Erle Stanley Gardner
AUTHOR

Erle Stanley Gardner

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

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Best Sellers

    • The Case of the Sulky Girl

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 2
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 45
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 41
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 41

    Frances Celane has good reason to pout. Thanks to a provision in her late father's will administered by her uncle, she's caught in the middle of a family feud between matrimony and money....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Another classic hard boiled mystery

    • By Michael on 01-12-18

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Caretaker's Cat

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 7
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 31
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 28
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 29

    In his will, Peter Laxter guaranteed his faithful caretaker a job and a place to live...for life. But Laxter's grandson Sam says the deal doesn't include the caretaker's cat....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • One of my favorites

    • By Doug on 05-20-18

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Velvet Claws

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 1
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 1 min
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 83
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 80
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 79

    Married Eva Griffin has been caught with a prominent congressman, and is ready to pay the editor of a sleazy tabloid hush money to protect the politician....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • The true Perry Mason, hard boiled detecting at its finest!

    • By Michael on 01-05-18

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Grinning Gorilla

    • Perry Mason, Book 40
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13

    Helen Cadmus was dead - but how had it happened....

    Regular price: $19.99

    • Perry Mason and the Case of the Howling Dog

    • A Radio Dramatization
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner, M. J. Elliott
    • Narrated by: Jerry Robbins, The Colonial Radio Players
    • Length: 1 hr and 18 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 117
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 101
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 101

    Arthur Cartwright, an anxious man, goes to Perry Mason to have his neighbor arrested for his vindictive and noisy dog....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Erle Stanley Gardner would be proud!!

    • By Michele on 08-12-11

    Regular price: $6.99

    • The Case of the Deadly Toy

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 60
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 3

    When Norda Allison saw her husband-to-be slap his young son, she immediately called off the wedding. Now she is terrified....

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Haunted Husband

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 18
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 18
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 16
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 14

    Aspiring actress Stephane Olger just wants to be in pictures. But she may end up in mug shots instead when she gets herself caught up in a crime....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Very good

    • By Ladybug Lady on 06-29-18

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Golddigger's Purse

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 26
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 10

    In order to help her seriously ill boyfriend, gorgeous Sally Madison sets out to separate wealthy Harrington Faulkner from some of his money by offering him a cure for his ailing exotic fish....

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Lucky Legs

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 3
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 35
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 33
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 33

    Young Marjorie Clune's best asset is her greatest misfortune: a pair of exquisite legs. They attract the perfect heel, a self-professed movie promoter named Frank Patton....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • excellent listen

    • By Jan Nassif on 09-11-18

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Howling Dog

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 4
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 26
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 22
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 23

    Compared to a juicy murder trial, a case of feuding neighbors isn't exactly Perry Mason's cup of tea. But Arthur Cartright insists that Mason is the only one who can muzzle the howling hound....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great Perry Mason Mystery

    • By Dennis on 10-19-17

    Regular price: $13.99

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