Ed McBain is best known for his legendary 87th Precinct series. But, on occasion, McBain would write stand-alone works. McBain’s Duet collects two of these works: “Driving Lessons” and “Petals.”
“Driving Lessons” is a police procedural set in a small town. A teenage girl with a Learner’s Permit, while on a drive with her Driver’s Education instructor, hits a woman and kills her.
Detective Katie Logan investigates the incident and discovers the dead victim is the Driver’s Education instructor’s wife. And, the blood test on the instructor comes back with traces of a powerful drug. Logan follows the evidence and discovers plenty of secrets. GRADE: B
“Petals” is a spy story. An American agent in Europe is investigating the recent murders of former Nazis. At the same time, the American agent is falling in love with the woman who might be killing these men. If you’re in the mood for a surprisingly romanic spy story, give “Petals” a try. GRADE: B-