McBain, Ed

Matthew Hope
Goldilocks Goldilocks (1978)
When a mother and her two little girls are brutally murdered on Florida's steamy west coast, soft-hearted attorney Matthew Hope decides to defend the only person confessing to the crime, the only person without a motive.
Rumpelstiltskin Rumpelstiltskin (1981)
A Matthew Hope mystery, in which he investigates the brutal murder of a rock star.
Beauty and the Beast Beauty and the Beast (1982)
When beautiful Michelle Harper is found brutally murdered and her husband is charged with the crime, lawyer Matthew Hope becomes involved in the case, which leads him into the tawdry world of Gulf Coast ""social clubs.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk (1984)
After making a down payment on a derelict snapbean farm and promising the remaining thirty-six thousand dollars in cash, young Jack McKinney is found dead, his plush condo ransacked, and attorney Matthew Hope has to find the money and the killer.
Snow White and Rose Red Snow White and Red Rose (1985)
A young woman has been institutionalized in a psychiatric home because everyone says she is paranoid schizophrenic so she hires a private detective to prove them wrong and collect $650,000.
Cinderella Cinderella (1986)
From Publishers Weekly
This is the sixth in McBain's series of fearful "fairy tales" starring lawyer Matthew Hope of Calusa, Fla., as compelling a character as those in the author's popular 87th Precinct novels. When Hope's friend, private eye Otto Samalson, is killed while on an assignment for him, the lawyer makes up his mind to find the murderer. The investigation leads Hope into the affairs of several men involved with a gorgeous hooker known as Cinderella. Hired thugs on her trail leave behind them the bloody bodies of people they question, and the lawyer is in constant danger. Cleverly eluding pursuers, Cinderella guards a fortune in stolen cocaine with which she expects to secure a rosy future until time and her luck run out. This is a violent story, more horrifying than its gory predecessors (Goldilocks; Beauty and the Beast, but very well written and a natural attraction for McBain fans.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Puss in Boots Puss in Boots (1987)
From Publishers Weekly
A Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, author of the bestselling 87th Precinct thrillers, McBain presents a gory new fairy tale in the style of his previous Goldilocks and Cinderella. In Calusa, Fla., Carlton Markham is accused of killing his wife Prudence, who was fatally stabbed after completing a porn film that has vanished along with its producer. Determined to prove his client innocent, attorney Matthew Hope concentrates on tracing the female rumored to play the film's starring sexual acrobat. Switching from the lawyer's perspective, the narrative shifts to the abandoned building where the killer has taken the stolen movie and his captive, the actress "Puss in Boots." Gradually, Hope draws closer to the maniac's lair and perhaps closer to his own death as multiple horrors accumulate. McBain's artistry is undeniable in this expose of "adult entertainment." But his seventh dreadful borrowing from fantasy is an extreme test of the reader's nerves and stomach. Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The House That Jack Built The House That Jack Built (1988)
From Publishers Weekly
As always, McBain's ear-perfect dialogue and stinging wit invigorate his story, eighth in the series of takeoffs on classic nursery fare. Lawyer Matthew Hope of Calusa, Fla., stars again as an amateur sleuth searching for evidence to exonerate a client. This time the accused is a visitor from the Midwest, Ralph Parrish, charged with murdering his gay brother, Jonathan, after a wild party at a Florida beach house. Although unhappy over Jonathan's debauchery and sexual orientation, Ralph loved his brother, and Hope believes in his client's innocence. Setting out on a serpentine path, the lawyer comes into the presence of people with secrets he can't pry loose: a priest at the church near Jonathan's house, a pair of married homosexuals, Arthur Hurley and Bill Walker, and their traveling companion, young, pregnant Helen Abbott. At the last turn in the road, Hope meets elderly Sophie Brechtmann and her daughter, Elise, owners of the famous Brechtmann Brewery, where the investigator learns how to make beer (and so does the reader) in the episode that ends a tale as spellbinding as McBain's Goldilocks, Puss in Boots and his other bestsellers.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Three Blind Mice Three Blind Mice (1990)
From Publishers Weekly
Initiating the Matthew Hope series with Goldilocks in 1978, McBain, the author of 40 bestselling 87th-Precinct novels, created another favorite sleuth, hero of macabre fairy tales. In his ninth appearance, the Calusa, Fla., lawyer takes on a "hopeless case," defending Stephen Leeds, arrested for murder. The victims were three Vietnamese tried but found not guilty of raping Leeds's wife, Jessie. Every bit of evidence ties the crimes to Leeds, who had publicly sworn to avenge his wife's abuse, but Hope believes in his client and works diligently to free him. The dangerous search for clues to the killer absorbs the lawyer--and the reader. Small discoveries become significant when Hope piles them into a mountain of evidence against the unsuspected guilty party. As always, McBain's ear-perfect dialogue enhances his masterly plotting.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Mary, Mary Mary, Mary (1992)
From Publishers Weekly
In the 10th nursery rhyme-themed title starring attorney Matthew Hope (after Three Blind Mice ), Mary Barton is, in fact, a gardener of quite contrary personality, but she says she's no murderer. After a telephone repairman unearths the bodies of three children in Mary's backyard and various witnesses connect her with the dead, it seems unlikely that Hope can prevent Mary's conviction. With more than 60 million copies of his 80-plus books in print, McBain has a large following, which makes it all the more regrettable that he resorts here to an amateurish resolution relying on an outrageously cliched and improbable plot twist. While the writing is competent--Hope handles his defense of Mary with lunchbucket clarity--it is not enough to arouse interest in the title character or in the personal secret that eventually resolves the mystery. The suspense is deflated early on in an unidentified monologue that will tip off even semi-alert readers to the ridiculous development to come. Seldom has line-to-line craft been wasted in support of such a slipshod plot. Major ad/promo; Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate; major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
There Was a Little Girl There Was a Little Girl (1994)
From Publishers Weekly
After 40 years and more than 100 books, McBain (aka Evan Hunter) continues to amaze and entertain. In this 11th Matthew Hope novel (Mary, Mary), the hero spends most of his time in a semi-coma after being shot outside a bar on the seedy side of Calusa, Fla., despite his vow to avoid the criminal side of his law practice. Meanwhile, Hope's PI pals Warren Chambers and Toots Kiley, as well as police detective Morris Bloom, try to reconstruct Hope's previous week, probings that are intercut with flashbacks to Hope's own investigation of the years-old suicide of a circus star. What emerges is an intricate, lurid tale of sex, blackmail and murder fueled by greed. "Little girl" refers to the dead circus star, a fully developed woman only three feet tall. Or it may be an old slang term for cocaine, in high demand among certain circus folk. Or it may even stand for lesbian child abuse-or all of the above. The tracings and retracings of Hope's trail among a large, colorful, unsavory cast are fascinating, and the final revelations-about some very nasty people-are stunning. This is the kind of book we hope for from a grandmaster like McBain. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gladly the Cross-eyed Bear Gladly the Cross Eyed Bear (1996)
From Publishers Weekly
Hero/narrator Matthew Hope, recovered from gunshots and a coma (There Was a Little Girl, 1994) and, true to his earlier resolve, practicing only civil law in (fictional) Calusa, Fla., represents the plaintiff in a suit involving the eponymous teddy bear, named after a mis-heard line in a hymn ("Gladly the cross I'd bear"). Young toy designer Lainie Commins is suing her ex-boss, toy manufacturer Brett Toland, for copyright and patent infringement, contending that his cross-eyed bear is a direct steal from hers. When Brett is found shot to death on his yacht, Lainie is arrested and charged with murder. She persuades Hope to represent her even as, we later learn, she commits the first legal sin, lying to her lawyer. From mansions to shacks and yacht club to sleazy venues for lingerie "models," McBain gives us a tour of Gulf Coast Florida that's seldom grand. Unable to reach his usual investigators (the main subplot has PI Warren Chambers urging his colleague Toots Kiley to kick her crack cocaine habit cold turkey), Hope hires 60-something Guthrie Lamb, an old-style PI with major male chauvinist traits. McBain, as he has for more than 40 years, keeps his readers riveted through this entire, satisfying tale.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The Last Best Hope The Last Best Hope (1998)
From Publishers Weekly
McBain, an MWA Grandmaster, seamlessly combines the casts and locales of his Matthew Hope and 87th Precinct series into a coherent and entertaining whole. It begins when Jill Lawton approaches Hope, an attorney in Calusa, Fla., for help in finding her missing husband, Jack, whom she intends to divorce. That night, a body carrying Jack's identification turns up shot in the face and dead. It's not Jack Lawton's body, however, but that of Ernest Corrington, a burglar and would-be actor who was the third corner in a love triangle with Jack and a woman who goes by two names, Melanie and Holly. Jack and she have also comprised an erotic triangle with Jill. What binds these people together (besides the sexual geometry) is a plan to steal the Hemlock Cup from a local museum. The cup, the stuff of legends, is reputedly the very cup from which Socrates drank his poison. Jack, Jill, Holly/Melanie and Corrington hatch intricate plots to steal the cup?and to eliminate each other from collecting any part of the payment being offered by a Greek collector. Trying to trace Jack, Hope gets in touch with Detective Steve Carella of the 87th Precinct "up north." Their collaboration is complicated by dead bodies and yet another boyfriend of Holly/Melanie's. Sound tangled? It is, but with McBain's skilled handling, it's crystal clear and an absolute delight.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

McBain, Ed - Florida Authors

Learn more about Ed McBain.

Check out more Mystery books set in Florida.

Visit It Takes Place in Florida and discover more books with a Florida setting.

More pages