Go Get 'em Ollie....., January 15, 2003
Reviewer: Roz Levine (see more about me) from Virginia Who shot city councilman, Lester Henderson, as he practiced crossing the stage to the podium, waving and smiling, follow spot glowing, during a rehearsal at Martin Luther King Memorial Hall, for his mayoral candidacy announcement that evening? As first on the scene, all around offensive, foul mouthed and bigoted Detective Oliver Wendell Weeks catches the case and begins to run with it, interviewing witnesses, barking obnoxious orders, and getting a sense of the scene and what had just happened there. Ollie's feeling pretty pumped, grabbing a high profile, headline making murder case. That is, until he returns to his vehicle and finds the only copy of his just completed first novel, Report To The Commissioner, missing. It seems that while he was inside the hall working one crime scene, someone outside was creating another. Some low-life broke into his car and stole all thirty-six pages of his soon to be bestseller masterpiece. And to complicate matters, the not-too-bright thief doesn't even realize he's holding a novel. He thinks he's just found his ticket to the good life; a police report detailing a soon to be bust involving 2.7 million worth of diamonds..... Award winning, master storyteller, Ed McBain, finally gives one of his most colorful and entertaining characters a book, actually two books, of his own. This is a police procedural that has it all... seemingly unrelated, complex, and intriguing story lines that are deftly woven together, creating a stunning climax and satisfying ending; clever, vivid, often laugh-out-loud scenes, and brilliant, meaty characterizations including the ever quirky and engaging cast from the 87th precinct. But it's Mr McBain's smart, crisp, humorous writing, and witty and irreverent dialogue and asides that make this, as well as all his novels, stand out and sparkle, and once you begin reading, be prepared to finish Fat Ollie's Book in one sitting. This is Ed McBain at his very best and no one in the genre does it better. Make sure you put Fat Ollie at the top of your "must read" list and enjoy!

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Another winner from the 87th Precinct, January 12, 2003
Reviewer: Bruce Trinque (see more about me) from Amston, CT United States Ed McBain likes the titles of his 87th Precinct series to bear more than one meaning, and "Fat Ollie's Book" is no exception. Fat Ollie Weeks, detective of the neighboring 88th Precinct, stands at the center of this novel, having caught the call on the murder of an aspiring politician. Fat Ollie, not an incompetent detective but quite willing to let others carry the load if circumstances warrant, shifts the burden of the investigation to Steve Carella and Bert Kling while he pursues a case far more important to himself - the theft of the sole existing copy of the manuscript of, well, Fat Ollie's book, a detective thriller written by him to cash in on the lucrative fiction market dominated by a bunch of women amateurs who wholly lack his real world expertise and insights. The book took him months to write, too, at least three or four months, all thirty-six pages of it, and he wants it back, no matter the effort required or whose toes must be stomped on.

Fat Ollie, it should be said, is a racist, but that is an inadequate description. He is also an ethnic, religious, and sexist bigot. He despises, in short, everyone not exactly like himself. Come to think of it, he also despises anybody who IS like himself. Oblivious to the insults he showers upon others and sensitive to slights from others, he nonetheless is not absolutely without a touch of oafish charm, just enough to intrigue a Puerto Rican uniformed female cop caught up in the murder case and just enough to keep the reader interested in such an otherwise unsympathetic protagonist.

As usual in the 87th Precinct novels, the plot twists around itself, sweeping up a collection of odd characters marching unknowingly to inevitable interaction and intermeshed fates. Along the way, we get to read - in short doses - Ollie's truly dreadful attempt at literary creation, so bad as to become bizarre fun. And we follow the developing stories of McBain's familiar stable of detectives from the more than fifty novels that have preceded this one. No 87th Precinct fan should miss this one, another top-notch entry in this series filled with dark humor.

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Brilliant!, January 11, 2003
Reviewer: A reader from Kokomo, IN USA That about sums it up. Utterly brilliant. I smiled through the entire book. Hurray for Fat Ollie!

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Thrilling, January 11, 2003
Reviewer: Christian Marcus Lyons (see more about me) from Boulder, Colorado I never fail to get goose-bumps reading Ed McBain's books. His brilliant style and voice--born from the gajillion books he's penned, certainly--draws one in immediately to the story without sacrificing character development or the element of mystery. Set in his famous 87th Precinct, "Fat Ollie's Book" is another excellent notch in McBain's belt as fabulous storytelling. His characters verbal sparring and jousting is unequaled in the mystery genre as their individual peculiarities speed the plot along to its surprising conclusion. One can never go wrong with a McBain novel, and this one is as good as it's ever been!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Another winner from the grand master of mystery writers, January 8, 2003
Reviewer: Kristen M. White (see more about me) from Arlington, VA USA Every time I read an Ed McBain novel (and I've probably read half of the more than 50 he's written, each a gem), I wonder why it's not sitting atop a best-seller list (arbitrary as those lists may be). Mystery-lovers of the world, take notice! McBain (aka Evan Hunter) is a brilliant writer, the kind who dreams up ingenious plots and then populates them with an array of diverse characters, filled with spunk and armed with witty banter, who will make you laugh out loud and might - just might - even cause you to shed a tear or two.

In this latest winner, Detective Oliver Wendell "Fat Ollie" Weeks of the 88th Precinct has written his first novel - a police procedural. Unfortunately, just as he's taking his precious tome (all 36 - yes, 36 - pages of it) to be photocopied (somehow Fat Ollie hasn't seen fit to purchase a computer), he gets called to a murder investigation, and wouldn't you know it, someone filches the sure-to-be-a-best-seller (!) from the back of his squad car while he's off fighting crime.

Can Fat Ollie find time to recover the manuscript while solving the murder of a political up-and-comer? Heck, should he even be concentrating on the murder when the fruit of his labor has disappeared? Truth and fiction are tightly intertwined as Fat Ollie teams up with the boys from the nearby 87th Precinct (familiar to and well-loved by McBain fans everywhere) to figure it all out.

McBain's sense of humor is beyond priceless, if that's possible, and this story is a grand piece of entertainment. I enjoyed every page. Don't miss it.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

This is one of my favorite in the series, January 7, 2003
Reviewer: leeleevanp@aol.com (see more about me) from San Mateo, CA USA I couldn't imagine what to expect from the title. What a fantastic surprise. Ollie, the large, pun intended, bigot that he is, is simply irresistible. Throughout the book, I found myself shaking my head in wonder. It was packed with so many weird and quirky characters in situations so bizarre, it was masterful - the murder was in the periphery. My only complaint is that I see the set-up for upheaval in Bert's life just when it seemed to be heading in an interesting direction.


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