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Donald Lam & Bertha Cool Books In Order

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Publication Order of Donald Lam & Bertha Cool Books

The Bigger They Come (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Knife Slipped (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
Turn on the Heat (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gold Comes in Bricks (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Spill the Jackpot (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Double or Quits (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Owls Don't Blink (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bats Fly at Dusk (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cats Prowl at Night (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Give 'em the Ax (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crows Can't Count (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fools Die on Friday (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bedrooms Have Windows (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Top of the Heap (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Some Women Won't Wait (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beware the Curves (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
You Can Die Laughing (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Some Slips Don't Show (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Count of 9 (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pass the Gravy (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kept Women Can't Quit (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bachelors Get Lonely (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shills Can't Cash Chips (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Try Anything Once (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fish or Cut Bait (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Up for Grabs (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cut Thin to Win (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Widows Wear Weeds (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Traps Need Fresh Bait (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
All Grass Isn't Green (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon

Erle Stanley Gardner was a well-established American author and lawyer who published fictional narratives using a wide range of pseudonyms including, A.A Fair, Charles M. Green, Charles J. Kenny, Carleton Kendrake and many others. Due to his restless and innovative nature, Erle Stanley was bored by the day-to-day routine of legal practice. According to Erle Stanley, the only part of legal practice that he seemed to enjoy was the development of trial strategy and trial work. During Fair’s spare time, he wrote for various pulp magazines, which apparently also fostered the early careers of renowned authors such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet. Erle Stanley Gardner was responsible for creating different characters for the pulps including the infamous Lester Leith, a gentleman thief, and a crusading lawyer, Ken Corning. However, one of the most successful characters that Erle Stanley has ever created was Perry Mason, a crime solver, and a fictional lawyer.

Cool and Lam Best Books
Top of the Heap
Top of the Heap is the 13th installment in the Cool and Lam book series. Published in the year 1952, Top of the Heap is an extremely complex, riddle-wrapped and enigma laden mystery that revolves around a pulp-filled and slick-talking couple. Tone, characters, dialogue, and narrative, whichever way the readers prefer their noir to swing, the 13th entry in the Cool and Lam hard case crime series is undeniably packing more than enough to satisfy the readers. In Top of the Heap, the readers meet once again with Berther Cool and Donald Lam, two individuals with some slick names. Apart from having some slick names, Cool and Lam are also partners in a private investigation firm; Cool and Lam. Many at times, Bertha sits behind her desk being angry while Lam, on the other hand, tackles the legwork for the pair.

The narrative begins as the son to one of the wealthiest bankers in San Francisco hires Cool and Lam to locate two ladies he was with the previous night. The banker is one of the main suspects in the killing because he was the last person to be seen with deceased. It does not take long before Donald locates the two girls and ultimately wraps up the issue. In the process, Cool and Lam are entitled a huge fat bonus of 500 dollars. Because the book was set in the 1950’s the huge fat bonus of 500 dollars meant something. However, as expected things are not easy at all, and Donald Lam eventually finds himself at the center of a conspiracy. Author A.A Fair has expertly done the complexity of the conspiracy.

Apart from strippers, the conspiracy also involves sleeping pills, bodies and boats, turf wars, mistresses, gold mines and wise guys. Overall, Top of the Heap is a great solid read. The central mystery has been cleverly and wonderfully done. If you a looking for a hard-boiled crime read, then you should read Top of the Heap by A.A Fair.

The Bigger They Come
The Bigger They Come is the first installment in the Cool and Lamb book series. As the narrative opens, the big depression still underway. Donald Lam, the protagonist is 29 years old and has been out of work for quite some time. A trained lawyer, Donald had been fired from the law firm that he used to work for, after suggesting that he knows a full-proof way of killing someone and getting away with the act. One day, Donald Lam decides to use his last dime to answer an advertisement, which was placed by Cool Detective Agency. Bertha Cool, who had inherited the PI Firm from her husband, owns Cool Detective Agency. While Lam is still in his twenties, Bertha Cool is in her late sixties. Apart from being over-demanding, Bertha is extremely cheap. Many at times, Bertha loves to rage at Donald for things that displease her.

However, Bertha Cool ultimately takes Cool into the firm as a partner. Bertha loves to confine herself in the office, attempting to get the most of money out of her clients or trying to drum up business. Donald, on the other hand, is the brain behind the business. Apart from skating across the thin lines, which separates him from breaking the law, he is the brains of the business. Donald is hired by Bertha and on the first day is assigned a straightforward case. A woman is more than determined to divorce, wants Cool Detective Firm to serve her husband with the appropriate papers. However, as expected, what normally appears to be simple case, eventually turns out into something deadly and extremely complex.

The husband has been running from the police and thus finding him is not going to be a simple task. However, Donald Lamb has an advantage that the local police do not have. It does not take long before people are hoodwinked, beaten up and even killed. Donald Lam will be at one of the toughest spots in his life. With that said, the Bigger They Come is a fairly classic and soft-boiled pulp novel and an excellent introduction to what promises to be a highly entertained series.

Spill the Jackpot
Spill the Jackpot is the fourth installment in the Cool and Lam book series. Spill the Jackpot begins as Donald has just picked up Bertha from the Sanitarium, where she had been treated from different kind of ailments. Due to the fact that Bertha had been in the sanitarium for quite some time, she has managed to shed off several pounds. The doctors at the sanitarium have insisted that Bertha should ensure that she does not gain back the weight that she had lost. The two decide to fly back to L.A, however, along the way, they make a stop in Los Angeles, where they were expected to meet a potential client. The fiancée to his son had mysteriously disappeared, and his son was extremely heart broken.

The main reason why the client wants Cool and Lam to locate the fiancée is because he believes that the girl left on her own and if Cool and Lam are able to prove it, then his son’s broken heart will be healed. The trail eventually leads Cool and Lam to Las Vegas.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Donald Lam & Bertha Cool

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