More hard-nosed than his Perry Mason Mysteries. Erle Stanley Gardner writes this book under his famous pen name- A.A. Fair. A great mystery!
Beautiful Copy for a 1966. Book.
The `Foreword' is dedicated to Douglas C. Rigg, the warden of the State Prison at Stillwater Minnesota. There is a need to rehabilitate prisoners before they are released from prison to prevent further crime. Rigg's article in the 8/31/1957 issue of `The Saturday Evening Post' called attention to these problems. Society is mistaken in being indifferent to this problem.
Chapter 1 explains how photographs are made for publicity. The Cool & Lam agency needs publicity for a new client, they will guard a party for a wealthy man. Dean Crockett II is a world traveler and art collector; he has a trophy wife too. In Chapter 3 Donald Lam is suddenly summoned to that party; somebody stole the other jade Buddha and a pygmy blowgun. There is only one entrance to the penthouse, a guarded elevator. How can this property be recovered? Lam begins his investigation (Chapter 4). Lam explains the racket of a "non-profit corporation" and the benefits to its members (Chapter 5). Lam learns some new tricks from a photographer, and about a Speed Graphic camera (Chapter 6). Lam brings the recovered items to Bertha Cool (Chapter 7). When Lam goes to return the statue he finds Dean Crockett II cannot talk anymore (Chapter 10). They call the police, who question Lam, Mrs. Crockett, and Melvin Olney (Dean's manager). Why was a key to that apartment missing?
Lam learns more about the stolen statue (Chapter 14). Could a model tell the naked truth? Lam learns more news from widow Crockett (Chapter 15). After an interview with a businessman Lam runs into big trouble (Chapter 16). Detective Frank Sellers brings Lam along when they question Sylvia Hadley (Chapter 18). This leads to the questioning of another man, a found item, and arrests. We read how brainy Lam can be (Chapter 19). Police questioning gets admissions from Hadley and Jasper. Fingerprints lead to two others (Chapter 20). A conversation between Lam and Sellers leads to the solution of the murder and freedom for Lam's client.
This was an interesting and educational story, it explains how evidence can be planted, and the scams of a non-profit charity.