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A Perry Mason Omnibus

Erle Stanley Gardner
In Print
William Morrow & Company (1964)

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This entry created 4 May 2024. Last revised on 4 May 2024.

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©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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A Perry Mason Omnibus

The Case of the Singing Skirt, The Case of the Blonde Bonanza, The Case of the Horrified Heirs

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star no star no star no star no star (6.00)

682 pages.

Apparently, Erle Stanley Gardner was such a prolific author, that they eventually started releasing his Perry Mason novels in three-novel book-club editions.

In case you are unfamiliar, there are 82 Perry Mason novels, featuring defense attorney Mason, his secretary Della Street, and private investigator Paul Drake. A 1957 TV legal drama was based on the novels, as well as a 1973 revival, a series of TV movies (1985+), and an HBO series (2020).

The 1957 TV show was a rare case where the Hollywood people didn't 'reinvent' the novels; the characters on screen are faithful to the novels. This means that if you've seen the TV shows, that adds to the enjoyment of reading the novels. Many of the novels were adapted as TV episodes, but that frequently meant truncating the plot and making things fit in the 'courtroom drama' framework; the novels are less dominated by the courtroom.

This particular omnibus features three novels:

The Case of the Singing Skirt
Rowena is a crooked gambling town. When singer Ellen Robb refuses to help defraud a gambler, her boss gets revenge by framing her for theft. Perry Mason gets her out of that mess, but now a gun has been planted in her luggage…
The Case of the Blonde Bonanza
Della Street has a mystery for her boss – why is a beautiful young woman at the beach piling on the calories? Is she being set up?
The Case of the Horrified Heirs
Why have drugs been planted in the luggage of a retired legal secretary, and can Perry Mason get the charges dropped? And what does this have to do with a wealthy old woman who is being poisoned?

All of these novels were fun, and show Mason scrambling at times to get his client (and himself) out of trouble. There are obscure points of law, shady characters, and clients who may not be telling the truth (or obeying directions).

Can you wargame it? Well, no. But I still want the miniatures.

I was pleased to discover that the Perry Mason novels are being reprinted, and are also available through libraries and in digital format.

Reviewed by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian.