Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Been Around A While: "So Long As You Both Shall LIve" by Ed McBain

Been Around A While: So Long As You Both Shall Live by Ed McBain, 1976, no ISBN or LC number.

When I worked at MCLD I weeded a bunch of McBain books that never circ'ed.  I bought'em off the used shelf. Almost all of the novels were 87th Precinct novels, like this one. This is short at 147 pages and Fat Ollie Weeks comes to the rescue.

Bert Kling marries a fashion model, Augusta.  The Klings have big reception and fill the hotel ballroom with cops, models, photographers and agents.  Mr. and Mrs. Kling go up to their hotel room and Bert gets in the shower.  Bert comes out of the shower and Gus is gone.  "Huh. Maybe my cop pals spirited her away for a drink."  Minutes pass.  Nope.  She's gone.  Bert finds a cloth with chloroform in the hotel room.  Bert calls Carella.

Carella and the other precinct cops take over.  They figure it must be a kidnapping. They wait in the room for a ransom call.  They go over the reception guest list.  They work some informers.  Fat Ollie shows up at Carella's squad room desk.  Fat Ollie is as socially inept, clueless, and bigoted as usual.  He's also as sharp a detective as ever.

Things happen. Bert is worried.  Detectives interview men the informers put them on.  The wedding photographer is brought in by Fat Ollie and they identify a nameless suspect from the photos.  Fat Ollie talks to the only witness and gets much more info than Carella did. 

Meanwhile, Augusta is locked in a windowless room.  Her kidnapper sneaked into the hotel room, chloroformed her, carried her down fire stairs and spirited her away.  Her kidnapper threatens her with a scalpel and tells her they will marry.  "But, I'm already married" says Augusta. "No matter," says her stalker.  He's been following her fashion career for a long time and he's insane.

Augusta is saved at the last moment when Carella, Kling and Fat Ollie burst through the door and Fat Ollie shoots the kidnapper.

1. I did not use "snuck". I am sure there are other grammatical errors, read the blog heading.

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