"Feloniously funny!" 
                                January 20, 2003

Page-turner of the week: Fat Ollie's Book by Ed McBain
Reviewed by Samantha  Miller

   A city councilman is shot dead onstage before a
fundraising rally. But Det. Oliver Wendell Weeks has a
bigger problem. While he was investigating, someone
purloined his prize possession: his manuscript for a
crime novel.  Fans of the venerable 87th Precinct
series love to hate Ollie--a thoroughly odious bigot,
glutton and mangler of many languages--and his star
turn inspires McBain to give new meaning to deadpan
  Excerpts from Ollie's atrocious tome (starring a sexy
female cop who makes statements like "'This is what
they call The Denouement,' I thought," plus a Jamaican
informant who speaks only in rhyme) poke fun at the
conventions of crime writing as well as some of
McBain's own quirks, like his thinly veiled fictionalization
of New York City geography.
  Meanwhile there's plenty of grit as well as wit as the
87th's better-mannered boys and girls in blue hit the
streets to help solve the case. After some grim recent
entries in the series, this loosely knit lark offers a giggle
on every page. And brace yourself: Ollie even gets a
romantic interest.
  (Simon & Schuster, $ 25) Bottom line: Feloniously

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