JACK DONAHUE – The Lady Loved Too Well. Harlan Cole #2. McGraw-Hill, hardcover, 1978. No paperback edition.

   Those of us who mourn the fact that there can be no more Perry Mason stories now have reason to rejoice once again! Here’s the second of a new series starring Houston attorney Harlan Cole, who, believe it or not, comes complete with an utterly devoted secretary and his own personal private detective.

   And of course there’s a flashy final courtroom solution climaxing the trial of his client, a famous woman’s lib author accused of killing her lover. As in all of Erle Stanley Gardner’s writing, the prose is purely functional, but with the added plus of modern bluntness and sexual candor. While it may be true that the murderer is guessable, that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

Rating: B

– Slightly revised from The MYSTERY FANcier, September/October 1978.