Erle Stanley Gardner - You Can Die Laughing - Orion Publishing Group

You Can Die Laughing

By Erle Stanley Gardner

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'The bestselling author of the century ... a master storyteller' New York Times

A beautiful heiress is missing, and a husband, but not her husband, is looking for her. Texan Lawton Corning is determined to find Yvonne Wells, and hires Bertha Cool and Donald Lam to track her down.

She has had a spat with her husband, and the neighbours tell Donald Lam what they heard the night Mrs Wells went missing. But then she turns up again, and the mystery deepens ...

Biographical Notes

Born in Malden, Massachusetts, Erle Stanley Gardner left school in 1909 and attended Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana for just one month before he was suspended for focusing more on his hobby of boxing than his academic studies. Soon after, he settled in California, where he taught himself the law and passed the state bar exam in 1911. The practise of law never held much interest for him, however, apart from as it pertained to trial strategy, and in his spare time he began to write for the pulp magazines that gave Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler their start. Not long after the publication of his first novel, The Case of the Velvet Claws, featuring Perry Mason, he gave up his legal practice to write full time. He had one daughter, Grace, with his first wife, Natalie, from whom he later separated. In 1968 Gardner married his long-term secretary, Agnes Jean Bethell, whom he professed to be the real 'Della Street', Perry Mason's sole (although unacknowledged) love interest. He was one of the most successful authors of all time and at the time of his death, in Temecula, California in 1970, is said to have had 135 million copies of his books in print in America alone.

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  • ISBN: 9781471909016
  • Publication date: 14 Apr 2014
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: The Murder Room
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The Murder Room

Shills Can't Cash Chips

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
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Money in the bank had always been a persuasive factor in Bertha Cool's life - and Lamont Hawley represented a lot of it. He also represented an insurance company that smelled a rat about a traffic-accident claim. The trouble was the claimant had drifted away - a beautiful blonde who had been co-operative and level-headed. In fact, too level-headed ... she sounded almost professional.Donald Lam didn't like it. Why should a large insurance company need an outside investigator? But Bertha's eyes see $$$ so Donald gets cracking, and within no time he is the prime suspect. For what on earth is a body doing in the trunk of Donald's car?

The Murder Room

All Grass Isn't Green

Erle Stanley Gardner
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The Murder Room

The D.A. Draws a Circle

Erle Stanley Gardner
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Erle Stanley Gardner

The murdered man had been shot - twice. Either bullet could have caused the death.D.A. Doug Selby had both the bullets and one of the guns. On that gun were the fingerprints of Pete Ribber, a known criminal. The other bullet was from a different - and missing - gun.Which bullet had caused the death? That was the D.A.'s problem. Because there's no law against firing a bullet into a corpse ...

The Murder Room

The D.A. Goes to Trial

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

The case started with a corpse. Nobody knew who he was. Next, a man named John Burke disappeared. But D.A. Doug Selby could not find his body.Then Mrs Burke swore that the corpse and her missing husband were one and the same man. This should have solved both mysteries. All it did was run the D.A. up two different trees. Sure, the faces of the dead man and John Burke were exactly the same. The only trouble was that their fingerprints were different!Impossible? That's what Doug Selby thought too - until the killer struck again ...

The Murder Room

The D.A. Cooks a Goose

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner
The Murder Room

The D.A. Breaks an Egg

Erle Stanley Gardner
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Erle Stanley Gardner
The Murder Room

The Case of the Gilded Lily

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

The ingredients were quite simple: one middle-aged tycoon with a lovely young wife; one oh-so-apologetic visitor to the tycoon's office; one devoted secretary, graduate of a correspondence course of How to Be a Detective.But when these ingredients were combined and brought to the boil with the addition of one inflammable blonde - the result was murder.And when Perry Mason was called in to clean up the kitchen, he found that too many cooks almost spoiled the broth.

The Murder Room

The Case of the Duplicate Daughter

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

Muriell Gilman left her father at the breakfast table while she cooked seconds of sausage and eggs. When she returned, he had disappeared - seemingly into thin air.She searched the house from cellar to attic. Then she went out to the workshop ... there, scattered on the floor, were hundred-dollar bills - and in their midst a spreading, crimson stain. That's when she telephoned Perry Mason, who soon discovers that the missing piece of the mystery seems to belong to his arch nemesis Hamilton Burger.

The Murder Room

The Case of the Blonde Bonanza

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

'Why would anyone hire a girl with the figure of a stripteaser and pay her $100 a week to put on weight?' Perry Mason asked Della Street.'In the course of my secretarial career,' Della said demurely, 'I've seen quite a few approaches, but this is a new one.''According to the letter of this contract,' Mason mused, 'if Dianne Alder should marry a millionaire and her husband should die, the party of the first part would be entitled to fifty percent.' Suddenly Mason snapped his fingers.'You've got it?' Della Street asked.'I have an explanation. I don't know whether it's the explanation, but it's quite an explanation'.

The Murder Room

The Count of Nine

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

You might call Bertha Cool the broad beam of the Cool and Lam Detective Agency. As this story begins, all 200-odd pounds of her are quivering happily at the thought of a fat fee to come.All Bertha has to do is guard the priceless treasures of wealthy explorer Dean Crockett II, who is about to throw a fabulous party. But somebody's hand is quicker even than Bertha's gimlet eye, and one valuable jade Buddha and a primitive blowgun disappear.That's when brainy bantam-weight Donald Lam steps in, and the pace sets off fiercely, before reaching a sensational, unexpected climax.

The Murder Room

Try Anything Once

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

Carleton Allen, son-in-law of a millionaire tycoon and nervous of publicity, explains to Bertha Cool and Donald Lam that he's mixed up in a first-class scandal. He's spent the night with a blonde while his wife was away, and that same night at the motel a man was murdered.Donald doesn't believe the story, but the large retaining fee is too great a temptation to Bertha. So, once again, the intrepid partnership is off on a dangerous mission involving blackmail - and murder ...

The Murder Room

Widows Wear Weeds

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner
The Murder Room

Murder Up My Sleeve

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

Jacob Mandra had a million-dollar apartment on the fringe of Chinatown ... and a reputation.Early one morning they found him dead. And a few hours later Terry Clane found himself in the District Attorney's office - by request. The District Attorney began asking strange questions that Terry Clane didn't care to answer, and when Terry finally sailed out of the D.A.'s office he realised that he and some of his friends were involved in the Mandra murder ... up to their necks.

The Murder Room

The Case of the Baited Hook

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

Who was that masked woman?That was the question plaguing Perry Mason. No one loves a good mystery more than Mason - but being asked to represent a client who is concealing her identity, not to mention the particulars of her case, has given even the legendary legal eagle a case of ruffled feathers.Yet the intriguing cloak-and-dagger tactics have Perry hopelessly hooked. As for the silent siren behind the mask, is she heiress Byrl Gailord or penniless Adelle Hastings? Both women have ties to a man named Tidings, a man who may be a protector or predator. A man who could answer a lot of tough questions - if only he hadn't been murdered.

The Murder Room

The Case of the Turning Tide

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

District Attorney Frank Duryea had more than a simple murder case on his hands. Had someone killed both Addison Stearne and C. Arthur Right and then vanished? Or had it been a murder and a suicide? And, in either case, who died first? A vast fortune depended on the answer.The obvious suspect was Nita Moline, who claimed she discovered the bodies, rushed up on deck and fainted. However, nobody had seen her come aboard. And through the tangled web of evidence, there seemed to be more than one mystery. Fortunately for Frank Duryea, his wife's grandfather - the black sheep of a wild family - came for a visit and got in everybody's way.

The Murder Room

The Case of the Negligent Nymph

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner
The Murder Room

The Case of the Lucky Loser

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner

The first woman wouldn't even give her name. But the clear, feminine voice faltered considerably over the question of what Perry Mason's charges would be for a day in court - a day doing nothing but listening.The second woman gave a good deal more - but the question was, what did she expect to get? Dorla Balfour, lethally lovely and dangerously rich, forced a $1,000 retainer on Mason to deal with a case already tried and decided.The offense involved appeared to be manslaughter, hit-and-run, but it soon became murder ... with the corpse killed twice.

The Murder Room

Fish or Cut Bait

Erle Stanley Gardner
Authors:
Erle Stanley Gardner