Steve Carella's younger sister is getting married, but there are deadly plans beyond the ceremony and reception, and his sister and future brother-in-law are at the center of the potentially fatal plot.
'Til Death takes place in June, roughly nine months after Killer's Wedge.
Another race-against-time story, this one succeeds to ramp the tension up a bit more than Lady Killer did, although this might have less to do with the quality of the story than it does the personal connections the majority of the characters share. The plot actually plays a bit too much like your typical murder-mysteries of the time, and the only thing that really separates it from the rest is the cast of the 87th as they get involved at Carella's behest.
In response to a cryptic death threat received by his sister's fiancÃ©e, Carella convinces Hawes and Kling to attend the wedding on their day off, while Meyer and O'Brian track down leads at the station and on the town. Add Hawes' date (Christina, the book store owner he questioned back in Lady Killer) and a very expecting Teddy to the multiple suspects and murder attempts flooding the scene, and the story begins to feel as crowded and hectic as an actual wedding party.
The most interesting aspect of this story, however, might be the femme fatale Oona, who proves to be one of the more brutal and vicious characters to grace the pages of the 87th. Indeed, Oona's savage beating of Hawes and her bestial attacks that prove nearly as deadly as her looks makes her an overpowering force to be reckoned with. Coming on the heels of the cold and calculating revenge seeking widow that brutally assaulted several members of the squad in Killer's Wedge, it is hard to ignore McBain's recent habit of shoving overwhelmingly evil and abusive women into the lead heavy role, an act that one would be tempted to label as misogynistic if it weren't leveled by the all too human and sympathetic females that make up the vast population of The City.