Itís almost 90 degrees in Connecticut today, and for September, while itís not unheard of, itís certainly unusual. It meant that I didnít work in the garage today, though. What I did instead is bring in a box of paperback books that I bought while I was in Michigan visiting with my sister and brother last year.

    Of course what this did was to bring back a few memories, of books purchased and being out of sight, the box never unpacked until now, long forgotten. There was a large assortment of westerns, but of the mysteries, most of them were Erle Stanley Gardner books that Iíd purchased pretty much because of their covers, Perry Mason adventures all, and not because I didnít already have them in other, earlier editions, because I do. That doesnít stop me from collecting them. You do understand, don’t you?

    By chance I also have a small lot of Gardnerís books up for auction on eBay. These arenít the earliest in the Pocket editions Ė I think these are all from the 1950s Ė but the covers are nice. The two on the top are by Robert McGinnis. The one on the lower right is by Mitchell Hooks.

    As the years went on, some of the Perry Mason books were reprinted umpteen times, and over the years the covers changed. In the late 60s, the books all had photos of beautiful women on the covers:

Perry Mason

    In the later 60s, the covers were trimmed in gold with another crew of beautiful models posing (perhaps) as one of the characters of their respective books.

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    Iím not 100% sure that I have the order correct in which these more recent Ballantine reprints came out, but I think I do. They began, I believe, in the early 1980s and were still going as recently as the year 2000. There seems to have been (at least) three different styles and formats for their covers. First this one:

Perry Mason

then this one:

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and finally this one, which of course I like the best Ė with quite a retro approach. The box from Michigan had about 15 of these in it:

Perry Mason

    Getting back to Pocket, though, one of the books from Michigan was this one, a style that Iíve never seen before. Itís numbered #3, but itís not chronologically correct, since the book was first published in 1955 and hardly was the third Perry Mason adventure. Thereís no date on it. All that it says is that it was the 11th printing. How many more there were in this series I have no idea.

Perry Mason