Friday, January 09, 2015

Book Beginnings: The Case of the Velvet Claws

Cover of the Pocket Books edition 1955
The Case of the Velvet Claws, by Erle Stanley Gardner.  Originally published 1933, it's the first book in the Perry Mason mystery series. In the book's opening paragraph we are introduced to the legendary lawyer:
Autumn sun beat against the window.
Perry Mason sat at the big desk. There was about him the attitude of one who is waiting. His face in repose was like the face of a chess player who is studying the board. That face seldom changed expression. Only the eyes changed expression. He gave the impression of being a thinker and a fighter, a man who could work with infinite patience to jockey an adversary into just the right position, and then finish him with one terrific punch.
Initial Thoughts:

This is one I might be reading for the Vintage Mystery Bingo Challenge.  I actually thought I had read it years ago, but now that I'm taking a look at it, it doesn't seem at all familiar. Of course, my idea of Perry Mason was influenced by Raymond Burr who played Mason in the old TV series, and this description seems to fit his characterization perfectly. Seems like a good book to start the year with.

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


  1. Yes, I always see Raymond Burr when I hear Perry Mason, too...I love the descriptions in your excerpt...and that cover is amazing. Enjoy!

    Here's mine: “COPPER BEACH”

  2. I've been wanting to try the Perry Mason books. I've watched a few bits and pieces of the show but actually didn't even know until a few years ago that it was based on a book series! Enjoy!

  3. If I think of Perry Mason, I picture Raymond Burr too. Having watched the TV series, I would definitely keep reading to see how Mason solved the case (because he always did!)
    My Friday post features FETCHING LOVE.

  4. I would like to read this one. I thought of Raymond Burr also. I wish his face didn't come to mind. Would like to make up my imagined face.:) I wonder how many books are....?

  5. I used to love watching Perry Mason on tv, so am sure I would enjoy the read!

  6. I am laughing at the title. Very different.

    I am sure it is going to be good.


    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  7. You have gone back to the classics in crime fiction! Good one!


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