The phenomenon of popular puzzle-maker, Perry Mason creator, is portrayed in quicktake, public satisfying picture. A lawyer- and successful, Gardner's love of outdoor life and freedom was made possible by writing mysteries, whose public demands productivity rather than creative originality, whose formula has made him the Henry Ford of the mystery field. His legal knowledge and experience, his knowledge of salesmanship and the sport world, combined to make his backgrounds and material authentic. His ""underdog complex"" is traceable in the attitudes of Perry Mason and Donald Lam (for Gardner writes also as A.A. Fair). Here are Gardner's own legal cases, actual experiences, details of his methods of writing and living, and his status as mass producer of whodunits. Should be sure sale for his followers; in its own right, entertaining story behind best sellers. Appeared in SEP.