book cover of Murder by the Numbers
Added by 2 of our members

Murder by the Numbers

(The fourth book in the Eliot Ness series)
A novel by

Publisher's Weekly
The fourth Eliot Ness novel from the prolific Collins ( Bullet Proof ), who also pens the Dick Tracy comic strip, is action-packed but essentially lifeless (despite the fact that many of the characters are actual figures). Former Untouchable Ness (who sent Al Capone to prison on tax evasion charges) has moved from Chicago to Cleveland, where he is out to break up the Mayfield Road mob, which five years earlier, in 1933, eliminated black numbers king Rufus Murphy. Forging an uneasy alliance with black detective Toussaint Johnson, and counting on the smoldering resentment of the black community, Ness assembles 70 witnesses and goes to the grand jury. Indictments follow for two Mayfield kingpins, Salvatore Lombardi and the sadistic Angelo Scalise. With a tip of the hat to Cleveland's Depression-era black crime novelist Chester Himes (whom he depicts working at the city's Karamu Theater), Collins effectively evokes the era, but his characters--the square-jawed, uncompromising Ness and slimy, sinister gangsters--remain cartoonish.

BookList - Emily Melton
It's the 1930s, and Eliot Ness, of Chicago "Untouchables" fame, is director of public safety in Cleveland. Once he's cleaned up the corrupt police department, he's ready to take on the Mayfield Road Gang, a bunch of mobsters who run the numbers rackets in Cleveland's black ghetto. Ness has to cope with political favoritism, corrupt officials, angry blacks, and mob violence while trying to round up enough witnesses to put the leaders of the gang behind bars, but he's tough, clever, and virtually unbeatable when it comes to outwitting the bad guys. Like Collins' earlier Ness novels, this one is based on slightly altered but essentially accurate historical events and characters. Collins does a fine job of depicting the troubled, crime-ridden ghettos and the atmosphere of violence and corruption in 1930s Cleveland. This book (and the entire Ness series) will appeal to those who prefer their hard-boiled fiction delivered straight to formula: fast-paced, action-packed, uncomplicated plots; tough-guy dialogue spoken by a tough-guy hero; graphically depicted violence; and an implacable code of honor that dictates even the tough guys' behavior.

Genre: Historical Mystery

Similar books by other authors

Black Hats
Patrick Culhane

Used availability for Max Allan Collins's Murder by the Numbers

Hardback Editions

March 1993 : USA Hardback

Title: Murder by the Numbers: Eliot Ness and the Cleveland Mob Wars
Author(s): Max Allan Collins
ISBN: 0-312-08856-6 / 978-0-312-08856-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Paperback Editions

January 2011 : USA Paperback

Title: Murder by the Numbers (Eliot Ness Novel)
Author(s): Max Allan Collins
ISBN: 1-61232-034-1 / 978-1-61232-034-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Speaking Volumes, LLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

August 1994 : USA Audio Cassette

Title: Murder by the Numbers/Cassettes
Author(s): Paul Regina
ISBN: 1-882071-47-6 / 978-1-882071-47-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: B & B Audio Inc
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

December 2010 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: MURDER BY THE NUMBERS (Eliot Ness Book 4)
Author(s): Max Allan Collins
Publisher: Speaking Volumes
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA