A daily note on some event in the history of mystery fiction.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
2/12/1964 He Who Hesitates
February 12, 1964. Ed McBain wrote more than sixty 87th Precinct novels, but he wasn't content to write to formulas. The series contained a ghost story, a political satire, romances, and this weird thing. He Who Hesitates takes place on this date, and is told from the viewpoint of Roger Broome, who visited the anonymous city of the series, and commited a crime. That happens before the book starts, and we spend the whole novel watching him think about it and try to decide whether to tell the cops. So the 87th Precinct boys, the nominal heroes, are only seen from his point of view. The book may not be a great success, but give the author credit for trying something different.