McBain once again explored some different territory with this one and I once again came away with the feeling he was getting bored with his characters and was trying to do something a little different. His highly unlikeable train-wreck of a detective, Fat Ollie Weeks, is the focal point of this one. And yet by book's end the reader has caught a glimps ...more
Nov 17, 2014 Skip rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
A politician in an empty theater, prepping for a rally. Detective Fat Ollie Weeks gets the squeal, and while investigating in his usual offensive way, his finally completed manuscript is stolen from his car. Ollie recruits Steve Carella and Bert Kling to help in his investigation of the murder while he also tries to find his only copy of the manuscript. His book entitled "Report to the Commissioner" about a female cop locked in a basement with cache of blood diamonds is thought to be real by the ...more
Jul 25, 2010 Kirsti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, anger
Disappointing. The main character in this book is such a buffoon that I had trouble finishing it. I have never ended a conversation with a coworker (or with anyone, actually) by grabbing my crotch, as Ollie does in this book. Would you? Is it a logical or effective way to conclude an argument?

Also, there isn't much to the plot, and there are so many characters that I had trouble keeping track of them all.

The novel-within-a-novel is atrociously written on purpose, but the humor wore thin. I like
Sheila Beaumont
May 14, 2016 Sheila Beaumont rated it really liked it
Fat Ollie's Book is my favorite of the 87th Precinct novels I've read so far (but I think I have about 47 books to go!). Ollie is an interesting, complex character, bigoted, gluttonous, and insensitive, but also a clever sleuth. In this one he fancies himself a brilliant crime novelist, and it was fun to read excerpts from his excruciatingly bad manuscript, of which the only copy has been stolen from his car.

I do like the way these solid mysteries of Ed McBain's are lightened by humor. I haven't
Julie Marks
Dec 17, 2013 Julie Marks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fat Ollie's Book is a clever story that contains a book within a book. When leaving the scene where a councilman was murdered, Detective/First Grade Oliver Wendell Weeks ("Fat Ollie") realizes that he now has to find two perpetrators, the person who killed Councilman Henderson and the person who stole a novel from his squad car during the murder investigation. As the first one from his police precinct (the 88th) on the scene, Ollie becomes the detective in charge and begins his interrogation. Si ...more
Donna Davis
Ed McBain is gone. He wrote the book on police procedurals for decades, getting better every year, and he left a treasure trove behind him; I miss him anyway.

His novels center around a particular police precinct, so there are several characters that turn up in his novels, developed carefully over the years, that he can limelight, though usually his main man is Carella. Not this time, though.

Fat Ollie is a complex character. Contemptuous, racist, unattractive, he is also a really shrewd cop who,
Aug 30, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#52 in the 87th Precinct series.

87th Precinct mysteries - Murders happen every day in the big bad city. They're not such a big deal, you know. Even when the victim is a city councilman as well known as Lester Henderson. But this is the first time Fat Ollie Weeks of the 88th Precinct has written a novel, ah yes. Called Report to the Commissioner, it follows a cunning detective named Olivia Wesley Watts, who, apart from being female and slim, is rather like Fat Ollie himself. While Ollie's respond
Apr 23, 2014 Gloria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the 52nd book in a 57 book series entitled the "87th Precinct Mysteries." It is a gritty, police procedural novel set in New York. The main character, Ollie Weeks, is an obese detective with destructive eating habits who is also an "equal opportunity bigot" who casts slurs at nearly every ethnicity the reader might think of. While there is some swearing, there is actually only implied violence, drug use, and sexual activity. There is humor in that Ollie thinks he has written the next gre ...more
Sep 03, 2014 Randy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fat Ollie Weeks fancies himself a writer along the lines of Joseph Wambaugh that has written a sure fire bestseller. That it's not very long shows that our boy doesn't really understand. When his "book" is stolen from his car, he turns the city upside down looking for it.

The crook thinks it's a report on a hidden cache of gems and starts looking for them. When no street names or businesses match up, he presumes it's code and tries to break it.

While Ollie is trying to find his bestseller, the 87
Mark Walker
Jun 06, 2014 Mark Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit daft. The idea of an unpleasant cop writing a first person book in voice of a woman requires suspension of belief, and suspension is further stretched when an unpleasant perp believes the book to be real and tries to track down the characters. But, McBain has a great gift for dialogue and creating believable people. The scenes describing Fat Ollie eating are vivid and show a brilliant gift for painting memorable pictures from ordinary events.
Elaine Watson
Apr 14, 2016 Elaine Watson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical of Ed McBain - a good but fairly light detective story with a hint of humour.
Jun 23, 2016 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
I enjoy every entry in this series, but it's an odd and bittersweet experience leaping to this late entry (2002) after only reading the ones written and set in the 1950's through 70's. The hero of the series, Steve Carella, is probably about 25 years old in the first set of novels (1956). In this novel, he talks about recently turning 40. All of the other characters similarly seem to be experiencing aging at an enviably glacial pace, while references to world events make clear that the world out ...more
Saxon Bennett
Aug 07, 2011 Saxon Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
at first i wasn't that keen on it, but the dialogue sold me on the story. the fast paced dialogue and its back and forth rat-ta-tat speed and misunderstandings between characters was actually hilarious. i always find it odd to start out not liking a book only to discover that by the end i am madly in love with it.
Aug 08, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True to the original intent of the 87th being an ensemble performance, this time McBain takes us on the curious and uncertain rehabilitation of Fat Ollie's character. Which is quite a lark. It will probably remind you of someone - the universally disliked colleague whose newly-discovered redeeming features are just painful to acknowledge and reconcile!

McBain must take curious pleasure in dumping on us bucket-loads of previously unknown facts about Ollie. 1 redeeming feature.. 2? No, that's not M
Aug 09, 2009 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fat Ollie Weeks is one of those characters that makes you cringe even though he is only in a book. He has little redeeming value at all but life wouldn't be as interesting without him...right?
A little variation from the usual Ed McBain police procedural - a novel within a novel. I skipped Fat Ollie's novel, but enjoyed, as usual, the good characterizations in the 87th Precinct series.
Jun 23, 2010 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inept cop writes a novel, leaves manuscript on the back seat of the car and it's stolen. Carella helps solve the real crime and lets Fat Ollie take credit. Lots of fun farce in this book
Jan Fortney
May 31, 2013 Jan Fortney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would probably help if you knew Fat Ollie's history, but it's a great book all by itself. The entire 87th Precinct Series is HOT!

Great development of characters. Excellent author.
Dianne Landry
Feb 09, 2014 Dianne Landry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another in the 87th precinct series. I really enjoy these books. They are mindless, fun police drama.
Matthew Newton
Jun 13, 2015 Matthew Newton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable and amusing.
Mary Alice
Perhaps I've had too much of the 87th Precinct lately. Perhaps I just can't find Fat Ollie, a racist and a glutton, endearing. With this, my fourth book in the very long 87th Precinct series, I no longer find fictional police detection as fascinating as when it was new to me.

There are two stories in the book, and also a novel within a novel. So I was confused. The first story has to do with the theft of the only copy of a detective novel that Ollie wrote. Most or all of Ollie's 36 page book is i
Nov 19, 2007 Tina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I've read all the 87th precinct novels and found over the years that I enjoy the detectives of the Eight-Seven, their cases and their personal lives. I, however, don't like Ollie Weekes and am dismayed that he's playing an increasingly larger (no pun intended) role in the series. And it isn't because of his bigoted views, although they play a part, it is because he's not an interesting character. He's one-dimensional and has not a single quality that makes him an interesting "person" to read abo ...more
Jan 11, 2013 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, police
Fat Ollie Weeks (aka Oliver Wendall Weeks) is a detective from the 88th precinct who has shown up in a number of Ed McBain’s 87th precinct stories. He is a good detective but a horrible bigot with poor hygiene and atrocious eating habits. In the previous 87th precinct novel, he decided that he could write a book – a detective mystery. This McBain book is named “Fat Ollie’s Book” not only because he features prominently in it, rather than a secondary character as usual, but because we are also tr ...more
James Brown
This was the first Ed McBain book I read and I didn't expect to like it much ... residual English prof snobbery, I guess. In truth, it wasn't a very accurate introduction to the 87th Precinct because it's pretty late in the McBain oeuvre and focuses almost perversely on an ancillary character. It's a little more ... dare I say ... literary than some of the other 87th Precinct novels. There are some interesting metafictional elements here, but Pale Fire it ain't.

So what I can say? Now that relea
Dan Downing
Jun 28, 2015 Dan Downing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How can you resist an 87th Precinct story? Old friends, long memories, good police work, and in this case humor and intertwining plots galore.

McBain writes several clever stories here, cleanly shuffled together into one novel. It is amusing, clean, well written, satisfying and rings true. Who could ask for more?
Gerald Kinro
Mar 25, 2012 Gerald Kinro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mayoral candidate is murdered and the 87th precinct goes into action. While this is the main thrust of the story, there is also the plot of Fat Ollie’s writing. Oliver Weeks, or Fat Ollie, is the newest member of the 87th precinct’s squad of detectives. Inspired by crime, he has written a book, “Report to the Commissioner.” His manuscript is stolen, however, and he is ticked off...

As always, Mcbain shows his ability to create a full three-dimensional character. Fat Ollie is simply the loveabl
May 23, 2016 Jc0llier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not meant to be a comedy but there was a lot of humor. Seeing Ollie's progression and how McBain weaved the sub plots into a well written story was awesome. I plan on rereading this one often.
Cathy Jarvis
Mar 17, 2016 Cathy Jarvis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently was introduced to Ed McBain and the 87th Precinct. Having worked for 15 years in law enforcement I thoroughly enjoyed this read and the character development and interaction.
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Excerpted from

"Ed McBain" (October 15, 1926 – July 6, 2005) is one of the pen names of an American author and screenwriter. Born Salvatore Albert Lombino, he legally adopted the name Evan Hunter in 1952. While successful and well known as Evan Hunter, he was even better known as Ed McBain, a name he used for most of his crime fiction, beginning in 1956. He a
More about Ed McBain...

Other Books in the Series

87th Precinct (1 - 10 of 55 books)
  • Cop Hater (87th Precinct #1)
  • The Mugger (87th Precinct #2)
  • The Pusher
  • The Con Man (87th Precinct, #4)
  • Killer's Choice (87th Precinct, #5)
  • Killer's Payoff (87th Precinct #6)
  • Killer's Wedge
  • Lady Killer (87th Precinct #8)
  • 'Til Death (87th Precinct, #9)
  • King's Ransom (87th Precinct #10)

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