DREAMED I MARRIED PERRY MASON
All that writer Cece
Caruso, a 39-year-old former beauty queen from Jersey,
really wants to do is finish her biography of Erle Stanley
Gardner so she can finally stop obsessing about Perry Mason.
Well, that, and find a 1970 silk chiffon Ossie Clark to add
to her collection of vintage clothing. And fix the broken
front doorknob in her West Hollywood bungalow. But first she
has to help save her daughter's floundering marriage, which
is more than Cece could manage for her own.
Everybody's got problems. In a last-ditch effort to kick a
bad case of writer's block, Cece pays a visit to a prison
inmate who had once corresponded with Gardner, pleading his
innocence. Her impetuousness lands her smack in the middle
of a case worthy of Perry Mason himself, a double-edged mystery
linking a forty-year old murder to one where the body is still
warm. Propelled by tenacity, curiosity, a sense of humor,
and an understanding of human nature's dark side, Cece will
channel the inner sleuth she never realized she possessed
to find a killer who is all too real--and all too close.
I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason is hip, sexy and smart,
with an unforgettable cast of characters, planted firmly in
terra California. Join Cece as she breaks into crime scenes,
outfoxes lawyers, rekindles a romance with a police detective,
and —oh, yes— finally makes her peace with Perry
An imprint of
"...a savvy debut mystery...Cece's
bright personality, along with her cleveranalysis of Gardner's
classic mysteries, make future adventures a promising prospect."
Stasio, The New York Time
"Kandel...has crafted a self-aware story stepped
in a Chandlerian vision of Los Angeles -- and, with just enough
references to Robertson Boulevard boutiques and Chanel suits,
this first novel straddles, rather elegantly, the genres of
chick-lit beach book and smart mystery."
"Cece Carso is the new girl on the mystery block,
and is she ever a hoot...lively reading."
"If Nancy Drew had a closet full of
couture, she'd be the star of former art critic Kandel's
pulpy fashion-forward mystery. While researching a biography
of Erle Stanley Gardner, vintage-wearing vixen Cece Caruso
finds herself attempting to crack a dusty murder case Gardner
abandoned 40 years ago. Kandel demonstrates an equally sharp
eye for dramatic plot twists and creative outfits ("Did
I dare don a snood?"). With a well-spun plot and clever
writing ("The only things about me that's a size six
is two-thirds of one foot"), this quick clip of a novel
will appeal to fans of whodunits and designers duds alike.
"Cece is intelligent, motivated,and kind of
a smart mouth -- a girl after my own heart...Four stars!"
A delightful read with an engaging, savvy, intrepid
heroine who finds mystery in crime fiction history. Cece Caruso
will have you singing the author's praises.
KRICH, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF DREAM HOUSE
I Dreamed I Married Perry
Mason is wonderful fun. Susan Kandel has griten
an adventurous, humorous, debut novel that takes us on a well-researched
romp through California's past and present complete with turn-of-the-century
robber barons and the haute couture of the 40's. Our narrator
is the thoroughly likable and modern biographer Cece Caruso.
I finished this book this morning and I'm already longing
for Cece's return and another case worthy of her skills.
SERANELLA, AUTHOR OF UNPAID DUES AND UNWILLING ACCOMPLICE
twisty and mint original,
I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason will
enchant mystery lovers. Susan Kandel depicts West Hollywood
with a discerning eye, a tart tongue and a generous heart.
HART, AUTHOR OF MURDER THE PLANK
The verdict is in,
and I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason is a winner.
Susan Kandel is guilty of penning an utterly original, artful
and nicely noir novel of murder and intrigue--all dressed
up in fabulous vintage Hollywood fashions. Yum!
KAY ANDREWS, AUTHOR OF LITTLE BITTY LIES
...This lively and slightly
idiosyncratic heroine, the sometimes exotic California surrounds,
and the complicated plotting make this series debut essential.
The verdict: thumbs up to newcomer Kandel’s
series for its snappy dialogue and carefully worked out plot.
Review (starred review)
should give Cece a warm welcome to the legion of
perky female sleths.
I thought this
just fascinating...Look for this book on some award
Dreamed I Married Perry Mason
is an off-beat but totally delightful amateur sleuth novel.
The heroine is a total original... Susan Kandel has agreat
writing style and a voice that will have readers wanting to
read more mysteries by this talented storyteller.
a book that would make Perry Mason proud."
I Married Perry Mason is an incredible book. Kandel
turns out to be the Umberto Eco of chicklit. This cozy manages
to tell an engrossing story while also offering a post-modern
analysis of Erle Stanley Gardner's work. As with Eco, if you
don't get all of the references, it doesn't hamper your enjoyment
of the surface story one bit, but the savvy reader will find
a wealth of lit crit here hidden among the snappy dialog and
the riffs on 1940s Los Angeles. Kandel has managed something
wonderful in this pulp-meets-cozy construction as she stitches
all of the elements of a standard Perry Mason novel into her
plot, right down to the detective's brilliant deduction in
the last scene that locks together all of the clues and delivers
an unexpected twist. If you've ever wanted to spend some time
in the lost landscape of the small coastal towns that existed
in the Southern California of the 1940s, Cece's the perfect
guide. Like the best, she makes you laugh so hard you'll forget
you're learning quite a bit along the way."