Re: RARA-AVIS: Perry Mason

Date: 24 Aug 2002


Re your question below:

> Can anyone point me in the direction of a source as
> to why Gardner changed
> Mason into a "softer" character between Velvet Claws
> and Sulky Girl, and
> then, in my view, softened him a bit more where he
> became close to the icon
> Mason in Lucky Legs.

Gardner gradually softened the character in part to make him more palatable to the editors of SATURDAY EVENING POST, to whom he was anxious to seel the serial rights to the Mason novels (after the early
'50s, perhaps earlier, virtually all Mason novels were serialized in the POST prior to book publication.

Sources you might want to check are Dorothy Hughes's Gardner bio, THE CASE OF THE REAL PERRY MASON I thin it's called. Another book that might help, but which I haven't read and can't personally recommend, is called MURDER IN THE MILLIONS, a study of the three best-selling mystery writers, Gardner, Mickey Spillane, and Ian Fleming. I can't remember the name of the writer.


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