As I sped my way through The Case of the Rolling Bones, and the next story, and the next, gobbling them like popcorn, I questioned why I found Mason compelling. Then I found a piece in The Washington Examiner, likening the Mason novels to “classic romance literature: knightly tales of quests and noble deeds.” But of course! Central to these novels is the idea of loyalty—Mason’s loyalty to clients and to the truth; Drake and Street’s loyalty to Mason. Such loyalty is integral to the code of King Arthur’s round table, and the Three Musketeers’, whose motto is “All for one and one for all.”
Perry Mason—incorruptible, clever, dedicated, dogged—slots nicely into the Arthurian mould. His “grail quest” is the pursuit of justice on behalf of innocents unable to defend themselves; his jousting field is a courtroom. He is never unseated.