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Top of the Heap (Hard Case Crime (Mass Market Paperback)) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Erle Stanley Gardner
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Taschenbuch, 31. Oktober 2004 --  


31. Oktober 2004 Hard Case Crime (Mass Market Paperback) (Buch 3)

When the beautiful girlfriend of a notorious gangster vanishes, the last man to be seen with her needs an alibi – and fast.  Enter Donald Lam of the Cool & Lam detective agency.  Donald tracks down the two women with whom his client claims to have spent the night and the client declares the case closed.

But it’s not.  Something about his client’s story doesn’t add up, and Donald can’t resist the temptation to keep digging.  Before he knows it, he’s dug up connections to a mining scam, an illegal casino, and a double homicide – plus an opportunity for an enterprising private eye to make a small fortune, if he can just stay alive long enough to cash in on it!
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  • Taschenbuch: 222 Seiten
  • Verlag: Hard Case Crime; Auflage: Reprint (31. Oktober 2004)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 9780843953527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843953527
  • ASIN: 0843953527
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 1,6 x 10,5 x 16,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 518.404 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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One of the best-selling authors of all time, Erle Stanley Gardner’s greatest creations include crusading attorney Perry Mason (star of more than eighty novels, not to mention the long-running TV series and TV movies) and the hardboiled detective team of Bertha Cool and Donald Lam, who appeared in more than two dozen adventures of their own.   -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Ein Höhepunkt aus der Lam/Cool-Serie 4. Mai 2005
Von WillyR
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Erle Stanley Gardner war bis zu seinem Tod 1970 einer der produktivsten amerikanischen Krimiautoren. Bekannt durch seine Romane um den Rechtsanwalt Perry Mason, hat er jedoch auch unter dem Pseudonym A.A. Fair das gegensätzliche Privatdetektivduo Donald Lam und Bertha Cool geschaffen, welche zwischen 1939 und 1970 die Helden von insgesamt 29 Büchern waren. Der Krimi "Top Of The Heap" aus dem Jahr 1953, jetzt in der Taschenbuch-Reihe Hard Case Crime endlich wiederveröffentlicht, gehört zu den Höhepunkten der Serie, welche in der Hardboild Tradition steht. Detektiv Lam soll darin das Alibi eines Klienten absichern, was ihm auch ohne Probleme gelingt. Irgendwie zu schnell und zu einfach, was sein Mißtrauen weckt. Er forsch weiter und stößt auf einen groß angelegten Betrugsfall, zwei Morde und die Möglichkeit das eine Menge Geld zu verdienen, falls er lange genug überlebt. Spannend und witzig zu lesen. Leider zur Zeit nur auf Englisch erhöltlich.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A surprise from the creator of Perry Mason 15. Oktober 2004
Von Craig Clarke - Veröffentlicht auf
Erle Stanley Gardner is best known for creating the archetype of the good lawyer in the series of novels starring his character Perry Mason, who was featured in a number of films in the 1930s played by Warren William and others, but was most famously portrayed by Raymond Burr in the popular television drama that ran for nine seasons on CBS and that thrives in syndication to this day. (Did you know that Gardner himself played a judge in the final episode?)

What most people don't know is that he also wrote another series of novels, under the pseudonym A.A. Fair, featuring the investigation team of Bertha Cool and Donald Lam. The Cool and Lam books numbered 29 and were published between 1939 and 1970, around the same time that Gardner was writing the Mason novels. Though Top of the Heap is the thirteenth in the series, it also serves as a fine introduction to the characters, though mostly Lam, as the legman, is featured.

When John Carver Billings ('"The Second," he amended.') enters the offices of Cool and Lam, asking for the "senior partner," Donald Lam sits back and waits for the sparks to fly, since that title refers to Bertha Cool and Billings doesn't appear to be the kind of guy who will accept a woman as a detective. But when Bertha calmly calls Donald into her office, sans explosion, he knows there must be a lot of money involved. Billings is looking for someone to corroborate his whereabouts of the previous Tuesday night and is willing to pay for the privilege, but what seems like a simple job -- with a five-hundred-dollar bonus attached -- turns into something entirely other when Donald actually does some investigation and discovers that Billings has other things on his mind besides his innocence.

Of course, the more Lam investigates, the more he uncovers, eventually angering both Billings and Bertha. Speaking of, extreme detective characters like Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolfe -- and now the foul-mouthed, greedy, ungrateful, jumping-to-conclusions charmer Bertha Cool -- are best taken in small doses. Some entries of the series are reported to focus more on her but Top of the Heap offers just enough for us to still find her amusing without crossing over into annoyance. It's the sidekick/legman character: Doctor Watson and Archie Goodwin -- and Donald Lam -- that we're supposed to identify with, anyway.

I was pleasantly surprised at how Gardner made the story intriguingly complicated but managed to keep it understandable. I never really got into his Perry Mason novels (I wanted them to be as tightly-written as the TV shows), but I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of the Cool and Lam series. (Maybe Hard Case Crime can issue more entries? Hint, hint.) The cover picture (and tagline, for that matter) doesn't have much at all to do with the story, but it's certainly beautiful work and in any case, this is another terrific offering from this new imprint. It's almost too much to ask that they keep up this level of quality, but I only expect more greatness to come.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Who says you can never go back home again? 8. Oktober 2004
Von Michael Morris - Veröffentlicht auf
This glorious book is by one of the grand masters of the genre, Erle Stanley Gardner. Although best known for bringing the world's best known lawyer to the forefront of the reading public, the creation of his that is pure detective fiction is the main characters of this novel... Bertha Cool and Donald Lam.

This novel is Gardner and Lam at their best. Lam is hired by a rich young man to find the girls he had been partying with a few days before and that is the last easily explained happening in the book. From then on Gardner weaves a plot as far-reaching and mystifying that most detectives would be lost following. But, in Gardner's golden words, not only does Donald Lam follow along with few hiccups, but we, the reader, are able to keep right up with the diminuitive detective.

For those readers who have found today's writers and their stories a little lacking, or those just looking for some great, edge-of-your-seat reading, this book is for you.

For many years, I have been telling friends that read that they have missed out on some of the best stories of all time by not reading any of the great mysteries of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Guess I must not have been the only one who has felt this way. A new publisher, Hard Case Crime, is bringing back not only some of the books I loved, one of which this book is one, but are also publishing new stories written in the same way as those wonderful old books but by present day authors.

For all of the new readers out there, you will love this book. For those of you who are old enough to have read this book and others by Mr. Gardner, let's, you and I, go back home again and visit with an old friend...Donald Lam in "Top of the Heap".
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Good book, Great Publisher/Series 28. März 2005
Von Rick Ollerman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Previous reviewers have discussed the plot of this book, and another discussed the Lam/Cool series so I don't need to go there. This may not be Gardner's best book, it may not even be the best Lam/Cool book, but what it is is a wonderful, long unavailable example of a genre that has been too long lost to the past.

With the exception of one resounding dud, Hard Case Crime has released (and is releasing) seminal reprints from the pulp era, as well as new works in the spirit of the same style. First of all, anyone who resurrects classics like "Top of the Heap" has earned as much support as I can give them. This may not be your idea of classic literature, but at the very least it's a great read; I get similar thrills from reading classic Shadow, Doc Savage, The Spider, and the insidious Fu Manchu novels.

Any innovations or stylistic inventions these novels once yielded have long since been seen and absorbed (or not) into the mainstream. What they still offer, and always will, is the same fast-paced, breathless entertaining reading experiences that they were intended to be. And by masters that helped shape the modern literature of today.

"Top of the Heap" is an entertaining read, and if not the best of the Lam/Cool series, it is still the first. That alone makes it important - who wants to read the third and fourth without first reading the first and second?

Buy the book, enjoy the book, and check out the other Hard Case Crime titles. Out of their first six releases, two of them are nominated for Edgar awards; they're doing something right.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Gardner and Hard Case Crime Top The Heap!! 15. Januar 2005
Von Andrew Salmon - Veröffentlicht auf
Any mystery fan out there knows Perry Mason, but who remembers Cool and Lam? Well, whether you've heard of them or not, here's your chance to try out this dynamic duo of investigators making there first appearance it almost 30 years! In an attractive, affordable new edition with a great, painted retro cover, Top Of The Heap is one of the shining stars in the new Hard Case Crime line. With an engaging, wonderfully convuluted plot and dialogue sharp enough to shave with, Gardner delivers in this classic mystery novel. Just watching Cool and Lam go at each other is worth the price of admission. Top Of The Heap is a great, fun, quick read and I give it my highest recommendation.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Spare, fast prose; complications galore 6. November 2006
Von Daniel Gunter - Veröffentlicht auf
Other reviewers have noted that "Top of the Heap" is one of 29 mystery novels featuring Donald Lam and Bertha Cool. Twenty-seven of the novels are told from Lam's first-person point of view; two are told from Bertha Cool's point of view, but in third person. The novels are not really "hard-boiled": they're a blend of the hard-boiled and "puzzle" genres. Typically, they begin with what appears to be a simple assignment; Lam notes a loose thread, begins pulling it, and then spends the rest of the novel unraveling the entire fabric of the overall scheme. Lam is usually about half a step ahead of the police and/or the bad guys. Part of the fun is seeing him skate adroitly through varied complications. Much of the fun is in the crisp prose, especially the dialogue. "Top of the Heap" is probably not the best of the lot (I think that "Spill the Jackpot" may be the best), but its speed, its complicated plot, and its clean prose make it a fine introduction to this outstanding series.
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