Simon & Schuster
Bison Records' Barney Loomis sets up a special event on a yacht to launch his latest find Tamar Valparaiso to stardom. Tamar lip-synchs her debut CD Bandersnatch aboard the rented River Princess with the media along. All seems well as the vessel sails along the river until Hussein and Arafat abduct the star. The media and the police wonder if perhaps Barney set up the ploy as a publicity stunt, but he insists that he did not and displays much anger.
87th Precinct Detective Steve Carella begins investigating, but almost immediately has to deal with an FBI led joint task force consisting of every bigwig wanting publicity in the nearby universe. The kidnappers demand a ransom to return the future superstar while the Feds try to keep Steve off their Squad. However, Barney demands Steve and the locals remain active as he believes they have a better chance of rescuing his diva because unlike the Squad they are not concerned about looking good in the media.
It has been five decades with over fifty novels, yet the 87th Precinct books are always among the best police procedurals on the market. The latest tale is superb with a delightful and cleverly conceived investigation at its center. However, that is lightened by Fat Ollie's dating and homage to Lewis Carroll. Alice and her Looking Glass company provide a wonderful foundation to the relationships within the task force and within the three kidnappers (one more in a Bush mask) and their victim as well as between the two groups. Even the Queen of Hearts knows that Ed McBain is the best and he proves that once more with the fabulous FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner