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Three Complete Novels: The First Deadly Sin/the Second Deadly Sin/the Third Deadly Sin Hardcover – Sep 1993

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group (T); First Printing edition (Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399138773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399138775
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 806,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 April 1998
Format: Hardcover
Edward X. Delaney is delightful. Not only for his detecting skills and his humanity but his wonderful capacity for enjoying food. The Second and Third Deadly Sins are super reading but The First is a work of art in suspense.I love Mcnally but Sanders was in his element when he did this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Feast of Delaney 29 Feb. 2008
By M. G Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When it comes to sheer ability to turn a phrase, Lawrence Sanders has few rivals and possibly no equals. His skill with a typewriter allowed him to elevate routine mystery stories, P.I. procedurals, and suspense novels into art. And nowhere was his art better showcased than in DEADLY SIN books - by no means his most famous, but arguably his best and most beloved series. And ¾ of that series - the first three installments, are presented here in one volume. Not a bad catch.

The DEADLY SIN books were different from each other in style, but all centered around the same hero - Edward X. Delaney: devoted husband, outstanding former detective and obsessive sandwich-eater. Delaney, whose career arc from Manhattan precinct captain to unpaid private sleuth is described over the course of the books, is one of those rare fictional characters who seems more "real" to the reader than many real-life people. Drawn with great skill by Sanders, Delaney - whose nickname is "Iron B*lls" - is remarkable not because of his brilliance, his skill with his fists or his personal eccentricities, but because he's stubborn as a mule and as tough as an old boot. The big, gray-haired Irishman in the Homburg knows only one way to crack a case: by pounding his flat feet to the pavement and dogging suspects until something shakes loose. All he asks in return are good booze and the occasional triple-decker sandwich.

Delaney's story is simple. He used to be the Chief of Detectives in New York, but quit over the "political b.s." that came with the job. Now restlessly retired, he's occasionally tapped by his former mentor, Ivar "the Admiral" Thorsen to crack hitherto uncrackable cases, by any means - and whatever methods - are necessary.

THE FIRST DEADLY SIN is the story of a serial killer (and no, don't roll your eyes - this novel happens to be one of the first, if not the first, serial killer story) named Daniel Blank. Simply put, Blank is the original "American Psycho" - handsome, wealthy, urbane, and a complete psychopath. His kick? Murdering complete strangers on the street with an ice-axe. When the NYPDs investigation goes cold, Captain Delaney is brought to run the politically-charged case, and has to juggle ethics, politics, and a terminal wife while he does it. (Note: NOT a spoiler)

THE SECOND DEADLY SIN is a classic whodunnit. When the brilliant but notoriously nasty artist Victor Maintland gets stabbed to death in his Manhattan studio, the newly-retired Delaney and his alcoholic sidekick Abner Boone have to wade into territory as alien as the moon and just as nasty as the meanest New York street - the world of "high end art." But the "routine" assignment gets personal when the desperate killer elects to go after Delaney's family.

THE THIRD DEADLY SIN is another serial killer tale. The "Hotel Ripper" is leaving a trail of hacked-into-chum corpses in the swankier New York hotels, and wreaking havoc with the Big Apple's vital tourist industry. With the investigation gone as cold as dry ice, Thorsen taps Delaney to warm it up. The question is, can an old-fashioned curmdgeon of a detective accept the fact that a vicious murderer who has outwitted the NYPD for months is a 126 pound woman young enough to be his daughter? (Also not a spoiler).

Sanders' stories are very much a part of the era he wrote in - the 70s and early 80s, and some readers may find the SIN books a bit dated. Forensic science and psychological profiling are in their infancy here, and a lot of the social issues which are hotly debated amongst the characters - equal rights for women, for example - seem a bit ridiculous in retrospect. (Delaney is very impressed with "newfangled" electronic hotel keys, which have been standard since I was a kid; his wife Monica gets faint at the verbal description of a crime scene...wonder how she'd like "CSI".) And like a lot of prolific novelists, Sanders often resorted to recycling dialogue or using stock characters. But these flaws have their upside. The reader gets a beautiful snapshot of the "old" New York, where cops with Irish accents pounded beats dressed in big blue tent coats, discos blasted terrible dance music all night, and would-be John Travoltas weilded gold coke spoons.

To sum up: what's presented here is not just a trio of enjoyable mysteries and suspense novels, but an opportunity for the modern reader to acquaint himself with one of the most enjoyable sleuths in detective fiction.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 19 April 1998
By NANZMOUSE@AOL.COM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Edward X. Delaney is delightful. Not only for his detecting skills and his humanity but his wonderful capacity for enjoying food. The Second and Third Deadly Sins are super reading but The First is a work of art in suspense.I love Mcnally but Sanders was in his element when he did this one.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great suspense 2 Jan. 2014
By Gwenith D. Norton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across the Deadly Sin books several years ago and remembered how compelling the storylines were and how much I enjoyed Delaney. So when I saw this three-in-one edition, I ordered it for my husband. However, the print is so small and the volume itself so cumbersome that it is difficult to read. If you can find a single copy or have a kindle, you might go for those instead.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Writer Who Loves to Use Words I have never Seen Before 12 Jan. 2013
By A. Mentor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Found this author years ago and really like all of his books especially the McNally series. Wonderful writing style and very good with words and great sense of humor. If you like mysteries, try one of his books. His books are finally available in Kindle format. Thanks Amazon.
I've Yet to Read a Bad Sanders Book: These Three are Great 18 Dec. 2007
By Ethan Winning - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Look, Lawrence Sanders was my favorite author, and I read everything he wrote (for the individual who thinks he should change publishers, hedied in 1998). I bought this book to have a hardbound copy of the first three, and I hope his other "Deadly Sins" and "Commandments" come out as threesomes even though they're hard to read in bed. This would be a great Christmas present for anyone who likes mysteries. You can start anywhere and, while I agree that "The Fourth" was my favorite, getting these three is a great start.

Sanders was a story teller, and his stories were engrossing. I have only two complaints: (1) Edward X. Delaney is always making sandwiches, and I'm always hungry ... even when I don't like his combos. Many the time when I've gotten out of bed at midnight to see what we've got in the fridge. (2) Edward X. Delaney, a lumbering if not plodding detective, was played by Frank Sinatra in the movies. Don't see the movie and you'll enjoy his books more.
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