Thursday, November 8, 2018

Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Hesitant Hostess

Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Hesitant Hostess
Original publication 1953
(C) 1953, Renewed 2011

A typically convoluted case for Mason.  He's the
court-appointed attorney for a man charged with
armed robbery. Although, as things developed,
that seems likely to segue into a murder charge.  

Basically a standard Mason outing.  

However, at one point, we get this: "...and (she)
realized she had about $20,000 worth of pure
uncut heroin."  This was hidden behind (or,
actually, within) what appeared to be a large
mirror in a handbag.  So, being an economist,
I asked myself:  How much heroin was that

actually?  This proved oddly hard to discover.  A
relatively recent report (
puts the US price at between $100,000 and $150,000
per kilogram.  But finding earlier prices is much

more diffcult.  If we assume that heroin prices have 
increased at roughly the same rate as prices in
general, then uncut heroin prices in the early
1950s would have been around $12,500 per kilo.  
So $20,000 worth of heroin would be about
1.6 kilos, or about 3.5 pounds.  That seems to be 
something that would be fairly noticeable to be
concealed behind a mirror in a handbag, but maybe
I'm being unfair.  

In any event, while I wouldn't recommend making
a search for this one, it's probably worth a read if
you come across

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