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  • The Murder Room

Double or Quits

Erle Stanley Gardner

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Cool & Lam, Fiction, Crime & mystery

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

Dr. Hilton Devarest was a whiz at curing patients, but his private life was sick, sick, sick. He lived with a wife who was as warped as she was repulsive, a secretary who enjoyed fun and games with the doctor every morning before breakfast, a niece who believed nice girls finished nowhere, and a nephew whose only means of support was making women happy.
Donal Lam and Bertha Cool got involved with the not-so-good doctor when he hired them to find some stolen jewels. But soon they were in the fight of their lives against a killer who thought murder was the best medicine, and was out to treat them to an overdose of death...

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Erle Stanley Gardner

Born in Malden, Massachusetts, Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) 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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