Gardner, Erle Stanley - TOP OF THE HEAP

TOP OF THE HEAP (PI-California-1950s) – G- Erle Stanley Gardner - 13th of series
Hard Case Crime, 2004 (Reprint from 1952), Paperback

Private Investigator Donald Lam is asked to verify the alibi of wealthy John Carver Billings II. When it soon becomes clear the alibi is false, Donald decides to find out what crime is Billings is trying to cover.

I kept trying to view it in context of the period. It does takes one back to a time before computers and cell phones when detectives worked occasionally on bribes and intimidation, but also on instinct and legwork. However, many of the conclusions reached by Lam are a bit hard to believe, and most of the characters are over the top. However, it is a detective story in the classic sense, and a black-and-white movie fun read.

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