A space capsule reels into space (in the 1920s!), complete with rocket and weightless passengers. Intelligent ants guard a ledge of solid gold in darkest Africa. A scientific miracle makes people invisible. Fans of Erle Stanley Gardner will be surprised and delighted to discover in these long-unavailable stories that he was one of our earliest science fiction writers — and science fiction readers will regret that he did not write many more.
Published in magazine in the 1920s and 1930s, these suspenseful tales display Gardner’s grasp of a vast range of unlikely subject matter and the masterful gift for plot and action that made him the best-selling author of all time. Some of the stories are peopled with his classic cops and killers, tough reporters and sleuths of detective fiction, along with the mad professors and strange geniuses of fantastic science. The nature of molecules is the key to a locked-room murder in and A Year in a Day is another crime story. But there is also natural disaster when a shift in the earth’s poles causes a worldwide flood (with a gripping description of the inundation of New York City), and still more eerie events are tied to hypnotism, reincarnation, and exotic ceremonies in a lost temple in India. The author’s imagination and ingenuity seem limitless; the action and entertainment he could pack into a 10,000-word story are remarkable.
The client was young, blonde and beautiful and she wanted to disappear.
The trouble was she wouldn’t say why, and she wouldn’t give her name. So Perry Mason agreed to a code of identification based on her measurements: 36-24-36.
But according to Della Street, the figures were padded, and as it turned out, so was everything the client said.
Bob Zane, the hero of most of these stories, is a seasoned prospector who not only knows the western deserts, but also knows the criminal mind and the laws that govern survival in this beautiful, dangerous land where the search for gold never ends. With keen intelligence and a strong sense of justice, he tracks robbers across the desert wastes and rescues hapless city slickers. Deep in the arid Sierra Madre, where gold is so plentiful it is used to make bullets. Bob Zane saves a young woman prospector from a band of fierce Yaqui Indians. He is almost outwitted by a psychotic killer who knows everything there is to know about desert warfare, and he solves a case of robbery and murder for the Bleaching Skull Mining Company. Occasionally Zane leaves the desert; he always returns for another adventure.
Erle Stanley Gardner knew the deserts of the Southwest at first hand. During the Great Depression, when these colorful adventure stories were written, he heard the legends of lost mines from old prospectors, rumors of fabulous fortunes buried by Spaniards, and tales of hardened adventurers lured by mysterious gold into lethal encounters with the burning sun and bullets aimed to kill. He traveled as prolifically as he wrote and, camping in the desert, heard night after night the mysterious sound of the sand whispering on the wings of the desert wind. This collection of his “Whispering Tales,” set in the Mojave Desert, Death Valley, the Colorado basin, Mexico, is both vintage Gardner and a rare nugget of Western Americana. The action is fast, but the feeling is subtly different from other Gardner fiction; the difference is the desert — and the gold.
Gold is the pay dirt in all these rip-roaring western stories, more of Erle Stanley Gardner’s series with their unique desert setting. Again the master storyteller features his rugged western hero, the philosophical prospector Bob Zane.
In the title story Zane is true to form when he gets a spoiled rich kid to behave like a man and beat out claim jumpers in the desert. Men learn fast out there, or die, and Zane moves faster than any of them, rescuing a pretty hostage from Yaqui Indians, outwitting murderous gangsters in the Painted Desert, avoiding death from poisonous alkali springs, and hunting lost gold in Death Valley. Around camp at night, the sand whispers on the wind and the philosopher in Zane may start talking — but he always keeps his hand on his gun.
The stories move at the headlong pace for which all Gardner adventures are famous, and Zane himself is an exceptional character who often reveals ideas that are clearly Gardner’s own about life, justice, and the debatable values of civilization.
Says Zane: “The reason men don’t know the law of life is because they’re afraid to look Eternity in the face. Out in the desert they have to look at Eternity. It’s on all sides of them; they can’t turn their eyes away. That’s the spell of the desert.”
A new and different Gardner — featuring the State Police and forensic medicine.
It was there that Rob Trenton found himself on a blissful tour with the lovely, if mysterious, Linda Carroll. And it was there that the bumptious Merton Ostrander joined the twosome and, as far as Rob was concerned, made it a crowd.
But it was on a lonely road outside New York City that the real trouble began. For that was when Rob discovered the cache of dope cleverly concealed in Linda’s car — setting the scene for murder...
Terry Clane, just back from China where he has been working on a secret government mission, runs into murder when he walks down the gangway at San Francisco. Whisked straight from the dock to police headquarters, Terry puts to good use all the powers of intense concentration he has learned in the Orient in order to beat the lie detector with its uncanny mind-reading.
Terry quickly senses that despite his absence the police think he knows too much about the escape of a man convicted of murder. The fugitive has disappeared and Cynthia Renton, original, impetuous painter who was once Terry’s fiancée, has disappear too. Was Cynthia implicated in the escape? Where would she hide a fugitive from justice?
Terry’s mind flew to Sou Ha, the sparkling vivacious daughter of his wisest Chinese friend, in her hidden, luxurious home in San Francisco’s Chinatown. How far would Sou Ha’s loyalty to Terry take her?
Sight of the old Chinese figure of Chow Kok Koh, riding backward on his white mule, sent the lie detector needles shooting up. Terry had given that figure to Cynthia. What was it doing now, stained with blood, a clue in a brutal murder?
A plot that never lets down from beginning to end, human and fascinating characters, a Story told with authentic punch, all prove that the maestro has done it again. From the appointment in the lonely warehouse to the explosive climax, it’s top mystery fare.
At the behest of Mason, who is representing a young man hit by a car, Paul Drake places an ad in the paper asking for witnesses to the hit and run. To Mason's astonishment, two different drivers are identified, one by a mysterious letter enclosing a key.
Before he created Perry Mason, Erle Stanley Gardner (1889–1970) was one of the most popular writers for the mystery and adventure pulp magazines, with their sensational covers, two-fisted heroes, and non-stop action.
Among his toughest characters was Sidney Zoom, wealthy yacht-owner who prowls at night to help the downtrodden in the days of the Great Depression. “The weak and the helpless found in him a haven of refuge, a gigantic wall of strength. The oppressor found in him a grim enemy, tireless uncompromising, letting no man-made law stand between him and his prey.” “His soul craved combat,” Gardner writes, “as the soul of many men craves strong drink.”
Erle Stanley Gardner, the creator of Perry Mason, was one of the leading writers for the legendary hard-boiled crime fiction magazine. Although Perry Mason never appeared in its pages, in the early 1930s published a series of six short novels by Erie Stanley Gardner starring a crusading lawyer named Ken Corning who fought against injustice in a corrupt city Representing clients framed by crooked police arid bribed city officials, Ken Corning protected the rights of the underdog while relentlessly pursuing the guilty through a maze of violent subterfuge and sinister intrigue. Now, for the first time, all six Ken Corning short novels are collected in book form in .
These are good tight mysteries with lots of action — the stuff that made Erie Stanley Gardner justly famous. As a collection, they rank right up there with both and .
The last of the Perry Mason mysteries features the headlong pace, wealth of red herrings, and sizzling courtroom scene characterizing the best of Gardner.
There was something phony about the girl her cheap coat didn’t go with her smartly tailored suit, her hair-do didn’t go with her beautifully kept hands — and her face didn’t go with her story.
It didn’t take Mason long to figure out that this so-called Sylvia Farr was no poor little girl from the country in search of her missing sister, but was indeed sister Mae herself — a girl in trouble of some sort, deep trouble.
So Perry went to bat and soon found himself in a hot ball game — one called murder.
Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason and the world’s bestselling mystery writer, wrote for the leading magazines such as and alongside Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
Following the success of featuring the exploits of Gardner s most enduring pre-Perry Mason hero Ed Jenkins — also known as “The Phantom Crook” — this collection continues with the intrepid man caring less for the letter of the law than for what he doggedly believes to be right. But to achieve his ends, Jenkins is forced to confront police criminals while avoiding the pitfalls of blackmail, coercion and incarceration. In , a full length novel, and three other short novels contained in this volume, Ed Jenkins still remains his own man to those who try to force his hand.
The pre-Perry Mason Erle Stanley Gardner was one of the most popular authors of his day and the accounts of Ed Jenkins were among his very best early work. The Ed Jenkins sagas, collected in one volume for the first time, represent the author s most thrilling adventures in the hard-boiled genre.
Perry Mason, world-famous lawyer and sleuth, keeps a lady in mink under wraps in...
Perry Mason and Della Street were in the middle of a rare steak when the mink coat appeared in the hands of a puzzled restaurant proprietor.
The coat belonged, he said, to a waitress who had just taken it on the him... and he didn’t mean food. Now what to do with the coat?
Perry Mason examined the mink he decided there was more than a moth-eaten patch to meet the eye — particularly when the cops arrived...