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I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason
(Susan Kandel)

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Erle Stanley Gardner created Perry Mason murder mysteries to earn money
quickly and easily. A trained attorney himself who had a facility for
dashing off murder mysteries as regularly as clockwork, Gardner
succeeded in giving the public a legendary character whose popularity
endures into the 21st century. While most people know the skillful
attorney who never lost a case through the TV series which featured
Raymond Burr in the title role, with Barbara Hale playing faithful
secretary Della Street and William Hopper as private eye Paul Drake,
others know him on the basis of the long series of murder mysteries
Gardner produced (all beginning with the words The Case Of? in the
title). In her novel I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason, Susan
Kandel invents a connection to the real life Gardner for her story?s
lead character, Cece Caruso. A big fan of Perry Mason, Cece (a writer
by profession) decides to write a biography of Gardner. During the
course of her research, she comes across an inmate whose case
challenges her, in essence, to play Perry Mason.All while she?s
exploring various facets of the inmate?s case, she?s also busy coping
with personal problems. In particular, she?s very concerned about the
status of her daughter?s marriage. Cece herself is divorced from the
daughter?s father and therefore unable to provide her with a picture of
marital bliss. From time to time, Cece consoles herself by
spending money she doesn?t really have on vintage clothing. She?s
especially fond of garments in the style of the 1940s. While she may
come across to some readers as something of a ditzy, hopelessly
romantic woman, Cece is surprisingly quite capable. She manages to
investigate the pieces of the inmate?s case and pull them all together.
In the end, she comes up with proof positive which both benefits him
and saddens him.In this her debut novel, Kandel has done
herself proud. Not only has she created a cast of likeable,
attention-holding characters, she?s presented a sophisticated storyline
which has a very plausible link to Perry Mason?s creator himself.
That?s quite a feat for a novice in the murder mystery genre.



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