The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Gardner’s first Perry Mason novel surprised me because nothing takes place in a courtroom. Also, Mason behaves just like a hard-boiled detective, although he displays a sharp acumen of the law, and is deeply honor bound to be a faithful representative to his client, a gorgeous and very shifty wife of a soon-to-be-dead rich husband. Murder and suspicious wills are nothing new in the mystery genre, so Gardner mashes up some interesting subplots and twists that I didn’t see coming. Paul Drake and Della Street are here and Mason is clearly romantically involved with Della, something that was not alluded to on TV. Gardner was one of the best writers of the 20th century, and although his popularity has waned, I have never read anything by him that was less that great, this one included.
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