Ed McBain made his
debut in 1956. In 2004, more than a hundred books later, he personally
collected twenty-five of his stories written before he was Ed McBain. All but
five of them were first published in the detective magazine Manhunt and none of them appeared under
the Ed McBain byline. They were written by Evan Hunter (McBain’s legal name as
of 1952), Richard Marsten (a pseudonym derived from the names of his three
sons), or Hunt Collins (in honor of his alma mater, Hunter College).
Here are kids in
trouble and women in jeopardy. Here are private eyes and gangs. Here are loose
cannons and innocent bystanders. Here, too, are cops and robbers. These are the
stories that prepared Evan Hunter to become Ed McBain, and that prepared Ed Mcbain
to write the beloved 87th Precinct novels. In individual introductions, McBain
tells how and why he wrote these stories that were the start of his legendary
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