Sunday, June 13, 2010

A complete Lester Leith story by Erle Stanley Gardner

Lester Leith was one of the legion of series characters Erle Stanley Gardner employed in the pulps before (and even after) Perry Mason came on the scene. Among the others were Ed Jenkins the Phantom Crook, Paul Pry, Sidney Zoom, Paul Wennick, the Patent Leather Kid, Ken Corning, Bob Zane, Senor Lobo and The Man in the Silver Mask. ESG was a busy guy.

One internet source says Lester Leith alone appeared in 67 stories between 1929 and 1943. I know of only five that have been reprinted, in the 1980 collection The Adventures of Lester Leith. "The Crimson Mask", from 1931, was not among them.

I think you'll agree Lester is an engaging character, far more fun the stodgy Mason. Here's hoping some enterprising publisher will someday bring us the complete adventures of Lester Leith.

(please click on each page to enlarge!)

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Deka Black said...

One question i wished to ask some weeks ago. Which is the older detective fiction magazine? There is a lot out there!

Evan Lewis said...

I could be wrong, Deka, but I think the first detective pulp may have been Street & Smith's Detective Story, which began in 1915.

David Cranmer said...

Damn, he could write!

pattinase (abbott) said...


Deka Black said...

Could be, thanks Evan ^^.

AlteredArts said...

Can you tell me the name of the artist who created this cover?

Fred Salter said...

I just got a copy of "Detective Fiction Weekley" July 13, 1935 with a story by Erle Stanley Gardner in it called" The Man in the Silver Mask". How many other stories are there in this series? I probably will scan the issue in if you're interested in a copy Evan. There are only two issues of the mag listed in so not sure how to track this character.