Erle Stanley Gardner - Up for Grabs - Orion Publishing Group

Up for Grabs

By Erle Stanley Gardner

  • Paperback
  • £18.99

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

Bertha Cool was in a flap. The distinguished Mr Homer Breckinridge had been waiting twenty minutes for Donald Lam to make an appearance, and around Mr Breckinridge was the heady aroma of C-A-S-H.

Then Donald appeared and in no time found himself hired to investigate an insurance claim. 'Such nice, safe, respectable work', purred Bertha, 'and it's up for grabs.'

But it didn't take Donald long to find out he was anything but safe and that he was the one up for grabs ...

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.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781471909207
  • Publication date: 14 Mar 2014
  • Page count: 224
  • Imprint: The Murder Room
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The Case of the Lucky Loser

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The Case of the Duplicate Daughter

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The Case of the Blonde Bonanza

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'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'.

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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.

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Shills Can't Cash Chips

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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?

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Try Anything Once

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Widows Wear Weeds

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Blackmail was a dirty business and Donald Lam liked to stay clear of it. But for his partner, Bertha Cool, no business was too dirty to handle at the right price. And the price for this job was certainly right.What was wrong, though, was a payoff for pictures that weren't worth a dime, a free dinner that cost the blackmailer his life, and more than a couple of double-crosses that framed Donald Lam quite neatly for a charge of murder ...

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All Grass Isn't Green

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The D.A. Draws a Circle

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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 ...

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The D.A. Goes to Trial

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The D.A. Cooks a Goose

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A midnight hit-and-run accident on a mountain road ... a tragic fatality ... the discovery of the missing car ... and Doug Selby, District Attorney of Madison City, finds himself not only up against a most involved case but in the hottest spot of his career.Featuring an absorbing cast of supporting characters, including genial Sheriff Rex Brandon, the sly, suave A.B. Carr, a strange couple from New Orleans who should be cooperative but aren't, and Inez Stapleton, Madison City's only woman lawyer, who finds the going tough when she tries to be both friend and foe of Doug Selby.

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Murder Up My Sleeve

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The Case of the Baited Hook

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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.