Erle Stanley Gardner - The D.A. Draws a Circle - Orion Publishing Group

The D.A. Draws a Circle

By Erle Stanley Gardner

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

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 ...

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: 9781471909351
  • Publication date: 14 Dec 2014
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: The Murder Room
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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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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 ...

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Widows Wear Weeds

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All Grass Isn't Green

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The D.A. Goes to Trial

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The D.A. Cooks a Goose

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The D.A. Breaks an Egg

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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.

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The Case of the Turning Tide

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The Case of the Negligent Nymph

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She pulled herself out of the water and into a canoe and gasped, 'I don't know who you are ... but you'd better paddle like hell!' Flashlights appeared on the shore. Someone shouted 'There she is!' but Perry Mason was doing as he was told for a change, paddling into the night, with a strange girl, towards the hottest water he had ever been in.By morning, Mason was in all the papers - wanted for robbery. By afternoon, he had a second client - in jail. Then murder arrived and he was precipitated into the tensest battle of his career.

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The Case of the Gilded Lily

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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.

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The Case of the Lucky Loser

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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.

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The Case of the Duplicate Daughter

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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.

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