Friday, 16 March 2018

Side-Pod Bonus Episode - Inkaar: Sellotape a Phone to a Banana

Hark! It's an 87th Precinct Podcast Side-Pod Bonus Episode! (Phew!)
Hop once more onto the train that left from the station called "King's Ransom - 1959", stopped off at "High and Low - 1963" and is now on the way to "Inkaar - 1977" and then join us in our comfy, sunken living-room seating as Paul and his guest Lorraine ( discuss the late Seventies Bollywood movie Inkaar.
Inkaar was an adaptation of Kurosawa's film, yet is very different and also has some other aspects of McBain's book included. In this bonus-to-a-side-pod episode we discuss what makes a Bollywood film a Bollywood film, wonder about the global penetration of Ind Coope's "Double Diamond" beer and marvel at the strange policing decisions of Inspector Gill (the 'Carella' character).
We'll be back to the main podcast soon with 1960's "See Them Die" - get practising your Spanish, for we shall meet again in the barrio!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Side-Pod - Kurosawa's High and Low: Milkman's Day Out

Hark! It's an 87th Precinct Podcast Sidepod!
Come with us now back to 1963, to Yokohama in Japan, to the glossy Highs of Mr.Gondo's hilltop villa and the seedy Lows of Mr.Takeuchi's shack in the slums. Join us as we follow Chief Detective's Tokura and "Bos'n" Taguchi on the trail of what appears to be a simple kidnapping case that turns into something much more dramatic.
Based on McBain's 1959 novel, King's Ransom, Akira Kurosawa's film Tengoku to Jigoku (Heaven or Hell, but widely known as High and Low) is a fantastic feature which not only provides plenty for the fan of Police Procedural stories to enjoy, but also presents one of the most unique and effective morality tales ever put on screen.
Joining the regular crew for this review is Stef Bradley, cinema fan, illustrator and good pal, to put us to shame with her effective note-taking and ability to not try to crowbar Carry On... film references into everything. Find Stef on Twitter at and online at - Stef also read King's Ransom in advance of this and gives her thoughts and awards an Honorary Police Shield ranking to the book!
Along the way we meet a crackers incinerator operator, discuss the many different types of Highs and Lows and revel in the majesty of The Dirty Bare-Chested Police Squad. Hope you enjoy it! Please keep sharing, rating and reviewing wherever you get your podcasts. See you soon for McBain's "See Them Die".

Friday, 2 February 2018

Ed McBain's The Heckler - Episode 12, Bonus: What About the Tuba Murders?

Hark! It's an 87th Precinct Podcast Bonus Episode
A very silly podcast.
Join us for our post-main-podcast descent into madness as we start out proper (the artwork of Tony Palladino, Hitchcock and the nature of The Deaf Man, Teddy Carella and good vs evil), before speculating on what the cover of Stevo's 1979 Penguin edition actually shows. From thereon in, we hear about the Three 'Crimey' Things Paul got up to that day and consider P J Hammond's adventure series Sapphire and Steel in a whole new (Cornish) light.
Get your book-eyes pointed at McBain's "See Them Die" in time for the next main podcast, or Kurosawa's High and Low in the meantime. As always, a rating or review anywhere (everywhere?) is appreciated - especially if you're listening on Apple Podcasts.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Ed McBain's The Heckler - Episode 12: The Magnificats!

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast
The year is 1960 and the second of McBain's 87th Precinct books was The Heckler - a tale of threatening phone-calls, actual murders and some bombs along the way. Marvel at the machiavellian machinations of the 87th Precinct's nemesis-to-be and witness the inside of Detective Steve Carella's unconscious mind.
Along the way we discuss the real-life women who changed the world Ed McBain wrote about - Detective Mary Fitzgerald and crime-fiction critic Marilyn Stasio and we offer some critique of his rather chest-obsessed prose in this novel.
K.E.N.N.E.T.H. comes out of winter retirement to calculate the scores and we ponder what it would be like to have to try and apprehend a criminal whilst wearing 85 police shields on your uniform.
Join us soon for the bonus episode and then our look at Kurosawa's High & Low. The next book in the sequence is "See Them Die" - get your reading eyes washed and ready to go! Thanks for listening - remember a rating, share or review would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, 26 January 2018

A New Way To Listen

Soon after our podcast episodes are launched on Apple, Acast, etc., we'll be making them available on our Youtube Channel as well!
Simply visit the link under picture below to visit the channel. Feel free to subscribe, share, comment and like (or dislike. I mean, we wouldn't censure you via the medium of a graphical thumb, but whatever...). If there's anything you'd like us to do to enhance the videos, make a suggestion!
Youtube Link 87th Precinct
Hark! The 87th Precinct Podcast Youtube Channel
All of the back episodes, bonus episodes and side-pods are available now.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Hunter's Computer

I've always been pretty fascinated by computers. I got my first computer in 1985/6, I think. It was a Commodore Plus/4 and was one of the strangest ones you could get. I think my parents were sold it by an over-enthusiastic salesman in York (I imagine he had a stock-room full of them and needed to get them shifted). Anyway, I learned to type and program on it and I could play "Jack Attack" so that was okay. 

It must have been about this time that Evan Hunter got his Apple IIe computer, I imagine. It had been introduced in 1983 and was to become the longest serving computer in Apple's range, staying in production until the '90s. If only their products lasted/were supported that long now. Curse you, built in redundancy.

We know this was the machine Hunter used, as an article in the Washington Post ("Ed McBain's Mysterious Method") refers to him using it in 1990. I don't really know why I find this sort of detail so fascinating. Perhaps because we still envisage the author as being sat in front of a manual typewriter, savagely bashing at the keys, cursing and scrumpling up another sheet of paper - the ding of the bell as another sentence is committed to the page. Of course authors, especially successful ones, would have moved to word-processors and computers as soon as they could. Douglas Adams was a famous advocate of technology, particularly Apple products, having pipped Stephen Fry to the post in buying the first Apple Macintosh sold in London.

So there you are. Have a read of the Washington Post article linked above and have a look at the Centre For Computing History's page all about the Apple IIe. Tools of the trade!

- Paul

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Solo-Pod - Ed McBain Books in the 1950s: DYNAMIC K.E.N.N.E.T.H.

Hark! It's an 87th Precinct Podcast Solo Episode!
Whilst we get organised for our next podcast proper (Ed McBain's "The Heckler") we've provided this little stopgap, with a look back over the books we've covered that were released in the 1950s. 
During this solo excursion, Paul recaps the books, the adaptations, who's who in the squadroom and tells you all about K.E.N.N.E.T.H., our scoring computer, via some newly discovered archive evidence. Detective Steve Carella pops by as well.
Please continue to get involved via Twitter (@Hark87Podcast), email ( and via the comments and reviews on the podcast platforms. We really appreciate your listening to our podcast and look forward to a great 2018 sharing our Ed McBain love with you all. 
(Additional script by Robert Charnock. Additional music provided under Creative Commons from