Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Detective Donald Lam Is Up to His Neck in Trouble Again in This Novel from Erle Stanley Gardner

The twenty-fifth entry in A. A. Fair's (Erle Stanley Gardner's) series featuring private detectives Donald Lam and Bertha Cool finds Donald up to his neck in trouble, as usual, and Bertha in an uproar, also as usual.

The story opens when a businessman asks the detectives to prove twenty-four-hour protection to his secretary who has been getting threatening letters and unsettling phone calls. He wants a man to be on duty during the days and a woman to be on duty at nights, and Cool and Lam seem like the perfect answer to his problem.

Donald and Bertha accept the assignment and almost immediately, of course, things go sideways. Donald is curious about the setup from the beginning, and the closer he looks, the more suspicious he becomes. Ultimately, the case will involve a murder or two along with some conniving businessmen, a few sexy female "escorts" and a fairly clever madam. Practically everyone in the cast of characters is lying through his or her teeth; Donald's nemesis, Sergeant Frank Sellers, will be hard on Donald's case again, and all in all, it makes for a fun evening's read.

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