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Up for Grabs

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Up for Grabs.pdf | Language: English

Donald Lam is a fictional American detective created by Erle Stanley Gardner under his pen name A. A. Fair.

Donald Lam is a fictional American detective created by Erle Stanley Gardner under his pen name A. A. Fair.

5.5 (33474)
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Book details

  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Morrow (June 1964)
  • English
  • 6
  • Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Review Text

  • By Acute Observer on November 5, 2014

    Up for GrabsMr. Homer Breckinridge, head of the All Purpose Insurance Company, visits the Cool & Lam Agency to hire a private detective for a "highly specialized job", one which requires brains instead of brawn. The insurance company has a liability in an accident, and thinks the victim is a malingerer who is claiming a whiplash injury of the cervical vertebrae. But whiplash can't be shown on X-rays. After the injured receives a settlement there is often a rapid and miraculous recovery. Juries don't like any spying that entraps plaintiffs. So they developed a scheme: send the plaintiff to a dude ranch to show he can take part in physical activities. If the man asks to take his wife the company will settle the case. But if the man leaves his wife at home they know he is a cheap chiseler. Lam will go to this dude ranch to observe Helmann Bruno, get acquainted with some unattached girl, and create rivalry so Bruno will start to show off. Then Lam will provide the names of witnesses to Bruno's actions. Lam will also find out about his character, his background, his likes and dislikes. But Lam doesn't like the idea of putting a girl into an embarrassing position. Breckinridge tells of the problem in using a regular female operative: the pair can work too closely together.In Chapter 2 Lam lands at Tucson and meets "Buck" Kramer. [There is an amusing conversation.] Lam meets an artist, Faith Callison, who paints and also takes motion-pictures of people enjoying themselves. She sells copies to guests, and in one case an insurance company. Chapter 3 tells what a day at a dude ranch is like. There is a light and noise from the adjoining cabin, and it wakes up Lam (Chapter 4). In the next chapter Lam investigates the Bruno household to discover more about their background. In Chapter 6 Lam goes to meet Breckinridge and report his findings. Homer's wife asks a few questions and telegraphs her attitude. When they go to see the insured defendant they get a surprise! The police are also looking for Foley Chester. Lam continues his investigation of Melita Doon, who visited that dude ranch. But other facts make Breckinridge anxious to settle, and Lam is sent back to make a deal.Donald Lam returns to the dude ranch, and meets a new guest Alexis B. Melvin. Melvin is a lawyer for Bruno and had his own investigation (Chapter 13). Melvin has motion pictures showing Bruno at the dude ranch, a trap maintained by the insurance company to get people to overexert themselves! Lam reports to Breckinridge, and is told to settle the case in 48 hours (Chapter 14). When Lam arrives at Los Angeles Sgt. Sellers meets him and the scam starts to fall apart. Lam figures out the facts behind the mystery. Lam "knows how these things are" (Chapter 15).The addition of "head rests" to automobile seats since the late 1960s has diminished whiplash injuries. The requirement for police reports has eliminated fraudulent accidents as in this book. But stealing a corpse from a hospital seems highly improbable.

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