'The bestselling author of the century . . . a master storyteller' New York Times
Who was that masked woman?
That was the question plaguing Perry Mason. No one loves a good mystery more than Mason - but being asked to represent a client who is concealing her identity, not to mention the particulars of her case, has given even the legendary legal eagle a case of ruffled feathers.
Yet the intriguing cloak-and-dagger tactics have Perry hopelessly hooked. As for the silent siren behind the mask, is she heiress Byrl Gailord or penniless Adelle Hastings? Both women have ties to a man named Tidings, a man who may be a protector or predator. A man who could answer a lot of tough questions - if only he hadn't been murdered.
Born in Malden, Massachusetts, Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) left school in 1909 and attended Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana for just one month before he was suspended for focusing more on his hobby of boxing than his academic studies. Soon after, he settled in California, where he taught himself the law and passed the state bar exam in 1911. The practise of law never held much interest for him, however, apart from as it pertained to trial strategy, and in his spare time he began to write for the pulp magazines that gave Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler their start. Not long after the publication of his first novel, The Case of the Velvet Claws, featuring Perry Mason, he gave up his legal practice to write full time. He had one daughter, Grace, with his first wife, Natalie, from whom he later separated. In 1968 Gardner married his long-term secretary, Agnes Jean Bethell, whom he professed to be the real 'Della Street', Perry Mason's sole (although unacknowledged) love interest. He was one of the most successful authors of all time and at the time of his death, in Temecula, California in 1970, is said to have had 135 million copies of his books in print in America alone.