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The Case of the Velvet Claws

by Erle Stanley Gardner

Cast of Characters

in the order of their appearance

Perry Mason–fighting attorney, who preferred being paid off as a sheep to being double-crossed like a lamb.

Della Street–who was a faithful Girl Friday (also Sunday and Monday, if not quite always).

Eva Griffin–well groomed and well heeled, who was a phony.

Harrison Burke–Congressman, whose Duty to the People was to keep them from knowing he was mixed up in murder.

Frank Locke–editor of Spicy Bits, who was Southern, but not gentleman.

Paul Drake–who turned up some interesting information on Georgia peaches and sons of same.

Sidney Drumm–who put himself out on a limb of the tree Perry Mason was up.

George C. Belter–who got his money by blackmail, and who—naturally—got his.

Mrs. Belter–a woman who had a will of her own and put a velvet clause in it.

Carl Griffin–nephew of George Belter, and a gentleman around and around and around the town.

Bill Hoffman–head of Homicide, who wanted the sleuth, the whole sleuth, and little else.

Mrs. Veitch–the housekeeper, who was silent as the tomb and looked like a mummy.

Norma Veitch–a girl with matrimonies on her mind.

Esther Linten–who made up for losing her beauty sleep by deciding to pass out the night before.

Sol Steinburg–who excelled at histrionics.

Arthur Atwood–who found himself vulnerable on Mrs. Belter’s tricks.

Harry Loring–who wasn’t sure whether he had too many wives or none.

Chapter 1