At the time of his death in 1970, Erle Stanley Gardener was the best-selling American author of the 20th century, largely on the strength of his Perry Mason stories. Much as we may associate Mason with TV adaptations—most recently, on HBO—the books were the foundation of it all. The three novels featured here were published in the 1940s, when this irresistible series hit its stride.
The bait is half of a $10,000 bill, delivered to Perry Mason by a man who promises the second half of the note should his companion—a silent masked woman—ever require the lawyer's services. When a dead body is discovered soon after, Mason suspects that he's being framed, but sets out to solve the mystery from the ground up, beginning with the face behind the veil. Uncovering a convoluted case of fraud, divorce, and inheritance, Mason will need to pull off one of his most daring gambits ever to finally cast light on the killer.