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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Love Mystery by @JoanReeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

Ah, the magic of a good book. I discovered that magic when I was a girl.

I had read all of the "kid" books in my small town library and loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but I wanted bigger stories. 

I went to the grownup section and browsed through the shelves. That's when I discovered Ed McBain's 87th Precinct mysteries.

Wow. Suddenly I was transported to New York City. I devoured the books about Steve Carella, his deaf wife Teddy, and the cops of the 87th Precinct.

I've always been glad that the librarian never called my parents to tell them about the books I was reading. Instead, she just looked over her glasses at me and quirked a gray eyebrow but said nothing.

My mom was a reader, and she never questioned the books I checked out. She understood the desire to escape—to dive into an adventure one can't usuallly experience in real life.

Today, October 15, is Ed McBain's birthday. If he were alive, I'd write him a fan letter and tell him how much his books meant to me.

Discover Ed McBain

Ed McBain was born Salvatore Albert Lombino. In 1952, he legally changed his name to Evan Hunter

As an author and screenwriter, he wrote under a number of pen names, most notably Ed McBain which he used for most of his crime fiction. 

The other pseudonyms he used include John Abbott, Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Ezra Hannon, and Richard Marsten.

His 87th Precinct novels were made into movies and a television series. Those books became the foundation of the police procedural genre.

You can learn more about Evan Hunter aka Ed McBain at his Wikipedia page

If you want to discover his 87th Precinct novels, grab a copy of Ed McBain Books in Order by Book List Guru. This Kindle book is on Kindle Unlimited, or buy it for only 99¢. It's a comprehensive list of just about all of the works by Ed McBain.

Mystery and My Writing

Until I discovered romance, I'd planned to be a mystery author. I still love mystery, but most mysteries in the old days had very little to offer in the way of romance. Romance in a mystery meant sex without commitment, and all of it was sex from a man's viewpoint which meant without emotion.

The 87th Precinct novels were a bit different in that Steve Carella was in love with Teddy, his wife who happened to be deaf. McBain was ahead of his time with a love relationship, a woman character who was deaf, and several other aspects uncommon to genre fiction then.

In the last few years, I've begun weaving mystery into some of my romance novels.

Recently I sold video game rights to 2 of my novels, The Key To Kristina, a mystery romance featuring a Quest, and Old Enough To Know Better, a romance, not a mystery,  between an older woman and a younger man. 

The huge tech company that bought the rights will be turning each into a video game somewhat like a "choose your own adventure." I'm excited because they already have a worldwide audience for their games. 

If you're interested in seeing what intrigued the tech company, you're in luck. Old Enough To Know Better is featured in my Reader Friends Newsletter today. It's on sale for only 99¢ until midnight CDT on October 18.

I send my free newsletter each month (except for this summer which had too many family emergencies). 

In my newsletter I offer a free ebook and sale books from me and some of my friends. This newsletter has Just One Look as a free ebook for subscribers.

Until next month, may you read wonderful books!


  1. As you did, I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys. When I was in the fourth grade, I was fortunate enough to have a great teacher. For Christmas, she gave each student a gift she'd chosen specifically for that person. For me, she gave me an Earl Stanley Gardner mystery. My mother was not a reader then, but my dad was. When my mother looked through the book, she saw the word "damn". She was incensed that a teacher would give a little girl an adult book that contained a curse word. My dad laughed and said he'd read it first to see if it was all right. Of course, he read it quickly and gave it to me. From then on, I was hooked on adult mysteries, especially Erle Stanley Gardner and Agatha Christie. I have to say that in later years, my mother did become a reader.

  2. I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardys, too, but Trixie Belden was my girl. Mystery kind of lost me as I grew into meatier books, but cozies brought me back. I'm a strictly-for-entertainment reader.

  3. I read a lot as a kid, too. I don't remember a particular series, but I do remember a new librarian look down her nose at me when I checked out the maximum number of books, most of them for adults. In two weeks, when my Mom took my sister and I back to the library, the librarian didn't believe I had actually read all of them!

  4. I loved Nancy Drew mysteries and then a little later- anything Ray Bradbury - Congratulations on selling to tech for a video! That is very exciting!


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