asakiyume: (Hades)
[personal profile] asakiyume
The reason I feel anxious when I dump off my papers in the paper recycling dumpster is because people like me will see interesting items and pull them out--as I did, yesterday. I was attracted by the fancy handwriting. The book in which it had been inscribed was falling apart, but I grabbed the first few pages to situate the dedication.

Erle Stanley Garnder to Frances G. Lee

It might have been hard to decipher the name of the person who was making the inscription if it didn't happen to be ... the author of the novel!

copyright page

Although he was writing under one of his many pseudonyms:

title page

I thought the name "Erle Stanley Gardner" sounded somehow familiar--and a Google search told me that yes, indeed: he was the creator of Perry Mason and many other mysteries. Regarding his writing, the Thrilling Detective website says, "Although critics sneered and many felt that Erle Stanley Gardner was not a very good writer ... Gardner was one of the best selling writers of all times, and certainly one of the best-selling mystery authors ever."

Erle Stanley Gardner


Armed with this knowledge, and with some effort (and invaluable aid from Wakanomori), I take the dedication to read,

To my friend and
Capt. Frances G. Lee -- Trooper Gardner reporting.
With all my love
Stanley Gardner
June 1958

So who was Captain Frances--female spelling--G. Lee?

Well! She turns out to be Frances Glessner Lee, whom Wikipedia tells us is the "mother of forensic science"!

She had to wait until she was 52 to embark on the career for which she became famous, but at that point she inherited a fabulous fortune that enabled her to pursue her studies and endow departments of legal medicine, police science, and a library.

Further, Wikipedia tells us that "for her work, Lee was made an honorary captain in the New Hampshire State Police in 1943, making her to first woman to join International Association of Chief of Police."

a picture of her


And, Erle Stanley Gardner dedicated several novels to her.

... and somehow one that he'd sent to her himself, with an inscription, ends its life in a recycling dumpster in my town. I wonder who owned the book?

Interestingly, in the foreword to the book, Gardner shows that as far back as 1958, people were thinking about the problem of retributive justice:

retributive justice

I'd share more, but alas, I only grabbed a few pages, and they don't include the next page in the foreword.

In any case: not your everyday find!

Date: 2017-06-03 06:54 pm (UTC)
ravens_quill: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravens_quill
That is very cool. I sort of love finding books at book sales and such with personal inscriptions. But it always makes me wonder about the person getting rid of the book. (Once I grabbed a paperback of Alice in Wonderland, even though I already had a copy, because a child had written an interesting notation about tapirs on the back page. Nonsensical and perfect for a Wonderland book!)

It's a shame this one you found was falling apart. I'm always sad to see books like that.

Date: 2017-06-03 11:43 pm (UTC)
minoanmiss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] minoanmiss
Wow that's AMAZING!

Date: 2017-06-04 12:11 am (UTC)
e_d_young: (Default)
From: [personal profile] e_d_young
Wow... I wouldn't have thrown that book out even though it was falling apart. I actually feel its wear and tear is part of its charm.

Really enjoyed reading this entry.

Date: 2017-06-04 12:56 am (UTC)
heliopausa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heliopausa
Wow! That's so much fun to read, and must've been enormous fun to actually be in!! (Not the dumpster! I mean the unfolding story! :D )
I love the handwriting and the identities and everything about it.

Date: 2017-06-04 02:39 am (UTC)
sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Although he was writing under one of his many pseudonyms

That's one of his Bertha Cool and Donald Lam novels! That's incredibly neat. Who throws out a dedication to the mother of forensic science? Someone who isn't as sharp-eyed as you, obviously.

Date: 2017-06-04 03:39 am (UTC)
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
From: [personal profile] sovay
When I found out it was the author of the book, I was astonished, and when I found out who he was giving the book to, I was even more astonished.

I'm so glad you found it.

Date: 2017-06-04 06:33 am (UTC)
zyzyly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zyzyly

Date: 2017-06-04 09:46 am (UTC)
shewhomust: (mamoulian)
From: [personal profile] shewhomust
What a great find! You could frame it...

Date: 2017-06-06 05:10 pm (UTC)
ivy: Two strands of ivy against a red wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivy
Yes, do!

Date: 2017-06-04 05:30 pm (UTC)
okrablossom: (somerville watercolor)
From: [personal profile] okrablossom
This is *so cool*. Thank you for sharing :)

Date: 2017-06-05 03:59 am (UTC)
athenais: (Default)
From: [personal profile] athenais
This is amazing. Even more amazing to learn about Glessner Lee and her SUPER CREEPY working death scenes for use with future forensic investigators as a test.

Date: 2017-06-05 04:23 am (UTC)
nineweaving: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nineweaving
Wow. The most amazing serendipity.

I ran across those Wednesday Addams dollhouses years ago, and had forgotten. Thank you for reminding me.


Date: 2017-06-05 06:40 am (UTC)
duccio: (Default)
From: [personal profile] duccio
A wonderful find indeed!

Date: 2017-06-05 08:57 am (UTC)
amaebi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi

Nice catch!

I have read a lot of A. A. Fairs, though not recently, and not The Count of Nine. They feature Berths Cool as the tough detective agency owner the leg man works for.

Now I'll find out someone else told you that. :D

Date: 2017-06-05 01:16 pm (UTC)
rimturse: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rimturse
How terribly cool!

Date: 2017-06-05 01:52 pm (UTC)
ashlyme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ashlyme
I love this - it's a detective story in itself!

Date: 2017-06-07 10:03 pm (UTC)
osprey_archer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] osprey_archer
Gosh, what a cool find! Signed by the author, to a close friend/colleague who is fascinating in her own right - and even the handwriting is gorgeous! Hard to read perhaps but beautiful with all those curlicues.

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