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University at Buffalo Libraries

George Kelley Paperback & Pulp Fiction Collection

The Case of the Buried Clock

cover image By: Gardner, Erle Stanley (male)
Publisher: Pocket Books, Inc. (678)
Place of Publication: New York, NY
Catalog #: Kelley Box 248: PS3513 .A6322 C2258 1950
Contributor: S. Roe


Era: 1940s Author as on Cover: Erle Stanley Gardner Geographic Locale: southern California, including Roxbury Date of Publication: 1950  |  Original Date: 1943 Setting: urban and rural (isolated mountain cabin) Motives: theft, blackmail

Plot Summary

Harley Raymand, just returned from the World War II front and recovering from an injury, finds himself in the midst of a murder investigation. The body of Jack Hardisty is discovered in an isolated cabin that Harley has agreed to watch for the owner, Vincent Blane. Who killed Hardisty and why?? His wife for the love of another?? His employer for the stolen $90,000?? The local nature photographer or other characters, also found on the scene?? How does the buried clock fit into the mystery?? Even Perry Mason has a time sorting out this one!

Major Characters

Perry Mason "Chief" adult male, tall, well-built, defense attorney

Della Street adult female, 30s, pretty, smart, Perry Mason's legal secretary

Paul Drake adult male, tall, lanky private investigator and owner of the Drake Detective Agency

Jack Hardisty adult male, husband of Milicent Blane Hardisty, narrow across the shoulders, pinched face, prominent nose that supported bowless glasses, married but "chasing around" with a milliner behind his wife's back, banker, thief

Adele Blane adult female, sister of Milicent

Harley Raymand adult male, just released from the Army; recovering after an injury received in the Army

Milicent P. Blane adult female, rimless spectacles, widow of the victim, sister of Adele Blane, registered nurse

Vincent P. Blane adult male, middle-aged, widowed, father of two daughters, bushy eyebrows, keen grey eyes, close-clipped gray mustache, had high blood pressure, pouches under his eyes and a haunted expression; banker and department store owner

Burton Strague adult male, whimsical smile, well-formed mouth, black tangled hair, short, slender, hard-muscled body; writer

Lola Strague adult female, tall and slender, cultured voice, blonde, spoiled, Burton Strague's sister

Rodney Beaton "Rod", adult male, tall and powerful, loose-jointed, not fat but thick, firm jaw, five-gallon hat; artist, naturalist and wildlife photographer

Myrna Payson adult female, wide-spaced laughing eyes; full, vivid red lips; she has taken care of her figure, her skin, her hands and her dark hair. Her nose was perhaps a bit too upturned; cattle rancher, the "local glamour girl", widow with inherited money

Martha Stevens adult female, Vincent P. Blane's housekeeper

Dr. Jefferson Macon adult male, the Blane family physician


.38 caliber revolver, truth serum

Level of Violence

the only violence is murder, but this is not explicitly described.


there are some hints at adultery, but only implied.

Gender Roles

traditional; sexist attitudes in Perry Mason and inclusion of the inevitable female with a "nervous storm."

Law Enforcement

local police; Perry pits two counties against each other; private detective Paul Drake

Subject Headings

Veterans/ California/ Murder/ Theft/ Blackmail/ Mason, Perry/ Law and Lawyers