- Paperback: 212 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books; 12th Printing edition (1965)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000REL43Q
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,276,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Case of the Vagabond Virgin Paperback – 1965
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More About the Author
As author William F. Nolan notes, "Gardner, more than any other writer, popularized the law profession for a mass-market audience, melding fact and fiction to achieve a unique blend; no one ever handled courtroom drama better than he did."
Richard Senate further sums up the significance of Gardner?s contribution: "Although the character of Perry Mason is not unique as a 'lawyer-sleuth,' he is the first to come to anyone's mind when it comes to sheer brilliance in solving courtroom-detective cases by rather unconventional means. Besides 'Tarzan,' 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Superman' ? 'Perry Mason' qualifies as an American icon of popular culture in the twentieth century."
Gardner's writing has touched a lot of people including a number of high profile figures. Brian Kelleher and Diana Merrill say in their 1987 book, The Perry Mason TV Show Book that Harry S. Truman was a fan and that it is rumored that when Einstein died, a Perry Mason book was at his bedside. They further describe that when Raymond Burr met Pope John XXIII, the actor reported that the pontiff "seemed to know all about Perry Mason." Federal judge Sonya Sotomayor frequently mentions how Perry Mason was one of her earliest influences.
Starting with his first book, Gardner had a very definite vision of the shape the Perry Mason character would take:
"I want to make my hero a fighter," he wrote to his publisher, "not by having him be ruthless to women and underlings, but by creating a character who, with infinite patience jockeys his enemies into a position where he can deliver one good knockout punch."
Author Photo: Courtesy of Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Top Customer Reviews
I found it difficult to put down and finished it in two days. A perfect weekend's entertainment.
A touch dated, though. An important female character is running a blackmail racket good for a fair middle class income, but nothing to write home about. In order to keep her racket going, she has to hitchhike rides with men at the rate of twenty a day and more. Getting pawed is part of the game -- and because she's a "bad girl," I think the reader is not supposed to worry about other problems she's almost sure to run into, hitchhiking at that rate. Rape is only one of her worries. A fraud like hers could not be carried out that often without attracting the attention of the law. In the forties, it might have seemed plausible that men with expensive cars wouldn't be murderers. No longer.
But that's a minor part of the plot, really, and the rest of it ticks along in the Mason mysteries' usual implausible but persuasive way. The murderer is a nice surprise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've been reading these for years and love them. It is fun to live in the time period of the novel. "Vagabond Virgin" certainly sounds racy but Gardner writes around it... Read morePublished on January 26, 2014 by Ya Fatha
This entry in the Perry Mason series seems disjointed and not well-connected. The characters don't seem to act logically. Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by BA