Perry Mason Mysteries for Sale
May 9th, 2014 by Aldouspi

Some Notes on Perry Mason

Who is Perry Mason? Perry Mason is first introduced in 'The Case of the Velvet Claws'. In the early novels, he is more of a Detective than a lawyer, giving away his pulp origins. While still crusading for the innocent, he is not shy of hiding evidence, breaking in, or brawling with the brutes. Yet there is something refreshingly different about the character being an 'attorney-at-law'.
Perry Mason Mystery
To quote the lawyer: "You'll find that I'm a lawyer who has specialized in trial work, and in a lot of criminal work...I'm a specialist on getting people out of trouble. They come to me when they're in all sorts of trouble, and I work them out...If you look me up through some family lawyer or some corporation lawyer, he'll probably tell you that I'm a shyster. If you look me up through some chap in the District Attorney's office, he'll tell you that I'm a dangerous antagonist but he doesn't know very much about me." —Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Velvet Claws (1933)


The name "Perry Mason" dates to creator Gardner's childhood. As a child, Gardner was a reader of the magazine Youth's Companion. The magazine (best known for producing the original Pledge of Allegiance in 1891) was published in Boston, Massachusetts, by the Perry Mason Company (renamed "Perry Mason & Co." after the founder died). When Gardner created his fictional attorney, he borrowed the name of the company which published his favorite childhood magazine.


Disappointed with the six Perry Mason films released by Warner Bros. between 1934 and 1937, and the radio series broadcast on CBS Radio from 1943 to 1955, Erle Stanley Gardner sought to take a more proactive role in any future adaptations of his novels. He set up his own production company, Paisano Productions, which would produce the Perry Mason TV series from its beginning in 1957 to its cancellation in 1966.

Hamilton Burger is the fictional Los Angeles district attorney (D.A.) in the long-running series of novels, films, and radio and television programs featuring Perry Mason, the fictional defense attorney created by Erle Stanley Gardner. I have always wondered how he kept his job - but then again the guilty party was always found when he went to court against Perry.

Actually, Burger did defeat Mason twice on the television series; once in "The Case of the Terrified Typist" and again in "The Case of the Deadly Verdict". In addition, in "The Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe", Burger figured out the true culprit (after some nudging in the right direction by Mason). In the television series, the closest Burger gets to having Perry Mason arrested is when he has Mason cited for causing a trash fire within city limits (part of Mason's plan to free an innocent client).


A hallmark of the stories is that Perry Mason (with the assistance of his devoted secretary Della Street and his faithful private investigator Paul Drake), once embarked on a case, will juggle the evidence using unusual (even bizarre) tactics to mislead the police--but (except for the very earliest novels) always in an ethical fashion...


Erle Stanley Gardner spent more than twenty years practicing law in California, and the knowledge he gained was put to good use in the Perry Mason stories, which often hinged on points of law, forensic medicine or science... Finally a lawyer makes good!


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PERRY MASON - Scenes from "The Case of the Deadly Debt" (4/1/1965).

"PERRY MASON" Scenes from "The Case of the Deadly Debt" Season 8, Episode 25. AIR DATE April 1st, 1965. Starring, Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, and William Hop...

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