The '''''87th Precinct''''' series is a LongRunningBookSeries in the PoliceProcedural genre, written by Ed [=McBain=] (the crime-fiction writing pseudonym of Creator/EvanHunter). It features a revolving cast of police officers from the eponymous precinct, located in [[NoCommunitiesWereHarmed an unnamed city that isn't exactly New York]].

The series began in 1956 and continued until 2005 with the novels progressing from short pocket novels of roughly 200 pages (often released two or three times a year) to the longer style of novel common today (released once every year or two). The series was atypical in a number of ways from most other mystery/police drama series in that cases were often solved through routine police work, mistakes made by the criminals, or the criminals were not apprehended at all. Also atypical was that the detectives were usually less invested in the case - they went home at night, let other detectives handle part of the foot work, and treated the cases as a matter of routine. Detectives who served as the primary protagonist in a previous novel in the series would often be a secondary character in the next and there was no set pattern as to which detectives were partners or not. Given the time-length of the series it also had its own version of ComicBookTime where the officers stayed roughly the same age throughout the series but still referenced [[ContinuityNod previous cases and major events]].

There have been several screen adaptations, including the feature films ''Cop Hater'' (1958), ''The Mugger'' (1958), ''The Pusher'' (1960), ''Fuzz'' (1972) and ''Blood Relatives'' (1978); a short-lived weekly series, ''87th Precinct'' (1961-62); and three {{Made for TV Movie}}s, ''Lightning'' (1995), ''Ice'' (1996), and ''Heatwave'' (1997). Most famously, ''King's Ransom'' was adapted into the Japanese film ''Film/HighAndLow'' (1963) by Creator/AkiraKurosawa. ''So Long As You Both Shall Live'' and ''Jigsaw'' were also adapted for ''Series/{{Columbo}}'' (as "No Time To Die" and "Undercover" respectively, with Arthur Brown joining Columbo in the latter).

Administrivia/NeedsABetterDescription.
----
!!This series provides examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation: Both Columbo adaptations strip out almost all the social, racial and sexual commentary, as well as combining several detectives into one role that Lt. Columbo himself fills (although as mentioned above Arthur Brown does appear in the second one). They are essentially the same basic plot with a lot of changes to the finer details.
* ArchEnemy: The Deaf Man is this for the precinct and for Steve Carella in particular.
* AssholeVictim:
** The victims in ''Fiddlers'' become less sympathetic when you discover just what rotten people they were, and [[spoiler:what they did to Charlie to make him so deranged.]]
** Michelle, the main victim in ''Romance'', is a whiny, spoiled diva who gets her boyfriend / agent to stab her for attention [[spoiler:and is later stabbed for real]].
** Gregory Craig in ''Ghosts'' is one as well; he blamed his wife for his penultimate novel being slated by critics, dumped her for a younger woman who claims to be a psychic, and was killed by [[spoiler: the man whose story he basically stole for the basis of his final, hugely successful book. The author's lover later declares through her powers that he killed his wife - she drowned, but she was an excellent swimmer. It's never proven... but her powers ''are'' real, and see also HauntedHouse below.]]
* BadAss: Steve Carella, Hal Willis, Cotton Hawes. Lt. Byrnes, Meyer, and Kling have their moments too.
* BadassInDistress: [[spoiler:Carella]] is kidnapped, chained to a radiator and injected with heroin in ''Doll''.
* BerserkButton: Emma is Brother Anthony's in ''Ice''. [[spoiler: And vice versa, as the novel's killer ultimately finds out when he murders Anthony...]]
** Don't even think about insulting or mistreating Teddy Carella. Steve will tear you a new one.
** As a father of a teenage daughter, Meyer absolutely hates paedophiles and has to be cautioned by Carella in ''Lullaby'' when dealing with [[spoiler: the father of the murdered baby, who was having an affair with the other murder victim - the 15 year old sitter.]]
** And in ''Lady, Lady, I Did It!'', when Carella, Brown and Kling go to arrest the killer, [[spoiler: Kling loses all control and beats him half to death, because one of his victims was [[RecurringCharacter Kling's girlfriend Claire Townsend]].]]
-->[[spoiler: ''Carella was already typing up the false report in his head, the one about how Manners (the killer) had resisted arrest.'']]
** In ''Killer's Choice'', the normally patient Meyer loses it when the owner of the liquor stone Annie Stone was shot dead in is visibly more concerned about the four thousand dollars' worth of booze that was destroyed in the process.
* BestServedCold: The main plot in ''Ten Plus One'' and ''Fiddlers''. [[spoiler:In the former, the killer is targeting people who were in a play with his wife at university, and who participated in an orgy-turned-gang rape during the aftershow which left her infertile. In the latter, the killer is targeting people who screwed him over in some way, from his own mother - who abandoned him and his brother - to a teacher who refused to give him an A and made fun of him.]]
* BlackGalOnWhiteGuyDrama: Kling's relationship with Sharyn Cooke has some of this.
* BlondGuysAreEvil: The Deaf Man (although it's unknown whether it's his natural hair color).
* BrickJoke: Meyer's long, wonderfully orchestrated story about a cat thief in ''The Mugger''.
* BrokenBird: Eileen Burke, so very much. [[spoiler: She becomes a cop after her father and uncle, both policemen, are murdered, and dreams of avenging her uncle's death. She is raped and slashed in one book and suffers PTSD as a result, and it gets worse after the events of ''Tricks'', when she shoots a man who was killing and mutilating prostitutes, after he tried to kill her.]]
* BusmansHoliday: "Storm", from ''The Empty Hours'', has Cotton Hawes investigating a murder while on vacation at a ski resort.
* CartwrightCurse: Bert Kling. The poor guy just can't catch a break. His girlfriends either end up dying, having too many issues to cope with a relationship, going off with another man or just getting fed up with him.
* TheChessmaster: The Deaf Man
* ChristmasEpisode: ''The Pusher'', ''Sadie When She Died'', ''Ghosts'', ''Money Money Money''
** Then there's ''And All Through the House'', which is actually [[SomethingCompletelyDifferent an illustrated short story]].
* ComicBookTime: The same cast of characters were used for the entire 49 year run of the series. This caused characters who has military service in World War II to be rewritten so that their service occurred during Vietnam, the First Gulf War, etc.
* ContinuityNod: Later books in the series frequently reference events or characters from earlier ones.
* CopKiller: In ''Cop Hater'', the first novel, a murderer kills three policemen; [[spoiler:as it turns out at the end, [[SerialKillingsSpecificTarget the third was the true target]], and he only killed the first two to mislead the police into thinking that he's a SerialKiller who targets cops.]]
* CriminalMindGames: Most noticeable with the Deaf Man who increasingly targeted his plans or modified them to specifically antagonize the 87th Precinct detectives, even to the point of causing his own plans to fail.
* CrossOver: One of [=McBain=]'s Matthew Hope novels, ''The Last Best Hope'', has that character teaming with Steve Carella on a case.
* ADayInTheLimelight: ''Fat Ollie's Book''.
* DeathFakedForYou: [[spoiler: Carella's, in ''Doll''. He's found and rescued just before his kidnappers are about to make it very real.]]
* ADeathInTheLimelight: [[spoiler:Frankie Hernandez]] in ''See Them Die''.
* DeadpanSnarker: Meyer, often.
* DetectivePatsy: Happens to inexperienced patrolman Bert Kling in ''The Mugger''. Bert gets a promotion to Detective after that.
* DirtyCop: Roger Havilland
* DisabledLoveInterest: Theodora "Teddy" Carella, a deaf mute.
* DistractedByTheSexy:
** The officers on duty in ''Ten Plus One'' when a hot blonde actress - and potential victim of the book's villain, a sniper - arrives at the station. [[spoiler: She does not get killed, by the way.]]
** In ''Tricks'', the principal of a high school where Sebastian the Great and his sexy assistant Marie are performing sees most of the male students can't keep their eyes off her, and while he's supposed to be watching the students "he himself was having a little difficulty (taking ''his'' eyes off her), to the extent that when Marie takes her leave the principal thinks "Shit." [[spoiler: Then again, how was he to know she's part of a murder plot involving Sebastian and his male protege?]]
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The Deaf Man at his introduction in ''The Heckler'' wins a poker match by calculating hand probabilities.
* EverybodyLives: [[spoiler: ''King's Ransom'', ''So Long As You Both Shall Live''.]]
* FairCop: Bert Kling, Eileen Burke, Annie Rawles.
** Sharyn Cooke is both this and a HospitalHottie, being Deputy Chief Surgeon for the department.
* FairPlayWhodunnit: ''Like Love'', although the main clue can be confusing for the modern reader.
* FatalMethodActing: In-universe in ''Eighty Million Eyes'', where a famous comedian is murdered on live television in front of forty million witnesses.
* FatBastard: 88th Precinct detective Fat Ollie Weeks, and police informer Fats Donner. The former is a bigot, the latter a pedophile.
* FieryRedhead: Eileen Burke.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Invoked and subverted in ''Lightning''.
* HalloweenEpisode: ''Tricks''. There's even a group of [[spoiler:circus midgets]] who yell 'trick or treat!' before shooting people.
* HappilyMarried: Steve and Teddy Carella, Meyer and Sarah Meyer.
* HauntedHouse: ''Ghosts''. [[spoiler: And as Carella finds out first hand, it's for real.]]
* HeatWave: ''Cop Hater'', ''Bread'', ''Heat''
* HollywoodSatanism: ''Vespers''
* HowUnscientific: ''Ghosts''
* InsistsOnPaying: Steve Carella (and, by extension, every honest cop).
* InterruptedSuicide: [[spoiler: Unsuccessfully interrupted in ''Like Love''.]]
* ItsPersonal:
** '''Til Death'', in which the wedding day of Carella's sister is marred by someone targeting her husband-to-be.
** ''So Long As You Both Shall Live'' in which Bert Kling's wife Augusta is kidnapped after the actual wedding [[spoiler: by a StalkerWithACrush who wants to have sex with her and then kill her. [[DrivenToSuicide And then himself]].]]
* JerkAss: Roger Havilland, Andy Parker.
* KarmaHoudini: The murderer in [[spoiler: ''He Who Hesitates'']].
** [[spoiler: Said murderer ends up confessing in ''Shotgun'' and does get charged and presumably convicted. Karma caught up to him.]]
** And the Deaf Man, who remains at large at the end of ''Hark!'', the final book in which he appears.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: Roger Havilland in ''Killer's Choice'', Frankie Hernandez in ''See Them Die'', Claire Townsend in ''Lady, Lady, I Did It!'']].
* {{Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard}}
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: The entire roster of the 87th (up to that time) only appears in one book -- the appropriately named ''Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here''.
* LockedRoomMystery: A fairly realistic version in ''Killer's Wedge''.
* LowerDeckEpisode
* {{Meganekko}}: Annie Rawles
* NewYearHasCome: ''Lullaby''
* NobleBigotWithABadge: Fat Ollie Weeks.
* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed
* NoKillLikeOverkill: [[spoiler:Pepe Miranda]]'s death in ''See Them Die''. First, he is shot repeatedly by the ''army'' of cops. Then Andy Parker empties his gun into him. And then, Parker grabs another gun and shoots [[spoiler:Miranda]] in the head. Twice.
* NonSequitur: Meyer often blurts his (unrelated to the topic at hand) thoughts out loud, confusing the others.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: some of the most mild and harmless-seeming people turn out to be killers, such as [[spoiler:Timothy Moore, the victim's medical student boyfriend in ''Ice''.]]
* MeaningfulName: Usually averted, but played straight with Don King from ''King's Ransom''.
* ObfuscatingDisability: While the Deaf Man wears a hearing aid, it's suggested on various occasions (including by the Deaf Man himself, in ''The Heckler'') that it may just be a prop.
* OneWordTitle: Many of the books, particularly in the '80s and '90s.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The Deaf Man
* PluckyComicRelief: Richard Genero.
* PointyHairedBoss: Captain Frick. The best thing that could be said about his leadership is that he realises his own incompetence and most of the time just don't do anything.
* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: Fat Ollie Weeks
* PunBasedTitle: ''Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man''
* RapeAsDrama: Eileen Burke. In ''Lullaby'', she goes into therapy after the events of ''Tricks'' (see BrokenBird above).
* RecurringCharacter
* RepetitiveName: Meyer Meyer.
* ScaryBlackMan: Arthur Brown, and he's more than happy to play on white people's prejudices (see ''Jigsaw'' for an excellent example). Unfortunately, some white suspects have a tendency to talk to the white cop who's interviewing them (usually Kling) and ignore Brown completely.
** Mostly subverted in the ''Series/{{Columbo}}'' film "Undercover".
* SelfDeprecation: Both Meyer Meyer and The Deaf Man admit to hating Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''The Birds'', the screenplay for which was written by... Evan Hunter.
* SerialKillingsSpecificTarget: [[spoiler:''Cop Hater'']] and [[spoiler:''Long Time, No See'']]
* SerialRapist: ''Lightning'' involves one who keeps re-attacking the same women.
* SkunkStripe: Detective Cotton Hawes has a white streak in his otherwise red hair as a result of his hair growing back over a knife scar.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Andy Parker for Roger Havilland. After Havilland's death, Parker fills the role of a large, brutal, racist jerkass cop. Even his backstory is similar to Havilland's.
* SympatheticMurderer: Several, for example [[spoiler: Charles Tudor ]] from ''Give the Boys a Great Big Hand''. Both Carella and Meyer feels sympathy for him for being such a LoveMartyr.
* ThemedAliases: The Deaf Man always uses aliases that are some sort of play on words on 'deaf' in a variety of languages.
* ThisIsAWorkOfFiction
-->"The city in these pages is imaginary. The people, the places are all fictitious. Only the police routine is based on established investigatory technique."
* ThisIsMyNameOnForeign: The Deaf Man's aliases are always some kind of play on 'deaf' in a foreign language: sometimes literally translating as 'The Deaf Man'.
* ThoseTwoGuys: The buffoonish and arrogant homicide detectives Monoghan and Monroe.
* TomboyishName: Though Mrs. Carella's given name is Theodora, everyone calls her "Teddy".
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: Frequently.
* UnintentionallyNotoriousCrime: In ''Lady, Lady, I Did It'', a shooter opens fire in a store and guns down four people. One of them happens to be Detective Bert Kling's fiancee, thereby guaranteeing that the crime has the attention of every cop in the city.
* VillainEpisode: [[spoiler: ''He Who Hesitates'']].
* TheVillainMakesThePlot: When the Deaf Man is involved.
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield / NoCommunitiesWereHarmed: The novels are set in Isola, a district of an [[CityWithNoName unnamed, fictional city]] in an unnamed state which, as mentioned above, closely resembles New York. Isola includes many features of Manhattan, and the other districts mentioned are clear expies for New York City's other four boroughs.
** More specifically, according to [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isola_(fictional_city) "Calm's Point" is Brooklyn, "Majesta" is Queens, "Riverhead" is the Bronx, and "Bethtown" Staten Island]]. Then there's the Harb (Hudson) and Dix (East) Rivers, and the similarly unnamed "next state" (New Jersey). George M. Dove's unofficial 1985 companion to the series, ''The Boys from Grover Avenue'', analyzes the geography of [=McBain=]'s "Imaginary City" and describes it as NYC shifted to the side, so that north becomes east, east south, etc.
** Oddly enough, New York itself is occasionally mentioned in the books. Apparently [=McBain=]'s universe has two huge and virtually-interchangeable metropolises co-existing very close to one another on the East Coast of the United States.
** The film adaptations of ''Cop Hater'' (1958) and ''The Pusher'' (1960) are explicitly set in NYC. Meanwhile, the film of ''Fuzz'' (1972) is set in Boston for some reason, and the film of ''Blood Relatives'' (1978), being a French-Canadian co-production, is set in ''Montreal''!
----