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Mystery Writer Evan Hunter

Evan Hunter died Wednesday at the age of 78. Under the pen name Ed McBain, he was best known for his finely detailed "87th Precinct" novels. Mystery fans call McBain's books "procedurals" for their close attention to police procedures.

Under his own name Hunter, he wrote the semi-autobiographical novel The Blackboard Jungle. And he wrote a number of screenplays including The Birds which he and Alfred Hitchcock adapted from a story by Daphne du Maurier.

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 20, 1987.

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David Bianculli is a guest host and TV critic on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. A contributor to the show since its inception, he has been a TV critic since 1975.