Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Ed McBain's 'Til Death - Episode 9, Bonus: McBain's McTime McChine

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast Bonus Episode!

Good grief! We go on quite the journey in our bonus episode. Morgan tells us all about the intriguing CAPTAIN VIDEO, Paul finally reveals the link between the worlds of Ed McBain and the 'Carry On...' films and Stevo recalls the Many Masterminds of our youth. Oh, and there's the usual book cover comparisons, a light book huffing and the lizard prophecies of David Icke for your entertainment too.

Thanks for listening! Join us next time for Ed McBain's "King's Ransom". Please rate, review and share - cheers!

Friday, 15 September 2017

We Are Cult - Podcast Of The Week


We've very kindly been featured as Podcast of The Week on "We Are Cult" - a great magazine looking at all things Cult/Pop Culture. There's a Q&A about the podcast for you to read, setting out our stall and looking at why we're doing this. Have a look, share the article and enjoy We Are Cult!

Link to Article

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Ed McBain's 'Til Death - Episode 9: Simultaneous Slush Pump Discharge

**Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast!**

McBain's Matrimonal Madness as told through the story of Det. Steve Carella's Sister's Wedding in 'Til Death (1959). Funnily enough, the wedding does not go smoothly.

Along the way we discover what the official units of measurement will be post-Brexit, hear a true-crime tale of wedding misfortune and become obsessed with nicknames for trombones. Please rate & review us wherever you listen! See you next time for "King's Ransom"!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Unusual Editions Spotted In The Wild

There's certainly a few seemingly anomalous editions of McBain books knocking about - some strange combos of 87th Precinct novels from different eras in one volume, for instance. Today I stumbled upon the following hardback:

This is the rather bizarre combination of a 1987's "Puss In Boots" - not an 87th Precinct mystery, but the seventh of the Matthew Hope novels (Hope, McBain's Florida-based lawyer does come into contact with the 87th Precinct in his final outing, The Last Best Hope in '98.) - and 1958's "Lady Killer" which we reviewed on this podcast

The cover of this hardback, published in 1988 by Guild Publishing, is certainly of its time - nice stark, nearly neon, lettering and a cover that probably has some resemblance to the plot of the Matthew Hope novel, but not at all to the 87th Precinct story. 

If you're desperate to experience this dual-book curiosity yourself, then I spotted it the British Heart Foundation charity shop on Bold Street, Liverpool. Don't all rush at once. 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

For Illustrative Purposes - Killer's Wedge

Here, as discussed in the bonus episode, are the covers of the editions of Killer's Wedge that we have. Left to Right, Paul's copy is the 1978 Penguin Edition, Stevo's is the 1979 Penguin and Morgan's is the 2007 Allison and Busby edition (featuring shattered glass, which in no way relates to the story).

Earlier editions focused, quite reasonably, on the most important non-cop character, Virginia Dodge, although the difference between her portrayal on the original hardback (L) and the paperback (R) perhaps tells you something about the different approaches/markets the editions were aimed at!

And at least one edition (Signet) doesn't bother to play with the main-plot at all, but goes straight in for a spoiler about Carella's discovery/showdown/fistfight from his B-Plot "Locked Room" mystery:

Still, they're all better than the currently available Thomas and Mercer edition (Amazon), to the extent I'm not even going to link to the image. Remember - buy second-hand! Support independent booksellers! Enjoy the thrill of the book hunt!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast Bonus Episode!
Hello and welcome to the sound of three men comparing the letter 'r' for your listening pleasure! In this episode we follow up on the last episode discovery of artist Theo Ramos's name in Stevo's book (have a look at for some examples of his work) and we take a further look at the 87th Precinct TV episode, Lady In Waiting (2 October '61), and revel in the intense eye-acting work of Constance Ford. Also, if you're not from the UK and you've never heard of Art Attack, How? or Neil Buchanan's "Marseille" - don't worry about it. You're probably better off.
We'll be back soon with the matrimonial catastrophe that is Ed McBain's "'Til Death" ('59)! Please, if you're enjoying these, a review on Apple Podcasts would be super-appreciated and allow us to reach a wider audience. Feel free to comment, contribute or critique at Hark87Podcast on social media, or email us at - bye!

Monday, 14 August 2017

La Soupe Aux Poulets (1963)

La Soupe Aux Poulets ('63) ("Chicken Soup") was a French film adaptation of Ed McBain's Killer's Wedge ('59) - The posters look like paperback crime novel covers, with hints of French New Wave cinema added in. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast - Killer's Wedge!
Here we are again with the next story in the fabulous Police Procedural series and we've finally reached 1959 and the eighth book in the 87th Precinct series, Killer's Wedge.
Along the way we talk about the TV episode from the adaptation in 1961, explore the Locked Room Mysteries of John Dickson Carr and draw parallels to a Transformers comic from 1984 and reveal what the S.I. unit of Desk Name-Plate measurements is.
Join us soon for the Bonus episode to accompany this story and then in the next podcast for Ed McBain's 'Til Death!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Columbo and the 87th Precinct - Lady Killer

What's that? You want to know if there are any links between Columbo and the 87th Precinct TV episode based on "Lady Killer", the last book we looked at on the podcast? Well, gosh, yes there is!

  • Playing psychiatrist, Dr Daniels (not in the book), is Harlan Warde, who is bumped-off & dumped in the sea in Ransom For A Dead Man
  • Vito Scotti, as Stool Pigeon "Donner" (not "Fats" in the ep!), was in 6 episodes of Columbo between '73 and '89.
  • Penny Santon, playing Mrs.Annuci, appeared in two episodes of Columbo in the Nineties... firstly, Death Hits The Jackpot in ’91 then she appeared again, in '94 in "Undercover", the story based on Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novel, "Jigsaw" (1970).

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Ed McBain's Lady Killer - Episode 7, Bonus Episode: Mimimimim Street

Here we are with a bit of the usual (Book Huffing, Cover Art, Listener Questions) and the start (we think) of something more unusual, as suggested by Groff Conklin, the fact-checking Ghost! Enjoy Paul's INCREDIBLE American accents and chat about maps in books and which Liverpool pub would be most suited to featuring in an 87th Precinct novel.
Join us soon for Killer's Wedge!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Moving Podcast - Moved Podcast - A Message From Carella

Morning all! 

You may have seen my tweets and messages about our moving from Soundcloud to This wasn't fully triggered by the rumours and threats to the security of Soundcloud as an ongoing business. I had reached our upload limit, which they measure in time, and it was more economical to move to a new provider than to pay for the upgrade to the Soundcloud service. Any way, it all seems to have worked okay, with the new site up and running with all the episodes (albeit the earlier two-parters now combined into one). 

There was a special Podcast message in relation to this, featuring everyone's favourite 87th Precinct cop, Detective Steve Carella. Click below to listen!

Thanks for listening and I hope you continue to enjoy our exploration of these books and the assorted daftness we fit around that. The current episode looks at "Lady Killer" (1958) and next up it will be "Killer's Wedge" (1959). 



Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Ed McBain's Lady Killer - Episode 7: Bernard Bresslaw Stars as Poirot

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast - Lady Killer (1958)!

Yes, Lady Killer, not Killer's Wedge (that's next up!). We discuss the seventh novel in the sequence and along the way deal with the films and infrastructure developments in 1958 Britain, Paul has a Wine & Crime moment (, Stevo becomes possessed by the Heart of Paul Carrick and we sing ribald satirical songs in not-particularly tuneful ways. 

 A bonus episode will be coming along soon - probably as will a message about us moving over to from Soundcloud - once I've figured out all the RSS things. In the meantime, sharing and reviewing however and wherever is appreciated!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Happy Fourth of July from Isola

The weather and the time of year play characters themselves in the 87th Precinct books. Our last podcast takes place on and around July 4th and the city residents are behaving true to form:

So, we hope you're having a more peaceful 4th July than this one and that you're being nice to both humans AND animals! Coming soon - LADY KILLER!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Book Order...

You'd think, what with all the research I've (Paul) done for this Podcast, including setting up this blog and checking the exact dates for publication/copyright registration, I'd have got the statement about the next book we're looking at right in the last podcast wouldn't you? Well, I didn't.

The next in the 87th Precinct series that we'll be reading and chatting about is, of course, "Lady Killer". I said it was "Killer's Wedge" which is the one after that. I think I'm just really quite excited about that one. Also I think I had them organised wrong on my shelf. 

Always check your workings-out, kids. See you soon for "LADY KILLER"!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

New Logo

It was about time, six books and fourteen episodes in, to have a little rethink of the log. We still love the drawing Lorraine did of the 87th Precinct frontage and it'll probably continue to have a home/purpose, but I wanted something a bit more stark and stand-out for social media, that can fit the squares and circles that the various sites constrain the image into, so here's the new icon:

Nothing too flash, but the words 'Hark!' and the number '87' stand out more. The yellow colour is sampled from the title colour of the first edition of "The Mugger", which you can see on our twitter feed, where it has been animated in 2.5D (for experimentation's sake).

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Killer's Payoff - Episode Six, Bonus Episode: Bob Monkhouse & The Spanish Civil War

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct podcast BONUS EPISODE!
Are you looking for: A rubbish story about shopping? The sound of some men smelling books? Impressions of Melvyn Bragg? Silly Robot Voices? Well, you've come to the right, er, podcast. We take our usual look at the covers of our books and then get a bit silly. Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017


A couple of site updates as I slowly build up the information on here: I've added a short biographical note to the 'Ed McBain' page and included some links to online radio programmes with interviews that McBain took part in over the years. I'll add any more as I find 'em and keep fleshing it out. 

Friday, 2 June 2017

Ed McBain's Killer's Payoff - Episode 6: Rick Astley As A Dr Who Magician

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast - Killer's Payoff!
We don't so much review the book as much as skirt around it in a conversation which features first lines from Sci-Fi novels, Murder On The Orient Express and which model trains are available, how to pronounce (or not) 'Adirondacks', Irish policemen's belly-buttons and a load of other nonsense as well!
Please share and like, subscribe, comment, on this or iTunes or wherever you fill-up your Podcast knapsack! Bonus episode coming next week!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Killer's Choice book covers

We mentioned on the bonus episode the extreme differences between Paul and Stephen's 1970s Penguin editions of the book and Morgan's Allison & Busby edition from 2000. The evidence is here:

What inspired the publishers to put day-glo green text on a grey background is beyond us. Believe us when we say it looks much worse in real life than this picture suggests! Allison & Busby are still publishing crime fiction, amongst other things and it appears they've got their graphic design sorted now. They don't publish any 87th Precinct novels any more. 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Ed McBain's Killer's Choice - Episode 5, Bonus Episode: Who and The What-Whats?

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast Bonus Episode!
A bit of a bumper bonus episode, as we take our traditional look at the editions of the books we've got and examine how the book was adapted for the TV episode in 1961.
Along the way we get some info wrong and Groff Conklin pops up as the Fact-Checking Ghost to set us right!
Thanks for listening. Please continue to share, subscribe, review and get involved.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Ed McBain's Killer's Choice - Episode Five: The High Road and Scotch Eggs

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast - Killer's Choice.
We've returned, with a bumper episode based on the 1958 novel "Killer's Choice" by Ed McBain. Along the way we answer a surprising amount of listener questions, corpse exquisitely and consider the ultimate question; Which is better - The Pit and The Pendulum or Emmerdale?
Thanks for the listens, folks! Please share and, if you're listening on iTunes, like, subscribe and (even better) drop a review on there! Feel free to get in touch on Twitter, FB, or on if you like.
See you soon for "Killer's Payoff".

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ed McBain's The Con Man - Episode Four, Part Two: A cross between Alan Moore and Bob Ross

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast episode 4 - Part Two, "The Con Man".
We pick up where we left off in the last podcast, discussing both Ed McBain's 1957 book The Con Man and the first episode of the 87th Precinct TV series, The Floater. Along the way we get massively distracted by classic British police series, The Bill and develop a whole new and entirely implausible way to end the podcast.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Ed McBain's The Con Man - Episode Four, Bonus Episode: The Three Main Fluids

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast Bonus Episode!
Carrying on from our main 2-parter, we examine (as usual) the different editions of the books we have. Chat about Gena Rowlands as Teddy Carella and discuss how we would cast a new 87th Precinct TV series in response to a listener question.
Our next book will be "Killer's Choice". 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Ed McBain's The Con Man - Episode Four, Part One: Who Wants A Crime?

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct podcast episode 4 - PART ONE - The Con Man!
This time we're looking at the fourth novel (The Con Man - 1957) in the series and also looking at/comparing it to episode one of the 1961 TV series first episode, The Floater, which is adapted from this book.
This episode will be in two parts - next part next week, and some bonus material to follow after that! Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Ed McBain's The Pusher - Episode 3, Bonus Episode: Book-Huffers

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct podcast Bonus Episode!
We have a look at our editions of The Pusher - discuss their relevant smells and graphics, Paul tells another story about a bookshop and then we finish in time to go and do a pub quiz (which we won).
Join us next time for The Con-Man!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Ed McBain's The Pusher - Episode 3: Large McGann

Welcome to Hark! Episode 3 - The Pusher!
The third of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series - we look at what could have been the last one, had they not been the successes they were and we answer some entirely unrelated listener questions along the way.