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Perry Mason: Seven Complete Novels Hardcover – July 19, 1994

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 821 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing; Avenel 1979 ed edition (July 19, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517293633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517293638
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 24 customer reviews
Each of these novels is a quick and fun read.
Gary Coffrin
Book was just as advertised; book was just as advertised; book was just as it was advertised; the word requirement is stupid.
Myrna R. Richardson
A wife calls to have her husband's story checked.
Acute Observer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) wrote some one hundred novels over the course of his long career. He was at the height of his powers during the late 1950s, and this collection offers seven of his best works featuring Los Angeles attorney Perry Mason. Writing in a dialogue-heavy, almost staccato style that calls to mind the likes of Hammett, Gardner leads the reader through complexities of the law with considerable skill--and if these tales are genre-fiction pure and simple, they are nonetheless enjoyable for that.

THE CASE OF THE GLAMOROUS GHOST (1955) finds Mason entangled with a young woman who claims memory loss, and her dead boyfriend is one of the the things she can't quite recall. In THE CASE OF THE TERRIFIED TYPIST (1956) Mason requires an office temp--who suddenly disappears from the job and may be implicated in both robbery and murder.

In THE CASE OF THE LUCKY LOSER (1957) Mason is asked to observe a trail by a mysterious client and finds himself more involved in the court case than he expected. THE CASE OF THE SCREAMING WOMAN finds Mason called upon to play marriage counselor when a skeptical woman demands that he get to the bottom of her husband's wild story.

THE CASE OF THE LONG-LEGGED MODELS (1957) finds Mason representing a casino heiress who is being strong armed to sell. In THE CASE OF THE FOOT-LOOSE DOLL (1958) a lovelorn woman claims to have committed insurance fraud, and in THE CASE OF THE WAYLAID WOLF (1959) an office worker's refusal of a young man's advances has unexpected consequences to say the least.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Gary Coffrin on January 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you are a Perry Mason fan, buy this volume now or check it out from your library. This 821 page collection of novels from 1955-59 will keep you entertained with non-stop action. Note: The publisher used a font that is smaller in size than some aging eyes might prefer and the line spacing is a bit tight.

Erle Stanley Gardner was a man of energy with an amazing work ethic who became the most read mystery writer in the world. At age 32, Gardner, a practicing attorney, began writing fiction for the pulps for a very minimal amount per word. His output was in the range of a one million words per year - a stunning level by any measure. By the time he started writing the Perry Mason novels, he had the right systems and support staff to allow an incredible output. Gardner published his first novel at age 44 and he still managed to author 82 novels featuring Perry Mason. Plus other works!

Gardner dictated his prose, and that in part explains his preference for dialogue over description, action over analysis. Gardner's clients in each of these seven stories are innocent, but usually do not reveal the full truth to Perry Mason. The highlight of each novel is in the courtroom, where Perry Mason with flamboyance and audacity not only proves his client innocent, but also reveals the identity of the real murderer. Mason's novels are plot driven, and the plots grab your attention - even though there is seldom an immediate danger to either the client or Mason. In each of the plots, plausibility and consistency are quite good. The crimes and their solutions hold up well to scrutiny.

Buy and read this volume if you enjoy classic American entertainment.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on October 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Perry Mason Seven Famous Novels

These seven novels were originally published between 1955 and 1959 when Gardner was at his prime. They take place in 1950s Los Angeles California, an area where Erle Stanley Gardner lived and worked. Gardner never put dates in his novels to keep them from being dated. But after the devaluation of the dollar from 1971 on many of the dollar figures are long out of date. There were other changes in law and culture as well. Gardner was a trial attorney himself, and his experiences were not unlike that of Perry Mason. His novels economize on characterization, using dialogue to keep the story moving. Few of the people tell the whole truth to Mason. His job is to compare testimony to the facts gathered by his private investigator. Mason's clients are usually "middle class" or better; few clients have messy lives or cases. The stories involve some technical or scientific facts, and show some point of law.

Erle Stanley Gardner was the founder of the "Court of Last Resort" which sought to free many unjustly convicted persons. Gardner, among others, sought to use scientific means to find the guilty, rather than using hunches or guesses alone. Mason's clients are always not guilty, because few would buy a book where a defense lawyer let the guilty go free. An important lesson for the reader is to think about the facts, and not jump to a conclusion based on newspaper reports. These seven novels are often educational, like some novels of Dashiell Hammett, in teaching about the tricks of undercover detectives. You'll learn about a "roper", rough or smooth shadows, etc. and be able to identify the undercover operatives that you may encounter in your life.
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More About the Author

Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) is a prolific American author best known for his works centered on the lawyer-detective Perry Mason. At the time of his death in March of 1970, in Ventura, California, Gardner was "the most widely read of all American writers" and "the most widely translated author in the world," according to social historian Russell Nye. The first Perry Mason novel, The Case of The Velvet Claws, published in 1933, had sold twenty-eight million copies in its first fifteen years. In the mid-1950s, the Perry Mason novels were selling at the rate of twenty thousand copies a day. There have been six motion pictures based on his work and the hugely popular Perry Mason television series starring Raymond Burr, which aired for nine years and 271 episodes.

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