cover image Poison


Ed McBain. Arbor House Publishing, $16.95 (264pp) ISBN 978-0-87795-787-4

The most popular of McBain's numerous novels feature the dedicated, decent men of the 87th Precinct and the latest is delivered with the author's familiar skill. Detectives Steve Carella and Hal Wallis interrogate beautiful, wealthy Marilyn Hollis when one of her swains dies of poison, possibly a suicide. Marilyn becomes a murder suspect later, as two more men she has been socially and sexually involved with are killed in a development that creates a serious problem for the investigators. Wallis is now the woman's lover, living with her despite Carella's protest. Both detectives continue to track Marilyn's former male companions, looking for a jealous killer. But Wallis, heartsick, begins to believe that Marilyn is guilty. The taut, gripping story closes with a knockout surprise. Reprint rights to Avon; Mystery Guild, Doubleday Book Club selections; Literary Guild dual selection; major ad/promo. (February 27)