Perry Mason: The Case Of The Dashing Lawyer/Detective

Perry Mason/ Erle Stanley Gardner/Bookended
Day 15 of the 30-day book photography challenge: Show some (book) spine

I spent the first decade of my life in India, most of the second in the Middle East where my Dad worked, and returned back to India for college before moving to the United States. Growing up, most of the books that I had access to were by Indian and British authors. The few exceptions were American mystery novels like the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene, The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W.Dixon and the novels of the lawyer and writer Erle Stanley Gardner, especially his series featuring the suave, dashing lawyer Perry Mason and his assistant, the efficient Della Street. Perry Mason, a defense lawyer who usually took on murder cases was, in the reader’s eyes, a superhero championing the underdog and never giving up in his pursuit of the truth. As a criminal defense lawyer, he fought against the DA, Hamilton Burger and often used last-minute courtroom shenanigans in his quest for justice for his clients. (*The Case of the Dogged Defense Lawyer) He was ably assisted in his cases by Della Street and a private detective, Paul Drake. As a teenager, I devoured the alliterative titles (e.g. The case of the duplicate daughter, The case of the negligent nymph etc.), the intricate plots, the certainty that all would end well, and a very American type of hero: a strong, laconic, tough guy whose broad shoulders could carry the weight of the world. My fondest dream was that Gardner would write a novel where Mason and Street got married and lived happily ever after (**The Case of the Match Made in Heaven). Earl Stanley Gardner himself was both a prolific writer and a lawyer who championed civil rights and worked to reverse wrongful imprisonment cases (More on his Wikipedia page).

(* and ** : Not actual books!)