Turn on the Heat

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The mysterious and suspenseful opening scene of Turn on the Heat, a novel first published in 1940, sets the perfect tone for the rest of the story. Mr Smith, or so he calls himself, hires the Bertha Cool Detective Agency to find a woman missing for twenty years but provides no information other than her name and a two-decade old address. Donald Lam, the agency’s streetwise private eye, soon discovers that others are also interested in the absent lady. Using his wits, of which he has plenty, he gradually pieces together her story. Along the way, he is beaten up, solves a murder, unearths some local political shenanigans, saves his client from blackmail, and protects himself from a crooked cop. The plot has enough contortions to keep most armchair detectives guessing, but it is the snappy dialogue that makes this a great read. Some of the best exchanges are driven by the mistrust between pint-sized Donald, always out to do his best for the client, and big, loud Bertha, much more interested in exploiting any opportunity to earn an extra buck. The novel’s rapid-fire banter makes what is already a highly entertaining story a real gem.

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Author Erle Stanley Gardner
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 292 pages
Publisher Hard Case Crime
Publish Date 2017-Nov-14
ISBN 9781785656170
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2018
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller
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