Try Anything Once

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Author: Fair, A A (PSEUD Erle Stanley Gardner [1889-1970])

Year: 1962

Publisher: William Morrow and Company

Place: New York


192 pages. Small octavo (7 3/4" x 5 1/4") bound in publisher's original yellow cloth with black lettering to spine in original pictorial jacket. First edition.

Cool and Lam is the fictional American private detective firm that is the center of a series of detective novels written by Erle Stanley Gardner using the pen name of A. A. Fair. In the first book about her, The Bigger They Come (1939; British: Lam to the Slaughter), Bertha Cool is said to have opened her own detective agency in 1936 after her husband Henry died. She's described in various terms as overweight, and uncaring about her weight in the first novel, Donald Lam estimates her weight at 220 pounds. At the beginning of Spill the Jackpot! (1941) we learn that she had flu and pneumonia, and lost a great deal of weight, down to 160 pounds, and in many later novels her weight is given as 165 pounds. She has white hair and "greedy piggish eyes". All the novels agree that she's extremely avaricious and miserly. On the other hand she has persistence, loyalty and nerve. Her favorite expletive is some variant of "Fry me for an oyster!" or "Can me for a sardine!". In the opening chapter of the first novel, she hires a small, nervy, and extremely ingenious former lawyer named Donald Lam. Donald later becomes a full partner in her business, forming the firm of Cool & Lam, which features in more than two dozen books by Gardner. Try anything Once is the twenty third novel in the series.


Previous owner's book plate on front end paper. Jacket with some small closed edge tears and light rubbing to spine ends else a better than very good copy in a very good to fine jacket.

SOLD 2017

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