Daily Deals: Ed McBain’s “87th Precinct” Series and Word Ball

Ed McBain's "87th Precinct" SeriesToday Amazon offer great deal: 35 Kindle Books from Ed McBain’s “87th Precinct” series just $0.99 each.

Master crime novelist Ed McBain’s “87th Precinct” is one of the longest-running crime series ever published and helped McBain earn the Mystery Writers of America’s “Grand Master Award” for lifetime achievement.

I think Evan Hunter, known by that name or as Ed McBain, was one of the most influential writers of the postwar generation. He was the first writer to successfully merge realism with genre fiction, and by so doing I think he may actually have created the kind of popular fiction that drove the best-seller lists and lit up the American imagination in the years 1960 to 2000. Books as disparate as The New CenturionsThe Friends of Eddie CoyleThe GodfatherBlack Sunday, and The Shining all owe a debt to Evan Hunter, who taught a whole generation of baby boomers how to write stories that were not only entertaining but that truthfully reflected the times and the culture. He will be remembered for bringing the so-called “police procedural” into the modern age, but he did so much more than that. And he was one hell of a nice man. —Stephen King 

Way back in the mid-1970s, when I was a new writer and police series were very big, my editor asked me to do a series called Joe Ryker, NYPD. I had no idea how to write a police detective novel, but the editor handed me a stack of books and said, “These are the 87th Precinct novels by Ed McBain. Read them and you’ll know everything you need to know about police novels.” After I read the first book–which I think was Let’s Hear It for the Deaf Man–I was hooked, and I read every Ed McBain I could get my hands on. Then I sat down and wrote my own detective novel, The Sniper, featuring Joe Ryker. My series never reached the heights of the 87th Precinct series, but by reading those classic masterpieces, I learned all I needed to know about urban crime and how detectives think and act. And I had a hell of a time learning from the master. Years later, when I actually got to meet Ed McBain/Evan Hunter, I told him this story, and he said, “I would have liked it better if my books inspired you to become a detective instead of becoming my competition.” Evan and I became friends, and I was privileged to know him and honored to be in his company. I remain indebted to him for his good advice over the years. But most of all, I thank him for hundreds of hours of great reading. —Nelson DeMille

Word Ball

Word Ball is a game for your Kindle Fire. Today only you can get this application for free.

Can you become a Word Master? This fun app challenges your word-building skills in a fast-paced game for Android. Play with friends and beat the top scores. Test your limits by keeping the letters alive and reach the top levels. Gain achievements for different word-building categories. Word Ball will make you a “Word Master” in no time! Are you ready?

Brain-teasing Fun
Word Ball provides a fun brain-training exercise by making you focus and think on your feet while building words as quickly as possible. By concentrating on the letters as they shrink and bounce, the game allows your cognitive senses to react in a manner that reinforces word and pattern recognition. The game features high-resolution display graphics and includes an extensive dictionary with 175,000+ words, as well as an in-game word list.

How to Play
Your aim in Word Ball is to build words with the letters you’re given. As you play, the letters will bounce around the screen and shrink, making it more challenging as time goes on. In Classic Mode, you’re presented with 26 letters, and the game progresses at a normal pace. In Frenzy Mode, the letters shrink faster. Select Sprint Mode for a different challenge where you will create words out of nine letters for each level.

Points vary by letter and word length. The app’s settings let you turn sounds and music on or off and will show or hide game tips as you play.

Achievements and Medals
If you are a true wordsmith, you can kick the game into high gear and collect all of the Word Ball medals. You will receive medals for awesome plays (like making at least 25 six-letter words or 15 eight-letter words in one game). Brag about your skills on Facebook and Twitter, and climb the OpenFeint leaderboards. Note that the Leaderboards only apply to Classic Mode. There’s also a detailed breakdown of your statistics and score history.

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