The Knife Slipped
by Erle Stanley Gardner
Lost for more than 75 years, *The Knife Slipped *was meant to be the second book in the series, but shelved when Gardner’s publisher objected to (among other things) Bertha Cool’s tendency to “talk tough, swear, smoke cigarettes, and try to gyp people.” But this tale of adultery and corruption, of double-crosses and triple identities—however shocking for 1939—shines today as a glorious present from the past, a return to the heyday of private eyes and shady dames, of powerful criminals, crooked cops, blazing dialogue, and delicious plot twists. Donald Lam has never been cooler—not even when played by Frank Sinatra on the *U.S. Steel Hour of Mystery *in 1946. Bertha Cool has never been tougher. And Erle Stanley Gardner has never been better.