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LJ Ross Picks a Genuine Pulp Fiction Classic for August's Book Club

LJ Ross Picks a Genuine Pulp Fiction Classic  for August's Book Club
Staying in
August 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes

The best-selling author shares her pick for August with LN readers

Northumberland-born LJ Ross is the bestselling author of the DCI Ryan murder mystery series. Each month, she shares an exclusive Book Club pick with Living North readers.

This month’s LJ Ross Book Club selection is a genuine pulp fiction classic. The Case of the Velvet Claws is, arguably, the most famous of Erle Stanley Gardner’s 150 novels which, to date, have sold almost 300 million copies worldwide. Published in 1933, it’s the first of his stories to feature incomparable attorney-sleuth Perry Mason and has since become an enduring classic. It tells the tale of Eva Griffin, a married woman who, thanks to a bungled hotel robbery, is caught in the company of a prominent congressman who isn’t her husband. To protect his reputation and her own, she is prepared to pay the editor of a sleazy tabloid the necessary hush money. However, Perry Mason steps in to help, and tracks down the blackmailing tabloid owner—only to find an even bigger scoop awaits…

LJ’s Thoughts: 

‘Erle Stanley Gardner is one of my personal heroes from the world of commercial fiction. Some might quote Joyce, Austen, Dostoyevsky, all of whom were talented souls, but Gardner was what I would describe as a true professional writer, with a hardworking ethic and talent for storytelling alongside the singular ability to hone his focus and write prolifically, to great success. Gardner wrote for his readers, not for other writers, which I’ve always found inspiring. In his first Perry Mason novel, we see his ability not only to weave interesting, immersive characters, but to keep and hold a reader’s enthralled attention from start to finish, which makes for a very satisfying read. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves pacy mysteries with an ‘old world’ feel, although the telling still feels very modern and is worthy of rediscovery. Enjoy!’

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