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Fiddlers (87th Precinct #55)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  677 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Ed McBain’s last installment in the 87th Precinct series finds the detectives stumped by a serial killer who doesn’t fit the profile. A blind violinist taking a smoke break, a cosmetics sales rep cooking an omelet in her own kitchen, a college professor trudging home from class, a priest contemplating retirement in the rectory garden, an old woman out walking her dog—these ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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I had always heard that Ed McBain could craft a good story; FIDDLERS was my introduction to his style. To be honest, when I first started reading this book, I was unsure about it. There seemed to be too many things going on, too many characters.

The initial plot, a serial (I would say mass murderer) killer is offing older people, seemingly all unrelated. This was a fascinating plot-line. The twists and turns, dead-ends, and mcguffins kept me turning pages. But the subplots, in my opinion, were w
Ruth Niles
Ed McBain does a great job on the "87th Precinct" mysteries. They are quick reads and when I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for, I read McBain. This was one of his better stories, published 2005, which is the year he died so I guess it was his last 87th Precinct. McBain usually has 2 or 3 cases going on at the same time but in "Fiddlers" there is just the one; someone is shooting, seemingly random, people twice in the face. A priest, a college professor, a cosmetic saleswoman and, in the end, t ...more
An excellent one to go out on. I'd put off reading the last 87th precinct book for a long time, because I was so sad there would be no more, but it's a great ending. We get to see all the regulars, there's a crime solved by dogged police work, and at the end they are moving forward ... I really enjoyed this.
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
My View:
A masterpiece of crime fiction – police procedural.

The author Evan Hunter who writes under the pseudonym Ed McBain, (now deceased), began writing the 87th Precinct series before I was born! Ed McBain wrote more than eighty novels including this series and many successful screen plays and some of his novels have been adapted for the big and small screens and theatre. This writer had a huge talent – I regret that I have not read any of his novels before now.

The Fiddlers is a fantastic po
Tony Gleeson
I finished this very last entry in McBain's 87th Precinct series with a strange sense of melancholy. For the past couple of years I've worked my way through most of the 55 titles in more or less chronological order, and the knowledge that after this there would be no further developments of his rich and motley cast was kind of sad. This one is a quintessential McBain yarn, starting from the multiple themes that derive from the title. The entire detective squad of the 87th becomes involved in a m ...more
McCain's last entry in the 87th Precinct series is just not very good. A series of random murders linked through ballistics baffle Carella and his colleagues in the 87th until a series of scenes in which each cop learns the killer's identity at the same time. There's no suspense, since we're with the killer the whole time like some Law & Order Criminal Intent episode. The motive for the murders, when revealed, is less than compelling. I'd also say that Fiddlers is the work of a tired author; ...more
While it's not the best McBain effort, this is still an entertaining book with a pretty interesting setup. The detective banter is charming as always and although the action is non-existent and most of the book entails the cops talking to people, it's still a good read.

C’était il y a plus d'un an, le juillet 5 juillet 2005. L’écrivain new-yorkais Ed McBain, 78 ans, tirait sa révérence et fermait à jamais la porte d’un "87 e District" qu’il avait entrebâillée cinquante ans plus tôt, achevant une des plus formidables sagas du roman policier sur un dernier livre, "Jouez violons", récemment publié. L’histoire de "87e District" tient du coup de génie. Au milieu des années 50, alors qu’il n’est encore qu’un jeune auteur prometteur (il vient de signer le roman Graine
John Onoda
Alas, Fiddlers is the last book in Ed McBain's excellent 87th Precinct series, perhaps the greatest police procedural series of all time.

As usual, there's a solid mystery to be solved by the group of detectives McBain's readers followed for over 50 years: Steve Carella, Myer Myer, Bert Kling and all the rest. Ollie Weeks makes a strong and heartening appearance. We not only see the detectives at work, but we get a brief glimpse into their personal lives.

What was marvellous about McBain's 87th Pr
The 55th and final book in Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series. I've now read them all and feel a little bereft - "what do you mean there aren't any more"? It appears that Ed McBain (aka Evan Hunter) passed away (cancer) before the book was published as the author info refers to him in past tense and lists 1926-2005. So, I guess I'll have to let him off the hook for ending the series. In my opinion, it's a great police/mystery series - obviously some books are better than others, but I didn't not l ...more
Kenneth Fredette
This book made me relive some of the underlying problems that are happening today in the world. Problems with Vietnam Vets, problems with race, killing for revenge. I was working at a psych ward for many years (now retired) and it brings up many of the problems that we were faced with. It was a good story.
This is number 55 in McBain's billions-long 87th Precinct series, which I have never read before. It’s a tight police procedural, written with a very sure hard, showing touches of subtle, dry wit. McBain has a vast array of characters to work with, and shows just as much of the detectives’ private lives as he does the killer’s actions or the police investigation. It’s like a very well-written and rather deeper episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street." I was very impressed by the slow but sure d ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Over his lifetime, McBain wrote more than 100 novels, short stories, and screenplays. In these works, he helped define the police procedural genre with his gritty urban realism and flesh-and-blood characters. Critics agree that Fiddlers, his last work (McBain died this past July), is a fitting end to his long career__and a rewarding, if not perfect, cap to his 87th Precinct books. Readers familiar with this series will find the usual endearing characters and settings__Carella, his hearing-impair

I had to read an Ed McBain novel for my crime fiction genre study, since McBain is the granddaddy of the modern police procedural, but the best thing I can say about this novel was that it was short. Lack of character development, choppy/sparse writing, antiquated attitudes, and the plot was hard to follow because it kept jumping around and because I couldn't keep the characters straight. I can see how his writing was popular and influential back in the 1950's, but it doesn't translate well to m ...more
Gerald Kinro
A series of killings stump the detectives of the 87th Precinct. The only things in common are the Glock pistol used, the relative old ages of the victims, and that each is shot twice in the face. The victims themselves seem unlikely. There is a blind violinist, a cosmetics saleswoman, a female college professor, a priest, and an old woman walking her dog. Piece by piece, the detectives, must find the links to the crime.

As usual, this series is the “king” of procedural mysteries with excellent p
#55 in the 87th Precinct series.

#55 - 87th Precinct series - In McBains final novel, the detectives of the 87th, and Ollie Weeks of the 88th, are searching for the killer who is murdering seeming random victims with two shots to the face from the same Glock 9mm. The victims: a blind violinist, a priest, a cosmetics saleswoman, an English professor, etc. are all white and over 55. Satisfying but not his best.
The 87th precinct does it again! I fell in love with the characters of the 87th precinct years ago and that enjoyment has not diminished one little bit. This may be a series I need to revisit and start at the beginning for anther stroll down the streets of the big city. There are very few authors whose books I can read more than one time, Ed McBain is one of the few.
I have read many, of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct crime novels. These novels center around a handful of New York cops with what I would categorize as "strong" personalities. They feature city life, very interesting characters and usually some ugly murders. I have never been to New York and after reading all these books, don't know if I ever want to go. The reason is because Ed McBain's New York is New York to me, just like Johnathan Kellerman's SoCal is SoCal to me and Maine might as well have been ...more
Beth Gibson
Carella and company investigate "the Glock murders" so named because they are all committed with the same gun. But the victims seem to have nothing in common. This story very cleverly interweaves six separate investigations that all finally arrive at the same perpetrator. Just in time to keep his final subject alive. This book was published after the author's death.
I'm an old cowhand when it comes to Ed McBain and the 87th Precinct. This one does not disappoint as we start off knowing of the killer but not his motives and of course the police haven't a clue of either. Many personalities in this one and more on the mainstay character's lives. It's a good one.
Helen Azar
This was the last Ed McBain novel before his death from cancer in 2005. It has been unfavorably compared to his previous work by reviewers, but I thought it was a very good "exit" work. Once again he gives us a well developed story with well developed characters, and a somewhat unpredictable plot. His identification with the protagonist is clear. Without giving away too much of the plot, suffice to say that the author was clearly aware that this was to be his last book, and he seems to have used ...more
There are few things more embarrassing than old writers trying to stay current by dropping the wrong band names. In his final book, the master of the modern police-procedural novel writes of a rave club that plays the MC5, T. Rex, the Rolling Stones, and the Stooges. The only aging writer I've ever seen do this believably is Elmore Leonard in "Be Cool," which was actually about the music industry. ... Another annoying thing such writers often feel compelled to do is make their characters spout l ...more
(Abridged audio book)

I liked the story and I realize that I enjoy all of the cops at the 87th precinct.

Because this was abridged, there wasn't a lot of whys and wherefores discussing why the bad guy was doing what he was doing.

Other than some jarring switches between scenes/characters which were a bit difficult to follow without a visual 'new chapter' or even 'new paragraph', the detective work flowed smoothly - no noticeable jumps in logic or convenient conclusions.

The ending was pretty anticl
Always love reading or listening to any 87th Precinct story. Never picked up one that wasn't excellent and this one is no different.
Julie Witte
Fast paced, well written...a gripping, tight read! If you start this one be prepared to finish it in one go.
John Gilchrist
who killed blind fiddler and 5 others?
87th precinct
book on tape

i lisened to it on my drive during ALGEBRA week from Playa to east LA. great company.. this is REVENGE with all capital letters. I have one more tract to listen to but I already know the reslts o the investigation. good story line.

April 2011, I listened to it again, two years later. It's onthe shelf at Playa Vista. good the second time around.!!!!!!
Bill Florio
It feels a little weird after 4 1/2 years of reading all 55 books in this series that spans 6 decades to get to the last page of the last book. The fat unapologetic asshole bigot finds happiness and the uptight pretty boy finds out he's actually an unwilling unmatchable bigot. And after 54 books of rooting for the good guys, you sort of feel for the bad guy as well.
I will miss the 87th precinct. The detectives are like old friends. This book was published in 2005, the same year that Ed McBain died. There are other 87th precinct titles I have not read, but I will never see Carella's twins grow up. It's sad that to me--well, to all readers--they will be forever 13. Thank you, Ed McBain/Evan Hunter, for years of good reads.
This book dove straight into the crime which surprised me. The writing style wasn't how I usually find crime novels but I enjoyed it's quick dialogue and pacing. I also liked how they showed red herrings in the investigation instead of the detectives constantly being right. I would read more of McBain's books.
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Excerpted from

'''Ed McBain''' (October 15, 1926– July 6, 2005) is one of the pen names of an [[American literature|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 m
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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