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

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Roger Moore and the Crimefighters

In the new Bonus episode you'll hear me (Paul) surprise Stevo and Morgan with a second-hand book I'd come across that weekend. It was too good an opportunity to miss sharing this with them. I mean, just look at the cover!

This is a good example of why you should always take the time to investigate the different shelves in second hand bookshops, but especially in charity shops/thrift stores. Very often the staff make an attempt to categorise and alphabetise the books, but they're looked over by so many people it's hard to trust to that fact. Usually there's some gold hidden between the forty-seven copies of The Da Vinci Code and celebrity biographies. I found "The Siege" on a "4 for £1" shelf. There were no other books there that I wanted and ended up paying 50p for it.

It's really extraordinary. It's like having a book series come out these days with, I don't know, Daisy Ridley appearing in it as herself, using her career-connections to act on a hunch about human trafficking or something. To be honest I would read that, but only if it was written by Doctor Who author Rona Monro, to keep the pattern of the book/celebrity/author connections. The author of "The Siege", Malcolm Hulke, wrote a good run of Third Doctor stories in the 1970s, including the plastic-dinosaur extravaganza, Invasion of The Dinosaurs (1974). Clearly he was so immersed in the world of Doctor Who production and life at BBC TV centre, he's written it into the book as an important factor.

I hope you enjoy listening to our response to this novelty on the last bonus episode. I'm sure the next one we do will be more McBain based, but I'm not promising anything...

Listen to this bonus episode herex

Ed McBain's Give The Boys A Great Big Hand - Episode 11, Bonus: The Incredible Malcolm Hulke

Hark! It's an 87th Precinct Bonus Episode!
And what a bonus episode it is! After discussing our copies of the 87th Precinct book, with Paul demonstrating his inability to grasp the relative costs of pre-decimal currency, we get down to some important business.
Imagine a world where Roger Moore appears as himself in a children's crime-fighting story-book written by Doctor Who writer Malcolm Hulke, all set in or around an African Embassy and the BBC in 1977... now, STOP IMAGINING and listen to our reactions as we discuss "The Siege" - the first entry in the Roger Moore and The Crimefighters series! A book that almost defies description!
Listen out in the background for mysterious Mic-stand-spring noises (sorry) and contemplate why George Lazenby never organised children into an impromptu militia.
See you in the New Year for probably more discussion back on the topic of Ed McBain and "The Heckler". Merry Christmas!