One would expect a present from Paris to be something fashionably unique or distinctively European; however, I knew the gift on its way to me would be nothing of the sort, rather of literary interest. In an advance, foreshadowing email, LS said, “You won’t believe what I found!”
La Nudiste Navarée, published in the U.S. as The Case of the Sun Bather’s Diary, and
La Vamp aux Yeux Verts, published in the U.S. as The Case of the Green-Eyed Sister.
Perhaps you’ll stop reading now (ho hum, eh?), but for me they produced a squeal of delight greater than any French perfume or bauble would evoke.
I collect Perry Mason crime novels written by Erle Stanley Gardner. Raymond Burr as Perry Mason on TV from 1957 to 1966 coerced the guilty to confess on the stand, and I watched the black and white drama addictively. I never read the books, though. I didn’t realize they even existed until a year ago when I stumbled upon The Case of the Deadly Toy. That’s when the hunt began.
At this point the collection is a messy, unsorted stack of paperbacks with a few tattered hardbound copies. The addition of two French editions now gives it some class. I never imagined Perry would be found in Paris.
On a final note: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor cited the TV drama “Perry Mason” as a childhood inspiration during her confirmation hearings.