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The Big Bad City (87th Precinct, #49)
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The Big Bad City (87th Precinct #49)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  754 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
In this city, you have to pay attention. In this city, things are happening all the time, all over the place, and you don't have to be a detective to smell evil in the wind.

Take this week's tabloids: the face of a dead girl is splashed across the front page. She was found sprawled near a park bench not seven blocks from the police station. Detectives Carella and Brown so

Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Pocket (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,303)
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James Thane
Mar 18, 2016 James Thane rated it it was amazing
Of the first forty-nine entries in Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series, this (the forty-ninth) is, I think, the best so far. By now, the cast of characters has been thoroughly established and the members have changed very little through the years. When the first book in the series, Cop Hater, appeared, the detectives of the 87th were all in their middle thirties and they still are. The lead detective, Steve Carella, is dreading the approach of his fortieth birthday, but he's taken forty three years ...more
Dec 31, 2015 K rated it it was amazing
Well, I finished out the year on a good note with another 87th precinct novel from McBain, He is a master of police dialogue and procedural mystery, and knows how to keep it all moving while making the reader laugh out loud along the way. This book had all the ingredients and while not a deep or dark tale (unlike the Nordic Noirs), was entertaining throughout. A bit of lighthearted reading on which to end 2015.
Happy New Year to all.
Jul 13, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it
A few pages into this book I realized that I'd listened to it on tape a couple of years ago. I started to close the covers, then realized I was enjoying the read, and proceeded to finish it.

So I can encapsulate my review of the book by stating, with authority, that it is good enough to read twice.

Being one of the 87th Precinct novels, if you love one, you'll love the all, and vice versa, but the vice versa would be hard for me to imagine.
Jun 07, 2011 Tom rated it really liked it
My very first McBain novel. Totally dug it. I can see why people who love Parker's books would love this series. Good atmosphere, interesting characters, quick dialogue. Great summer read!
Feb 08, 2012 Margie rated it really liked it
As usual this book was as good as the rest of the 87th pct series, I read this book many years ago and forgot, but it was a good reread.
Tony Gleeson
The forty-ninth entry in the 87th Precinct series (as I close in on the final entries, 55 in all!) and to me a slight disappointment. But even mediocre Hunter/McBain is still pretty derned good stuff. This one involves the mysterious murder of a nun-- with breast implants yet! (Don't ask, go read the darned thing.) There is also the "Cookie Boy,"a burglar who leaves chocolate chip cookies on the pillow of the homes he robs. I started to get the feeling that McBain was tiring of his usual charact ...more
Nov 25, 2014 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unmistakeable McBain - a murdered nun, a quirky burglar who leaves cookies for his victims and the man who killed Carella's father is egged on to get Carella before Carella gets him. The stories are masterfully orchestrated with dark sly wit written in a voice that is by turns mordant, comic and grim, evoking the sprawl of seedy, homey, squalid humanity in the Big Bad City. Like, say, Lansdale, McBain is the closest approximation to an experience of skilled oral storytelling on the printed page.
Jul 09, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it
After tearing through a young adult alien invasion series, a very down to earth cops and crime book seemed a good change of pace, and McBain hit the spot. This was a very straightforward set of semi-intertwining stories around one group of homicide detectives. You get a good feel for the cops personal lives without it being overbearing on the meat of the matter, which are the crimes and the policework involved. Everything was pretty "normal" in the grand scheme of things - a burglary gone sidewa ...more
Feb 03, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
First Ed McBain book that I have read and I enjoyed his humor and the way the story unfolded. I didn't feel too lost, having not read any of the previous books in the series, but there was some things that I was missing from the story. Not the greatest mystery, but the characters were well rounded and McBain made me want to know all of them better. Would read more in the series.
Apr 06, 2010 Audrey rated it liked it
Shelves: noir
Sunday evening turned a rosy pink and then a deeper blush and then a reddish-lavender-blue and then purple and black, the golden day succumbing at last to night.

It was time to go buy a gun.

Synopsis: Three inter-locking cases in the 87th Precinct: a dead nun, an unhinged stalker and a burglar who bakes chocolate-chip cookies. Go.

In the course of one very long, hot August in the city, the 87th Precinct has to contend with a dead nun with breast implants and a baking burglar whose career gets away
Chadwick Saxelid
Nov 23, 2014 Chadwick Saxelid rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
It's August and the city of Isola is cooking in the summertime heat. A semi-sweet burglar is kind enough to leave chocolate chip cookies at his crime scenes and the body of a strangled woman is found in Grover Park. While a great many people are on vacation this August, it's still business as usual for the working detectives of the 87th Precinct.

The Big Bad City is one of the late, great Ed McBain's last 87th Precinct mysteries, and it is a damn good one. As with the forty-eight or so novels tha
The Big Bad City - G
Ed McBain
In the opening pages, Steve Carella and Artie Brown return to the department with 9 basketball players (the 10th player was murdered) only to discover a knife fight erupting in a holding cell. It's a steamy August night, and Carella and Detective Parker end up having to shoot one of the fighters to cool things down. Then Meyer and Kling enter the scene; they're hot in pursuit of the Cookie Boy, a thief who leaves chocolate-chip cookies at every crime sight. Before th
Joshua Emil
Jan 03, 2012 Joshua Emil rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-mcbain-books
The story focuses on two cases. The first to appear is a woman found dead in a park blocks away from the precinct. The detectives assigned were Carella and Brown; as they go deeper, they uncover secrets the victim kept (unusual secrets). The second is a string of burglary and robbery perpetrated by The Cookie Boy, who leaves cookies on every crime scene.

Besides from these cases, a stalker is closing in on one of the men of the 87th Precinct.

This is has been one of the best police procedural I
Charles Moore
Jun 23, 2014 Charles Moore rated it it was ok
This is my second 87th Precinct story. It starts out almost as McBain's anti-fluff-mystery opinion piece but ends up with a strange twist of justice. The dialogue is superb. The action is great. The characters are believable.

I'm not a big fan of police procedural but I think, if I wanted to emulate and learn a bit about writing those I'd start with Ed McBain. In a different view of the genre is Michael Donnelly. Both write procedurals but they tell the stories very differently. What I kind of l
Shirley Alvarez
Jan 19, 2016 Shirley Alvarez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I am always amazed at how much detail is in these books. They are correct in information about what was happening in the world and guess what? It fits today perfect! Nothing is new!
Carolyn Rose
May 24, 2012 Carolyn Rose rated it liked it
It's always a good police-procedural read when I check in with Steve Carella and the guys of the 87th Precinct and ride along as they solve a couple of cases.
L. Lawson
Jul 03, 2012 L. Lawson rated it really liked it
I've never read a McCain I didn't like, and The Big Bad City is no exception. He's a master of dialogue and moving the story forward.
Irene B.
Oct 23, 2010 Irene B. rated it liked it
McBain is popcorn for the brain. This is one of the better ones. I read them to find out how his characters' lives progress.
Sep 19, 2010 wally rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcbain
ed mcbain is a good story teller. an 87th precinct story. life in the big bad city. an entertaining read.
Mike O'connell
Apr 29, 2010 Mike O'connell rated it really liked it
Another fast paced 87th Precinct mystery. Recommended for all readers.
LInda L
Mar 05, 2016 LInda L rated it it was amazing
Wonderful -- I loved it and can't wait for more 87th stories.
Jul 27, 2014 Skip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
Steve Carella and the 87th Precinct detectives have to contend with a dead nun with breast implants, a cookie-baking burglar whose career goes upside down during a break-in, and a paranoid sociopath is gunning for Steve. Nobody can figure out who would strange a beloved nun, who worked with the terminally ill, but Steve and Artie dig deeply into her past. And Fat Ollie Weeks investigation of a seemingly random killing ends up saving the day.

Gerald Kinro
Dec 09, 2012 Gerald Kinro rated it it was amazing
Another day in the city. A young woman is found dead in a public park. A serial burglar strikes again and leaves his calling card—some chocolate chip cookies. Then things get interesting. The dead woman turns out to be a nun with breast implants. The cookie burglar, not a violent criminal at the beginning, gets caught up in a dual killing. What’s more, Steve Carella, one of the detectives of the 87th Precinct who is investigating the dead woman’s death is being stalked by the man who shot and ki ...more
Sheldon Lehman
Feb 28, 2011 Sheldon Lehman rated it liked it
Like most McBains, a well-written story. That said, with this series in it's 42nd year (at this book's publication), he is starting to run into problems with scene and character development. And there are inconsistencies with settings. He moves scene placement into the current decade, but doesn't age the characters quite as fast. I'm not saying Carella should be in his 60s, but just to have him turning 40 isn't enough of a progression. Also, he mentions the movie Men in Black, which came out the ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The characters weren't flat, the story didn't depend on gore or mental instability, and the personal interactions between family and partners that care for each other was comfortable without being sappy or contrived. I will add this author to my "read more" list.

There was only one place in the book that suffered from the abridgement process but it wasn't hard to extrapolate what the missing info was.

Usually I treat "read by the author" audiobooks like plague (stay
Jeff Dickison
Aug 27, 2016 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it
A good 87th precinct tale as the boys investigate the murder of a nun, a burglar who leaves cookies, and Carella is stalked by a murderer. Easy read, exciting, with good plot twists. Recommended.
Jan 25, 2015 Megargee rated it liked it
Reading the later 87th precinct novels with their familiar characters and settings is like slipping on a well worn comfortable pair of slippers at the end of long day.
Apr 24, 2015 Pat rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Quick read.
Nun is murdered and why.
Cookie Boy robber - leaves chocolate chip cookies in return for what he takes.
Mar 23, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it
#49 in the 87th Precinct series.

Carella tracks down the killer of a nun while his father's killer stalks him.
Chris Gager
Mar 08, 2012 Chris Gager rated it liked it
Ed Mcbain=Evan Hunter. Born as Sal Lombino and AKA Hunt Collins, Curt Cannon and Richard Marsten. In the words of the immortal Mr. C., "I did not know that"... This book is much better than the other EM book I read, "Mary, Mary", which was gratuitously nasty and plot-absurd. As is common with this genre one looks for plot holes:
- Sonny is/was the dumbest person on the planet.
- The Cookie Boy? Also pretty stupid. His light bulb FINALLY came on.
- According to Cormac McCarthy alligators make a lowi
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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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