cover image McBain's Ladies Too

McBain's Ladies Too

Ed McBain, Evan Hunter. Mysterious Press, $30 (276pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-285-3

``Too'' refers to McBain's Ladies (1987), a collection of fragments from the author of approximately 40 bestsellers. In an introduction, McBain describes this sequel as a ``labor of love,'' denying that the two books were solely money-making projects, and explains at length his true purposes: ``to inform the reader and to inform myself.'' Ardent fans probably won't care why he compiled these excerpts about the ``women of the 87th Precinct''; they will also relish the inclusion of complete stories, unlike the entries in the first collection. From Killer's Wedge (1959), the selection on Virginia Dodge still stands as an epic in suspense. She is the ``lady'' armed with nitroglycerin who threatens to blow up the station house and the detectives if they try to prevent her from killing Carella, whom she blames for her husband's death in prison. Other females deadlier than the male reinforce McBain's reputation for delivering irresistible adventures year after year. (June)