I'm working my way through the Perry Mason novels, starting with the first (The Case of the Velvet Claws, 1933) and at the moment am up to The Case of the Drowsy Mosquito, 1943. There's a long way to go yet!
The novels are well written, don't read as being too out of date and in fact have some quite remarkable plots. It's a bit of a period piece in places, but they are always fast-paced and entertaining. A bit like traditional SF novels, not literature, but capable of being a bit above average for pulp fiction.
Gardner is well out of fashion since his peak around the TV series starring Raymond Burr, but still well worth becoming aquainted with.
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