A.A. Fair

A.A. Fair was the pseudonym under which Erle Stanley Gardner wrote to produce the Cool & Lam detective series. This series is a hardboiled detective series that features an odd pairing of Bertha Cool and Donald Lam and takes a wryly amusing poke at the genre while still providing plenty of action and mystery.

Bertha Cool is an imposing figure of a woman who brooks no nonsense and operates on a policy that is openly greed-based. Donald Lam is her partner and he is a sharp-witted diminutive man who can see through just about any shady scheme that faces him. It is Donald who does the meaningful detective work while Bertha does the brow beating and money collection.

The series starts in the late 1930s and carried on for 29 volumes. While most other private detective stories from the genre rely heavily on action and violence, the Cool & Lam books tend more towards the cerebral as Donald sorts out the lies from the facts and cuts to the solution. That’s not to say that Donald doesn’t occasionally find himself on the losing end of the occasional violent encounter.

The Cool & Lam series is a very entertaining series of detective novels that will have you searching for more. Apart from the first book in the series, The Bigger They Come, it is not essential that you read the books in order. If, however, you are looking for all the books in the series you will find a checklist at the bottom of the page.

Listed immediately below is a selection of Cool & Lam books that are currently available for sale.

Buy A.A. Fair Books

DOUBLE OR QUITS Erle Stanley Gardner A A Fair spine deteriorated 1964
DOUBLE OR QUITS Erle Stanley Gardner A A Fair spine deteriorated 1964
$3.51
Time Remaining: 2h 57m
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A A Fair Owls Dont Blink Dell 6792 Private Eye 118840
A A Fair Owls Dont Blink Dell 6792 Private Eye 118840
$9.99
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OWLS DONT BLINK  Don Lam  Bertha Cool A A Fair  Gardner US SB
OWLS DONT BLINK Don Lam Bertha Cool A A Fair Gardner US SB
$6.40
Time Remaining: 13h 19m
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CATS PROWL AT NIGHT by A A Fair DELL CRIME paperback Vintage Classic PULP
CATS PROWL AT NIGHT by A A Fair DELL CRIME paperback Vintage Classic PULP
$9.99
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Some Slips Dont Showby Erle Stanley GardnerAA Fair
Some Slips Dont Showby Erle Stanley GardnerAA Fair
$9.99
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Some Women Wont Wait Erle Stanley Gardner as A A Fair Dell D372 1st Print
Some Women Wont Wait Erle Stanley Gardner as A A Fair Dell D372 1st Print
$11.99
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THE CASE OF THE CARELESS CUPID TRAPS NEED FRESH BAIT ERLE GARDNER A A FAIR
THE CASE OF THE CARELESS CUPID TRAPS NEED FRESH BAIT ERLE GARDNER A A FAIR
$20.00
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THE CASE OF THE BLONDE BONANAZA BACHELORS GET LONELY ERLE GARDNER A A FAIR
THE CASE OF THE BLONDE BONANAZA BACHELORS GET LONELY ERLE GARDNER A A FAIR
$20.00
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OWLS DONT BLINK A A FAIR AKA ERLE STANLEY GARDNER Hardcover
OWLS DONT BLINK A A FAIR AKA ERLE STANLEY GARDNER Hardcover
$20.00
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THE CASE OF THE QUEENLY CONTESTANT TRAPS NEED FRESH BAIT E GARDNER A A FAIR
THE CASE OF THE QUEENLY CONTESTANT TRAPS NEED FRESH BAIT E GARDNER A A FAIR
$20.00
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AA Fair Erle Stanley Gardner Top Of The Heap First Edition 1952
AA Fair Erle Stanley Gardner Top Of The Heap First Edition 1952
$14.95
Time Remaining: 1d 17h 57m
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BATS FLY AT DUSK Triangle Books 1947 A A Fair
BATS FLY AT DUSK Triangle Books 1947 A A Fair
$4.50
Time Remaining: 1d 23h 16m

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The Cool & Lam Series

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


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