Commandment Books In Order

Publication Order of Commandment Books

The Sixth Commandment (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Tenth Commandment (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Eighth Commandment (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Seventh Commandment (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The commandment is a series of crime of fiction books by the late American author Lawrence Sanders. The main characters featuring in the series are an investigator, Dora Conti, a field investigator, Samuel Todd, and a 5’3″ law firm investigator, Joshua Bigg. This series is set in the New York city. The series begun in 1978 with the novel The Sixth Commandment, but ended after only four novels, the last one being The Seventh Commandment, 1991. Lawrence was an author of mystery and crime fiction novels. Before switching to fulltime fictional writing, he worked as an editorial writer for a magazine.

In addition to The Commandment series, Lawrence has written Edward X. Delaney and Archy McNally series as well. He became a published author in 1969 with The Anderson Tapes. Lawrence was born in Brooklyn, New York City, and grew up in the Midwest. After his public school education, Lawrence joined Wabash College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. When he returned in New York, he worked at Macy’s Department store. He later in 1943 joined the United States Marine Corps, but was discharged in 1946.

The first book in the series in the Sixth Commandment and is one that could thrill any reader. It features Bingham Foundation, a corporation that assesses grant applications of scientific researchers. Employed as a field investigator in the corporation is Samuel Todd and is tasked with finding all information he can about Gordon Telford Thorndecker. Gordon Telford is a resident darling of Coburn, Ney York and a Nobel Prize-winning doctor as well. He is a good doctor in charge of a combined rest home and research facility for the affluent, infirm, and the elderly in Coburn. Dr. Thorndecker has recently applied for a million-dollar research grant.

Being an impeccable scientific researcher, Dr. Thorndecker has a project of investigating the “cellular clock” that commands the normal lifespan of human beings. The project seems entirely worthy and credible of support, but faces rapid gossipmonger. Despite the rumors, the whole town of Coburn enthusiastically supports its most famous resident. Samuel Todd on the other hand has a mission to get background information about the eminent of the Doctor. He has to assess the intangibles, things known only to the applicant’s mistress, priest and/or psychiatrist. Samuel is a suspicious romantic, therefore too young to have seen it all, but at the same time too old to expect best of this world.

Possibly, his suspicions are getting the better of him. Depending on the way Coburn residents are staring past his shoulder while praising Dr. Thorndecker to the skies, what he learns about Julie, Dr. Thorndecker’s seductive wife and her not-so-secretive activities become more suspicious. More so, when he discovers that a patient was buried rather suddenly in the dead of the night. According to the death certificate, the deceased had been discharged of a simple heart failure. Samuel is already highly suspicious of this case. His feelings grow even worse when he arrives at his hotel on a stormy night only to find a typed two-lined message at the desk. “Thorndecker Kills”, the cryptic, short, and straight to the point note read.

This book is one that every reader would enjoy and is very indicative of Lawrence’s work- dramatic and incredibly romantic. Even though it might be slow and pondering by today’s standards, it is a readable and engaging novel. It has a good mystery and excellent character as well. Some readers, however, can find some of the medical terminologies too detailed, but whatever the case; they would agree the novel is a good, quick read.

The second book in the series is The Tenth Commandment. You’re aware from the Sixth Commandment how sanders tried out the hard-boiled-detective-narrator genre with heavy-breathing, mediocre, stickily clichéd results. This novel he also goes into the similar route, but with his very New-Yolky tongue completely jammed in cheek this time round. The detective is 5’3″ Joshua Bigg, a resident investigator for a posh East Side law firm. He has just gotten himself two hot tasks from his two senior partners. Partner Teitelbaum gives Josh an assignment to get the lowdown on Prof. Yale Stonehouse. The professor has mysteriously vanished. Partner Tabatchnick has an assignment too; he wants Josh to deal with a man who is claiming to have key information on the will of the late Sol Kipper. Sol Kipper was a window-jump-suicide textile king. It is suspected that his second wife in collaboration with her social-reforming minister-boyfriend is probably the one who murdered Kipper. At the same time, a nasty type Prof. Stonehouse is believed to have been suffering from arsenic poisoning before his disappearance.

Then, after some period of predictable sleuthing, the two cases connect in an increasingly familiar hard-boiled formula. Shockingly, Kipper-killing minister is spotted consorting with Prof. Stonehouse’s daughter. Josh goes to the minister’s hometown and uncovers a history of sadistic Svengali-manipulation. This leads to a showdown and trap aboard the villain’s houseboat-cum-mortuary. Detection is, therefore stretched out completely. Josh is of Corse a breezily likable narrator and takes many time-outs for updates and musing on shortness on his hesitant sex life. Yetta Apatoff, voluptuous secretary, a nubile witness Perdita Schug and eager 34-year-old virgin backs at the apartment house. Also gets support from an engaging and very sharp 6’6’’ secretary lady, Mrs. Gertrude Kletz.

This is an excellent novel about investigation. Joshua Biggs rapidly widens up his knowledge and experience through solving several situations. If you want an interesting novel into crime fiction, then this is one of the best one can choose. Despite the main character being 5’3 and 3/8″, he is powerful among attorney investigators in the New York City. This book is outstandingly amazing and more so, the author mentions some situations that we encounter in our lives but keep them so private that we cannot really speak much of. The descriptions of the characters in this novel are so realistic and vivid. In addition to well-written scenes, it has a moving romance too. Best of all, it clearly shows that there is no much difference between a short and a tall man, only the length.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Commandment