Friday, May 6, 2011
The Case of the Dangerous Dowager by Erle Stanley Gardner
When Matilda Benson, a cigar smoking and tough talking widow, walked into Perry Mason's office, he had no idea what the next few days were going to do to him. What started off as a simple request to pay of her granddaughter's gambling debts, ends up as a murder investigation. It just so happens, that the police and a federal grand jury are interested in charging Perry with that murder.
At this point, after only 3 books, I don't think it's possible for me to get enough of Perry Mason. There is just something so sexy about a man who is willing to bend the rules a little (sometimes a lot) to serve the interests of his clients and prove them innocent of all wrongdoings. he is at his best in this one.
When his first attempt to pay off the gambling attempt and collect the IOUs goes horribly wrong, Perry knows that it's only a matter of time before he ends up in trouble. When on his second attempt he finds the holder of those IOUs dead and his clients granddaughter standing over the body, Perry knows he's in big trouble. He quickly takes control of the situation, gets her out of there, and arranges things as best he can to protect both the granddaughter and his client.
Unfortunately for Perry, the authorities take his misleading too mean one of two things. Either he committed the murder himself or he's covering for someone else. Perry is forced to go on the run and with the help of Della Street and Paul Drake, his secretary and private investigator, Perry is racing around the clock to find the real killer before he himself is nabbed by the police.
Perry has a lot of suspects to occupy his time and brain. Maybe it is the granddaughter, desperately trying to protect herself against the truth coming out. It could be her husband wanting those IOUs to prove in their divorce proceedings that she is unfit to handle money and their daughter's trust fund. Maybe is the deceased business partner who was getting tired of him and wanted the business for himself. There is still a chance it could be a rival crime boss wanting to move in on his gambling ship operation. It may even be the Perry's client, Matilda Benson, willing to do anything to protect her family. Whoever the killer is, Perry uses his brains and double talking ways to get to the truth and clear his name.
My only regret is that I can't find a video of an episode based of this book. It's rather sad actually because then we could have seen Raymond Burr takes his clothes off two different times. It's such as sad state of affairs, especially since Raymond Burr was so hot back then.
Challenges: M&S, VM