Blog: Writing about all things pulplish

Perry Mason novels: #49 and #50

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, September 29, 2017 in Old TV Shows, Perry Mason, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Perry Mason novels: #49 and #50
Erle Stanley Gardner in one of his several appearances as a judge.

Erle Stanley Gardner in one of his several appearances as a judge.

Erle Stanley Gardner started writing for the pulps in 1923. But it was for Perry Mason, the courtroom attorney, that he became the most well known. The first Perry Mason mystery was published in 1933 and the final one was published in 1973, three years after Gardner’s death.

In today’s blog, I’ll be discussing the 49th and 50th Perry Mason stories. Both were published in 1956, the year before Perry Mason debuted on television with Raymond Burr in the lead role… a part he went on to make his own.

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Perry Mason novels: #47 and #48

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, September 8, 2017 in Old TV Shows, Perry Mason, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Perry Mason novels: #47 and #48
Erle Stanley Gardner - rarely seen without glasses.

Erle Stanley Gardner – rarely seen without glasses.

Perry Mason. Let’s see… he was on TV… he was on the radio… he was in the movies… he was in the comic books… there was a daily newspaper strip… Now what am I forgetting? Oh, yeah, he was also in books. Books! You remember those things. Sometimes hard covered, sometimes soft covered. Words, no pictures. Yeah, that’s right… books!

Erle Stanley Gardner started writing Perry Mason for the book market. After 10 years of honing his writing skills in the pulp magazine market, Gardner wrote the first Perry Mason novel in 1933. The last and 85th of the Perry Mason books was published in 1973 after Gardner’s death. It was the book series that inspired all the other appearances in the media… the TV, radio, movies, etc. It all started with the books.

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The Shadow on television

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, August 25, 2017 in Movies, Old Time Radio (OTR), Old TV Shows, Pulp, Serials, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The Shadow on television

The version of The Shadow that radio listeners heard beginning in 1937 was designed specifically for the medium of radio. And it was a perfect fit. A crime fighter with the power to become invisible required no special effects other than what the individual mind could conjure.

That version of The Shadow did not translate well to the screen, either large or small. There were a series of motion-picture shorts that featured an early radio version of The Shadow… where The Shadow was an unseen narrator of the stories. Four feature-length motion pictures were produced between 1937 and 1946, but they used a more pulp version of The Shadow. A 1940 movie serial used the same approach. It wasn’t until 1994 and the motion picture The Shadow, starring Alec Baldwin, that radio’s version of The Shadow appeared in movie theaters… and disappeared, using his power to cloud men’s minds.

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Perry Mason novels: #43 and #44

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, July 28, 2017 in Old TV Shows, Perry Mason, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Perry Mason novels: #43 and #44
A young Erle Stanley Gardner and his first wife, Natalie Talbert.

A young Erle Stanley Gardner and his first wife, Natalie Talbert.

Erle Stanley Gardner was a pulp writer. He started as a lawyer in 1911, but by 1921 the lure of writing won out. And after 12 years of prolific writing for pulps like Black Mask, Argosy, Dime Detective and others — many others — he had his first Perry Mason novel published in 1933. A grand total of 86 Perry Mason mysteries were published on a pretty regular basis right up until his death in 1970 and two of them posthumously. Mystery lovers couldn’t get enough of them.

In 1954 he had three Perry Mason novels published. Now that’s writing! You’d think that if he was writing that fast, that the stories would suffer. Surprisingly, not. In today’s blog entry, I’m going to review the first two of those three stories, and you’ll find they each are inventive and most satisfying for any mystery fan.

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Perry Mason novels: #41 and #42

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, June 30, 2017 in Old TV Shows, Perry Mason, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Perry Mason novels: #41 and #42
Erle Stanley Gardner - I guess he did have a sense of humor.

Erle Stanley Gardner – I guess he did have a sense of humor.

Perry Mason. You remember him from the TV series starrring Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale. Readers will remember that even before that, Perry Mason appeared in a series of mystery novels by Erle Stanley Gardner. A mind-boggling 86 Perry Mason novels, and just about all of them were adapted for the TV series. Before Gardner started writing the Perry Mason series, he wrote for the pulp magazines.

Erle Stanley Gardner wrote for the pulps for a dozen years before he did his first Perry Mason book. He was published 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 there’s more.

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Perry Mason novels: #37 and #38

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, May 19, 2017 in Old TV Shows, Perry Mason, Pulp
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Erle Stanley Gardner was a bowhunter.

Erle Stanley Gardner was a bowhunter.

In my chronological reviews of the Perry Mason books, we’re in the 1950s now. Erle Stanley Gardner had two Mason books published that year, and they are both reviewed here. And he was still writing for the pulps and the slicks at this time. He had articles published in Argosy and Collier‘s in 1951… always faithful to his roots.

You’ll remember he got his start way back in 1921 with “The Police in the House” in Breezy Stories magazine. Before long he was being published in Black Mask, Life Magazine, Mystery Magazine, Top Notch, and the list goes on. His first Perry Mason book “The Case of the Velvet Claws,” wasn’t to come along until 1933. So now, we jump forward in time to 1951 and his 37th and 38th Perry Mason murder mysteries.

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