Lam and Cool Mysteries by AA Fair Erle Stanley Gardner
Donald Lam and Bertha Cool are the protagonists in a series of detective fiction by American author A.A. Fair (Erle Stanley Gardner). Unlike most detectives of his time, Donald Lam is 5’6″, 130 lbs., often ends up in fights and usually comes out on the losing end of them. Lam starts out as an employee of Bertha Cool, a widow in her sixties who began her detective firm once her husband passed away.

Erle Stanley Gardner began his Donald Lam and Bertha Cool series in 1939 with the novel The Bigger They Come. The final novel in the series is All Grass Isn’t Green, published in 1970. All of the novels were originally written as A.A. Fair, but have since been re-published under the author’s real name of Erle Stanley Gardner. Below is a list of Erle Stanley Gardner’s Donald Lam and Bertha Cool books in order of when they were first released:

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Publication Order of Donald Lam & Bertha Cool Books

The Bigger They Come(1939)Description / Buy at
The Knife Slipped(1939)Description / Buy at
Turn on the Heat(1940)Description / Buy at
Gold Comes in Bricks(1940)Description / Buy at
Spill the Jackpot(1941)Description / Buy at
Double or Quits(1941)Description / Buy at
Owls Don't Blink(1942)Description / Buy at
Bats Fly at Dusk(1942)Description / Buy at
Cats Prowl at Night(1943)Description / Buy at
Give 'em the Ax(1944)Description / Buy at
Crows Can't Count(1946)Description / Buy at
Fools Die on Friday(1947)Description / Buy at
Bedrooms Have Windows(1949)Description / Buy at
Top of the Heap(1952)Description / Buy at
Some Women Won't Wait(1953)Description / Buy at
Beware the Curves(1956)Description / Buy at
You Can Die Laughing(1957)Description / Buy at
Some Slips Don't Show(1957)Description / Buy at
The Count of 9(1958)Description / Buy at
Pass the Gravy(1959)Description / Buy at
Kept Women Can't Quit(1960)Description / Buy at
Bachelors Get Lonely(1961)Description / Buy at
Shills Can't Cash Chips(1961)Description / Buy at
Try Anything Once(1962)Description / Buy at
Fish or Cut Bait(1963)Description / Buy at
Up for Grabs(1964)Description / Buy at
Cut Thin to Win(1965)Description / Buy at
Widows Wear Weeds(1966)Description / Buy at
Traps Need Fresh Bait(1967)Description / Buy at
All Grass Isn't Green(1970)Description / Buy at

Notes: The Bigger They Come was also released using the title Lam to the Slaughter. Give ‘Em the Ax was also published under the title of An Axe to Grind. Shills Can’t Cash Chips is also known as Stop at the Red Light.

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One Response to “Order of Donald Lam & Bertha Cool Books”

  1. AggravationIcangetatwork: 7 years ago

    Hard Case Crime just published what was supposed to be the second book in the series, “The Knife Slipped.” It’s good, with a bit of a different take on the brains of the outfit.


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