Title: And All Through the House
Author: Ed McBain
Cover artist: Uncredited
"Hello, and welcome to the 87th Precinct. May I help you? ... Yes, I am aware that I am a sheep. What is your point? Baa."
This story was originally published in "Playboy," as far as I can tell. Why individual copies were made and circulated, I don't know. This little paperback version of the story was certainly never for sale - though a far more elaborate, hardback, slipcase edition did sell in bookstores (I own a copy of that too, because I am a book nerd). Did I mention that this book is signed by the author? Well, it is, which is surely the only reason I bought it in the first place (for $9.50 - I've got it priced at $40).
Ed McBain is the most famous pen name of Evan Hunter, a major crime fiction writer whose career began in the height of the paperback revolution (1950's). He wrote under his own name and also many pseudonyms, including most notably Ed McBain and William Marsten. He died in 2005. I have many Ed McBain / Evan Hunter / William Marsten novels in my collection. Stay tuned.