Erle Stanley Gardner

Although best known for his Perry Mason novels, Gardner had a number of lesser-known series including those featuring Cool and Lam and Terry Clane


Crows Cant Count “Lam couldn't be better and Bertha Cool gracefully supplies backstage obbligato of screams and objurgations. Plot excellent; track fast. Verdict: A-1”—The Saturday Review

Murder comes in many sizes. If you are a detective your job is to wrap it up, in a neat bundle. Sometimes you do. But, sometimes, you run out of string.
This was one of those times. Donald Lam knew there was one person with the key to a murder, a man named Murindo. Then Lam heard this: "Murindo is dead. In little pieces, he is dead."
In other words—murder by dynamite! This was a new bundle—but, after the explosion, there was nothing left to wrap up...

“Bertha's shrieks to high heaven and Donald's corner-cutting combine to a successful finish for their firm. Nimble.”—Kirkus


The Case of the Backward Mule “The master has done it again! A plot that never lets down from beginning to end, human and fascinating characters, a story told with authentic punch.”—The Montreal Gazette

Killer or not—she had it coming!
Cynthia Renton's fiancé Edward has temporarily escaped his fate in the gas chamber, a fate handed down for the murder of one Horace Farnsworth. Cynthia also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Terry Clane, which is a very good thing. Terry is convinced that Edward is innocent of the crime, and with the help of several Chinese friends, evades the police while conducting his own investigation into the murder.

  Terry Clane and Cynthia Renton went to the warehouse that night because of an urgent call from Edward Harold. They found a man lying on the floor, a bullet through his head. The police were already looking for Cynthia so Terry got her out before reporting the murder. And when Inspector Malloy arrived and questioned him, Terry insisted that he had come alone, by taxi.   “Sure you didn’t carry anything with you that belonged to a woman?"   “Certainly not.”   One of Malloy's men handed him a black handbag. It was Cynthia's.   “Now Clane,” Inspector Malloy said, “the driving license in here is in the name of Cynthia Renton. And there's $2500 in bills. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”

Note: this edition is very slightly bowdlerized, but the character of the story remains as it was in 1946.


Give em the Ax “Packed with amusing and amazing legal tangles, and jammed with action.”—The Saturday Review

  The Rimley Rendezvous was the kind of back-street bistro where a tired businessman could drop in for a pick-up, no questions asked. Deep carpets and subdued lights gave the place an air of clandestine class. And solicitous waiters catered to the customer's every whim. All these comforts added up to a steep cover charge, especially since blackmail figured as the major part of the tab.
  It was a very lucrative business…until a murderer cut into the profits…and left his ax in Donald Lam's car. The team of Cool and Lam are at their fast-talking, fast-moving best in this tough tale of suicide, blackmail and murder.


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