It may be Christmas time, but for the cops of the 87th
Precinct, crime remains the same year round. The season to
be jolly presents the police officers with the case of drug
pilot Cassandra Ridley, found to be a Yuletide snack for
the lions living in the Grover Park Zoo. Cassandra was
carrying $10,000 all counterfeit. The case crosses
precincts since one of her legs was chewed on in the 88th
while the brunt of the corpse resided in the 87th.
Detectives Steve Carella and Oliver Wendell Weeks share the
The two cops follow the money trail that apparently is
somewhere between 1.7 and 1.9 million. However, other
individuals from a less savory side of life also trail the
cash including government men and hit women. With their
personal problems and desires also at the forefront, the
police find this investigation keeps turning screwier as
Carella and Weeks get closer to the truth.
For this reviewer's money, Ed McBain's 87th police
procedural novels are the yardsticks that every other sub-
genre author strives to match, but few come close. His
fifty-first tale in the long running series, MONEY, MONEY,
MONEY, shows why he's the MAN even though the well written
story line requires a stretch to believe in a conspiracy.
The cops are human with troubles and desires outside the
precinct and a struggle with the case, which is serious yet
deftly, includes humor. Anyone who wants a smooth ride in
a police cruiser, Mr. McBain's investigative trip is the
ticket to enjoyment as it has been since the mid-fifties.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted August 21, 2001