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 50
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 43
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 44

    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: $19.99

    • The Case of the Fugitive Nurse

    • Perry Mason, Book 43
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13

    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
    • So many moving parts but fits just like a puzzle

    • By G. Lawson on 08-29-18

    Regular price: $19.99

    • The Case of the Sun Bather's Diary

    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 8
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 7

    The blonde wandering nude at the Remuda Gold Club tells Perry Mason a strange story. She says that while she peacefully sun-bathed near the course, someone made off with her Cadillac....

    Regular price: $19.99

    • 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 90
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 86
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 85

    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: $19.99

    • The Case of the Postponed Murder

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 82
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 4 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 13

    When Mae Farr becomes the presumed stalking victim of wealthy playboy Penn Wentworth, she asks Perry Mason for help....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • the attitude

    • By lerone on 03-31-18

    Regular price: $10.49

    • The Case of the Hesitant Hostess

    • Perry Mason, Book 41
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 14

    Perry Mason had no hesitation in defending Albert Brogan, a broke ex-salesman against a charge of robbery....

    Regular price: $19.99

    • The Case of the Reluctant Model

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 66
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 6
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 5
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 5

    Art student Maxine Lindsay, as the guest of her mentor, art dealer Colin Durant, attends a reception aboard the yacht of millionaire Otto Olney....

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Singing Skirt

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 58
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 4

    Ellen Robb does more than just sing for her supper - she also dances and sells cigarettes in a two-bit gambling parlor in a one-horse town....

    Regular price: $13.99

    • The Case of the Mythical Monkeys

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 59
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 42 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9

    It all began when pretty Gladys Doyle lost her way and was forced to spend the night in a remote cabin....

    Regular price: $19.99

    • The Case of the Rolling Bones

    • Perry Mason Series, Book 15
    • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
    • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
    • Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 16
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 14

    Years ago Alden Leeds found a rich vein of gold in the Klondike. Now his greedy relatives fear he's planning to throw his fortune away on a gold-digging spouse, Emily Milicant....

    Regular price: $19.99

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