I read the first of the Ed McBain books I bought on sale earlier this year, #5 in the series, Killer's Choice.
The introduction is a hilarious description of a conversation McBain had with his publisher about creating a hero for the series. McBain's solution was to introduce the "hero" Cotton Dawes, who has a pretty bad first day in this book.
The entertaining banter between the cops in these takes center stage for me, the crime is the backdrop. Twenty-nine more entertaining episodes should keep me going for the rest of the year.