The Case of the Hapless Husband – a Perry Mason Mystery, 2013, or what i’m doing on this blog.
I got introduced to Perry Mason 23 years after I sprouted my milk teeth, when I was way past the Mills & Boon stage of life. (But really, does any woman ever get over it? Makes for senseless reading when you don’t want to weigh your brain down with heavy thoughts.) I picked up the habit of reading stories of Erle Stanley Gardner’s anti-hero from my mother, who suddenly went into this feverish pitch of picking up Perry Masons from Blossoms Book House, so much so that we have every copy of his books – including two of some!
The cases are very intriguing and the there-now-gone-the-next-moment chemistry between Perry Mason and his secretary Della Street is…interesting. There’s even a badly done Ekta Kapoor kind of drama infused series – Adaalat – on Sony that’s modeled around Mason and his style of solving cases. (I am embarrassed to confess that my mother is addicted to it.)
So, to set context, Perry Mason is a defense lawyer of the 1930s who is always attracted to cases that have loose ends (and sometimes, loose-floating bodies) and that’s he’s itching to solve. And he does solve them, proving on all occasions that the people he’s defending are innocent. (Well, except in one book.) His methods, though, are unconventional – he walks the thin line between legal and illegal, giving the DA’s office multiple cardiac arrests in the process. Can you imagine the torture the DA’s office would have to suffer if Perry Mason belonged to our generation and saw as many technological advances as we have in making the world a smaller place?
Cut to 2013.
Perry Mason is in his office, when Della enters quietly, whispering that there’s a crying woman in the reception who wants Mason’s help in defending her in her husband’s murder case. Perry Mason, always the gentleman, trusts Della’s judgment and asks her to send the woman in.
In comes Mrs. Haversham, newly widowed and tearfully telling her story of how she returned home to find her husband dead, a gun lying next to him. And of course, because she’s a damsel in distress and because she doesn’t know how it got there or whom it belongs to, she picked up the gun when the door burst open and the police ‘caught her in the act’. She was whisked away and is presently out on bail. Her court hearing is coming up soon and she needs Mason’s help. Mason pats her hand, asks her not to cry and sends her away.
Della walks in, and Mason says, “Della, get Drake here. I have work for him.”
Paul Drake, Perry Mason’s good friend, partner in crime and private detective, is summoned. “I need you to put a tail on Mrs. Haversham. Find out everything you can about her and her deceased husband”, says Mason.
Drake goes and hits Google. Voila! But wait, there’s more than 365,000 searches! Oh man, this is worse than manual labour, he thinks. He uses the advanced search and comes up with slightly fewer options.
Meanwhile, Mason hits Facebook. Logs in as firstname.lastname@example.org, does some sleuthing on his own about Mr. Haversham. Turns out Mr. Haversham didn’t have a limited profile filter, so Mason goes to Mr. Haversham’s blog from the Info page, notes that there was something bothering Mr. Haversham. He checks up on the profiles of Haversham’s followers. Something’s not right about one Mr. Crakenjack there. No blogger profile picture either. Hmm.
On LinkedIn, he sees that Crakenjack and Haversham were business partners. What’s more, Crakenjack and Haversham seem to have similar profiles… and there was a certain Miss Bazinga who was a common friend, and who commented on each of their status messages on Facebook all the time. And cryptic replies too! Now Mason was getting somewhere!
Drake reports back to him soon enough. Together, they track the whereabouts of Mr. Crakenjack using Google maps. They call Mrs. Haversham over to Mason’s office, pile into a car with Della Street and, using GPS, reach the hideout of Mr. Crakenjack.
Mason knocks on the door, turns to Mrs. Haversham and says, “You aren’t guilty Mrs. Haversham. You couldn’t have killed your husband because…”, and as the door swings open inwards, “…Mr. Haversham is alive!” Behind the door stands Haversham, aka Crakenjack, with his runaway lover Miss Bazinga.
When Mason comes back, he asks Della to hit his Facebook page and post “Another case successfully solved!” as status message, post the beautiful Mrs. Haversham’s picture on Pinterest with appropriate tags, tweet about it as #onebadasslawyer.
Ah, the wonders of social media. Everybody can talk to anybody, connect with anybody, promote businesses or oneself shamelessly, meet long-lost crushes, rekindle dead and gone relationships…
…and yes, create collaborative blogs as well.
P.S: By the way, why does WordPress have to act smart and point out that this is a long post, and that perhaps I should consider posting a picture or video instead? It’s not like I don’t know that this is an essay of sorts!
P.P.S: Long post, I know. I tend to ramble on.