Learning to Kill


By Ed McBain
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151012220, 496pp.)

Publication Date: July 2006

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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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 career.

About the Author

ED McBAIN holds the Mystery Writers of America's prestigious Grand Master Award and was the first American to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers' Association's highest award. The author of more than one hundred books, he lives in Connecticut.

Praise For Learning to Kill

"One of the greatest American crime writers . . . McBain was a master, and his tales of the city are timeless."-THE WASHINGTON POST

"Ed McBain is a master. He is a superior stylist, a spinner of artfully designed and sometimes macabre plots."-NEWSWEEK

"A minor classic of its kind."

"The amazing thing about these stories . . . is how strong and clear the voice is—as if the man himself were still in the room."

"A treasure for McBain''s legions of fans, letting us peek over his shoulder as he painstakingly studies and practices his craft . . . fascinating."

"Each tale anticipates McBain’s wildly successful ‘87th Precinct’ novels in a different way."

"Demonstrates the evolution of a craftsman who became one of the most . . . admired crime writers of the past century."

"Gripping . . . a must for fans who want to see how the master honed his skills."

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