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The Knife Slipped (Cool and Lam) av Erle…
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The Knife Slipped (Cool and Lam) (utgåvan 2016)

av Erle Stanley Gardner (Författare)

Serier: Cool and Lam (30)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
845250,374 (3.78)8
Lost for more than 75 years, The Knife Slipped was meant to be the second book in the series, but shelved when Gardner's publisher objected to (among other things) Bertha Cool's tendency to "talk tough, swear, smoke cigarettes, and try to gyp people." But this tale of adultery and corruption, of double-crosses and triple identities--however shocking for 1939--shines today as a glorious present from the past, a return to the heyday of private eyes and shady dames, of powerful criminals, crooked cops, blazing dialogue, and delicious plot twists.  Donald Lam has never been cooler--not even when played by Frank Sinatra on the U.S. Steel Hour of Mystery in 1946. Bertha Cool has never been tougher. And Erle Stanley Gardner has never been better.… (mer)
Medlem:chidecki
Titel:The Knife Slipped (Cool and Lam)
Författare:Erle Stanley Gardner (Författare)
Info:Hard Case Crime (2016), 240 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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The Knife Slipped av Erle Stanley Gardner

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Well, I thought to get some Perry Mason from the library in kindle. This was the first Erle Stanley Gardner I'd found. BUT...it's not Perry Mason!!! It seems that Gardner, under a pseudonym wrote a series of hard-boiled detective books featuring a young runt of a detective, Donald Lam, who worked for a large, coarse woman named Bertha Cool, who constantly refers to herself in third person. But this particular book, was never published at the time it was written, 1939. It only saw the light of day in 2016. The lurid, pulp-fiction cover has nothing to do with the book. Other than that, the book's ok.

Mrs. Atterby brings her daughter, Mrs. Edith Cunner, to Bertha Cool's agency to dig up dirt on Edith's husband, Eben, who is pretty obviously being unfaithful. Bertha assigns Donald to the case. Along the way, they discover there's much political corruption involved in the shenanigans of Eben, aka Arthur Gell. Bertha decides she'd like to get in on the graft, cut herself a slice of cake, so to speak. But in the cake cutting, the knife slipped, and Bertha didn't get her much desired big pay day. But, they do finger the killer...sort of. It was a fairly cute story, and I'd likely read another if the library decides to carry any from this series in kindle format.
( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
The Knife Slipped is a terrific piece of pulp detective fiction. Erle Stanley Gardner is best known as the creator attorney Perry Mason, whose exploits filled eighty novels and graced radio and television for decades. Gardner is not as well known for the other series he authored, the Cool and Lam mysteries. There are thirty novels in this series, published between 1939 and 1970 (with The Knife Slipped, having been written in 1939 as the second novel in the series, but never having made it into publication at the time).

Bertha Cool and Donald Lam are a mismatched pair of odd couple detectives and the series is quite fun to read. Cool is featured as a cheapskate, cynical, hard-talking, heavyset woman. The best description of her ever is found early in the The Knife Slipped: “Bertha didn’t waddle when she walked. She didn’t stride. She was big, and she jiggled, but she was hard as nails, physically and mentally. She flowed across the office with the rippling effortless progress of a cylinder of jelly sliding off a tilted plate.” What a description! Lam is her counterpoint. He is a slightly built, smaller gentleman, who is always getting beaten in fights with hoods, but he is clever, intuitively seems to figure things out, and has a certain charm with women. As noted in the Afterword to this novel, Cool is a bit more clever and thoughtful in this novel. In other novels in the series, Cool is more than a bit dense and Lam is credited with all the cleverness. Here, she seems, at times, to be like a mother hen, taking Lam under her wing and showing him the ropes: “someone has to tell you the facts of life, if you’re going to be worth a damn in this business. I may as well be the one.”

The Knife Slipped was one of those lost novels, never published in Gardner’s lifetime, discovered and finally published by Hard Case Crime. It is a joy to read to anyone who dives into stacks of old-fashioned pulp novels. It is written with a great sense of humor, such as the description of Cool: “As for money itself, she hung onto it like a barnacle caressing the side of a battleship.” The book is filled with nefarious figures, mysterious blonde bombshells, and innocent country girls who suddenly find themselves in the cold, hard city. There are bodies thrown about and murder weapons tossed about as well as frame-ups and corruption and malfeasance. But, what really makes this novel work me is the narrative voice used for Donald Lam and the pulpy descriptions. The client is described here as a “hatchet-faced battle ax with high cheekbones, big, black eyes with dark pouches underneath, a mouth which was a straight gash across her face, a nose like the prow of a battleship.” And the blonde bombshell, “Her voice was the kind that made ripples run up and down a man’s backbone. It was one of those seductive voices that came as a cooing caress to the masculine eardrum.”

For those used to more modern-era detective fiction, the novel might appear a bit dated. It was, after all, written some seventy-six years ago in a very different world. But for those of us who can never get enough of pulp detective fiction, this is just what the doctor ordered. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Erle Stanley Gardner
THE KNIFE SLIPPED
Hard Case Crime, 2016 (1939)
216 pages
Crime / Noir

THE KNIFE SLIPPED is classic, timeless, private eye, noir. Remember guys like Spillane's Mike Hammer, and Chandler's Marlowe? Yeah. Gardner was before them. Erle Stanley Gardner wrote under many pen names. He was also the creator of the Perry Mason novels, and short stories. THE KNIFE SLIPPED was supposed to be the 2nd book in the Cool & Lam Mystery series. but because of Bertha Cool's sassy, vulgar, smoking behavior, the publishers nixed the idea. Interesting, right? Very!

Hard Case Crime is the first ever to publish THE KNIFE SLIPPED. That alone is exciting. What is more exciting is how wonderful the book is!

Most private detective agencies won't touch two kinds of cases. Divorce matters, and anything political. Most agencies, but not B. Cool Investigations. Donald Lam is kind of new on the job. Making ends meet isn't always a guarantee with B. Cool, so when Bertha Cool gives him a divorce case, he's up for the challenge.

Mother, Mrs. Atterby, and daughter, Mrs, Cunner, need a detective. They are certain Eben Cunner is stepping out on his wife. They want proof. Something they can take to the lawyers. Divorce will be inevitable. After laying down the agency rules, the agreement is made and Donald Lam is on the job.

Following Eben is simple enough. The complication comes alone when it appears Eben is leading a secret life. Only, it might be worse than Atterby and his wife first suspected.

Submerged in bribes, and politics that involve the police force, the fire departments, and people with clout, Donald Lam finds himself in a bit over his head. When a body is discovered, Donald realizes he has become the fall guy. If he can't figure out who the killer is doing time in prison is what he faces.

Chasing down red herrings, and never sure who can be trusted, Donald does his best to maneuver between the traps in the case, his boss, and a new love interest. There isn't much time. The police are closing in. He needs to focus and find answers. Fast!

I will be hunting down Gardner books. And A.A. Fair books (which the rest of the Cool & Lam Mystery titles are penned under). The guys is smooth. The characters well crafted. The plot was tight, plausible. And like I said earlier, timeless (except for the use of payphones, that is). A fantastic book I loved reading, and a treasure Hard Case Crime uncovered!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy
www.onadarkstormyreview.com ( )
  ptom3 | Feb 7, 2017 |
When the wealthy Mrs. Atterby walks into Bertha Cool’s detective agency with her daughter, Mrs. Cunner, to discuss Mrs. Cunner’s wayward husband, Bertha is all ears. Although most detective agencies don’t handle domestic cases, Cool is not above airing someone else’s dirty linen and she’s got just the agent for the case, Donald Lam. Of course, as Lam investigates, he discovers Mr. Cunner is involved in more than just stepping out on his wife…and Lam has the bruises to prove it.

The Knife Slipped, a long lost manuscript (there seem to be a lot of them cropping up nowadays) in Erle Stanley Gardner’s Cool and Lam series, apparently was supposed to be the second book in the series. I forgot that I had read another book in the series and wasn’t overly impressed.

Bertha Cool is a smart talking, obese broad who pretty much has no scruples. Unfortunately, she is way over the top, so if you’re into the believable, you’d be hard pressed to believe any of this.

Donald Lam appears to fall hard and fast for anything in a skirt. He doesn’t have much brain power, but for a skinny guy seems to take his beatings in stride.

*****SPOILER*****

The plot is totally outdated, as it deals with cheating on police and fireman civil service exams, which is not something I’ve heard much about recently.

Gardner was a prolific pulp mystery writer, but he wasn’t one of the best. He created unique characters for the times, but I can’t say that I really like Bertha Cool or Donald Lam. I wouldn’t go out of my way to read more of the series. ( )
  EdGoldberg | Feb 1, 2017 |
Erle Stanley Gardner is another author whom I’ve never tried. I’d seen maybe one episode of Perry Mason with Raymond Burr; I knew Frank Sinatra had played Donald Lam on radio; my dad read all of his books plus those written under the pen name A. A. Fair.

Actually, he didn’t read them all because this one was unpublished until recently. Thayer Hobson, editor at Morrow Publishers in the late ‘30s, thought it a little too risqué: a plot revolving around adultery, some explicit second base, and a female lead who describes herself as, “I like loose clothes, loose company, and loose talk, and to hell with the people who don’t.” All tame today but maybe not 75 years ago. Fast forward to 2010 and Jeffrey Marks, working on a biography of Gardner, comes across the story amongst the author’s papers and shows it to Hard Case Crime, who is glad to publish it.

It was entertaining in exactly the manner you’d expect of a pulp mystery: murder, blackmail, crooked cops, tough gumshoes and tougher dames.

In an interesting afterward, editor Russell Atwood notes that Gardner never re-wrote a story that didn’t get published. He just binned it and started something else. In this case, the result is a picture of Bertha Cool and Donald Lam that is different from the other 29 stories that he went on to pen about them. In this one, she’s a little more aggressive and amoral; he’s a little less the brains of the outfit and a little more inclined to bed the girl than guard her from the couch. I wonder what it will be like to read the rest of the series and see the toned-down versions.

This may not be my favorite of the Hard Case Crime books—Donald Westlake, Lawrence Block, Michael Crichton, etc. write stuff I really enjoy—but this was a lot of fun. ( )
2 rösta TadAD | Jan 7, 2017 |
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Lost for more than 75 years, The Knife Slipped was meant to be the second book in the series, but shelved when Gardner's publisher objected to (among other things) Bertha Cool's tendency to "talk tough, swear, smoke cigarettes, and try to gyp people." But this tale of adultery and corruption, of double-crosses and triple identities--however shocking for 1939--shines today as a glorious present from the past, a return to the heyday of private eyes and shady dames, of powerful criminals, crooked cops, blazing dialogue, and delicious plot twists.  Donald Lam has never been cooler--not even when played by Frank Sinatra on the U.S. Steel Hour of Mystery in 1946. Bertha Cool has never been tougher. And Erle Stanley Gardner has never been better.

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