Blog: Writing about all things pulplish

Perry Mason: novels #27 and #28

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, January 13, 2017 in Novels, Perry Mason, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Perry Mason: novels #27 and #28
Rare photo of Erle Stanley Gardner with no glasses... and he's smiling!

Rare photo of Erle Stanley Gardner with no glasses… and he’s smiling!

Erle Stanley Gardner was one of the well-known examples of a pulp writer who graduated to the slicks and the book market. He was a prolific writer who gave up his law practice to write full time. His first pulp magazine story was published in the June 1921 issue of Breezy Stories. He went on to publish in some of pulpdom’s greatest magazines: Black Mask, Top-Notch Magazine, Sunset, Fawcett’s Triple-X, Argosy, Flynn’s Detective Fiction, Clues, Ace High, Dime Detective, Double Detective… and the list goes on.

When it came to books, he wrote more than just Perry Mason, although those courtroom murder mysteries were perhaps his most famous. There were Bertha Cool and Donald Lam, Doug Selby, Ed Jenkins, Bob Larkin, Speed Dash, Paul Pry, Lester Leith, and I’m probably forgetting some more. He wrote so much that he started using pen names, to avoid watering down the demand for his work. He wrote the Cool and Lam books under the pen name A.A. Fair, for example. Some of his other pen names were Charles M. Green, Grant Holiday, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenny, Robert Park, Robert Parr, and Les Tillray.

But, today, I’m focusing on two of his Perry Mason books. I’m reviewing these in publication order, and we are up to #27 and #28 on his list of 85 Perry Maon books.

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Perry Mason novels: #23 and #24

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, November 4, 2016 in Novels, Perry Mason, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

 Raymond Burr and Erle Stanley Gardner

Raymond Burr and Erle Stanley Gardner

What’s the connection of Perry Mason to the pulps? Well, you should know by now. But for those of you who came in late, it’s all in the author.

Pulp author Erle Stanley Gardner also wrote the Perry Mason novels. He was a prolific writer who honed his skills in the pulp magazines starting way back in 1921. His first Perry Mason mystery was published in 1933, and after that he just kept churning them out until there was a whopping 85 of them. That alone would keep most writers both busy and happy. But Erle Stanley Gardner also wrote a ton of other stuff, both for the pulps and the hardback book trade.

I am proud to say I have read all 85 of the Perry Mason books, and there wasn’t a dud in the bunch. In this week’s blog, I am going to give you a quick look at his 23rd and 24th Perry Mason novels. All in the hopes that this inspires you to seek out and read some of the many Perry Mason books out there.
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Perry Mason: novels #21 and #22

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, October 7, 2016 in Novels, Perry Mason, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

 Erle Stanley Gardner, rarely seen without glasses

Erle Stanley Gardner, rarely seen without glasses

The old pulp magazines produced some of the best writers out there, and one shining example is Erle Stanley Gardner. He ended up becoming the world’s best-selling author with his Perry Mason series. He began in the pulps in 1921 with a story in Breezy Stories and had soon graduated to the likes of Black Mask. By 1933 he graduated into the hardback book arena with his first Perry Mason novel.

Gardner continued writing Perry Mason novels until his death in 1970, but at the same time kept up his magazine writing. The man never forgot his roots. Whether he was writing for the slicks or the pulps or for the book market, his stories were polished and engaging.
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Perry Mason: novels #19 and #20

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, September 9, 2016 in Novels, Old TV Shows, Perry Mason, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Gardner at work

Gardner at work (click to enlarge)

One of pulpdom’s most famous writers was Erle Stanley Gardner. He wrote for some of the biggest names in pulp, such as Black Mask, Argosy, Clues, Ace High, Dime Detective and many, many more. He graduated from the pulps to the slicks like Cosmopolitan and The Saturday Evening Post. And he wrote series books like The D.A. and Cool and Lam. But of them all, he is probably best remembered as the creator and author of the Perry Mason courtroom dramas.

The first Perry Mason book came out in 1933, and the 85th and final one was published posthumously in 1973, three years after his death. I’ve been taking a look at the series, one by one, here in this blog. Today, we’ll examine #19 and #20, which were published in 1941 and 1942.

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Perry Mason: novels #15 and #16

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, July 15, 2016 in Novels, Old TV Shows
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

 Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason.

Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason

By September 1939, Erle Stanley Gardner was really hitting his stride, churning out the Perry Mason mystery novels. He was still writing for the pulp magazines at that point, of course, having just seen one of his Ed Jenkins novelettes published in Black Mask magazine. But he was producing a new Perry Mason novel every six months, which is a pretty good pace for an author writing nothing else. But in addition to Perry Mason, he was also writing Ed Migrane for Double Detective, Lester Leith for Detective Fiction Weekly, and another mystery novel in the Donald Lam/Bertha Cool series. And more! Quite amazing!

The Case of the Rolling Bones was the 15th Perry Mason mystery from the pen of Erle Stanley Gardner. The bones mentioned in the title refer to dice, not actual human bones. Crooked dice! You see, L.C. Conway owned a company that produced crooked dice. And that’s how the tale started.

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Perry Mason: novels #9 and #10

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, April 22, 2016 in Movies, Novels, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Erle Stanley Gardner, author of the Perry Mason mysteries.

Erle Stanley Gardner, author of the Perry Mason mysteries.

Erle Stanley Gardner was a pulp writer nearly all of his life, not just in the early years. But for all his prolific pulp writing, he’s still indelibly identified in the public eye as being the creator and author of Perry Mason. And Perry Mason never appeared in the pulp magazines, although some of them did appear in one of the slicks, the Saturday Evening Post. The first Perry Mason book appeared in 1933, and the final one, the 82nd one, was published posthumously in 1973; Gardner died in 1970. It was an amazing 40-year span that made Gardner the best-selling American author at the time.

The ninth of the Perry Mason murder mysteries was The Case of the Stuttering Bishop. It was published in September 1936. The story begins when Perry is visited by Bishop William Mallory of Sydney, Australia. The Bishop wants to consult Perry on a manslaughter case that’s 22 years old. But Perry suspects there’s more to it than that. The Bishop is keeping a secret; a secret about an orphaned girl who is heiress to a fortune.

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