Friday, July 9, 2010
The Case Of The Daring Divorcee by Erle Stanley Gardner
Synopsis From Book Jacket:
Perry Mason and Della Street were both out to lunch. Gertie, the receptionist and telephone operator, was indulging in her favorite noontime occupation - munching chocolates and reading a love story - when the door burst open and a woman rushed in.
Gertie got her name, all right, dimly registered the fact that she was not only very attractive buy very upset at having to wait for Mason, and Gertie even looked up when the woman lefter before he returned.
But vicarious romance was the rule of that day - much to the annoyance of Lt. Tragg when he later tried to piece together what had happened. And although his plan for surprising Gertie into a identification of the lady was ingenious, Perry's counter-measure was even more so...
I feel so proud of myself right now. Ever since I was a little kid I've been in love with Perry Mason, the TV show that is, but I had never read one of the 80 plus novels and short stories. Because of that when I found this book in hardcover a while back at the library book store for $1 I had to get it. Now the book I bought doesn't have this cover on it, but I kind of wish it did. The cover is amazing, in a retro way, but beyond that the book was only $.35. I could only dream of new books being that much today.
The story itself read like an episode of the TV show. It starts with a beautiful, mysterious woman entering into the outer room of a law office, she is tall, blond, and wearing dark glasses. She seems to be distressed and rushes out of the office within a few minutes of waiting. No one knows who she is or what she wanted, but when her purse is discovered behind a chair, events are set into motion that takes Perry and Della Street, his faithful secretary, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back again.
This was a thrilling ride through murder, mistaken identities, and broken relationships. Perry came through for his client just like he did in the TV series. He was tough and foresighted enough to know what would hurt his client and was able to keep the damage to a minimum. He also wasn't above playing a little dirty when the DA and the cops were cutting corners themselves.
I've already ordered two more books in the series from Barnes & Noble and I can't wait to get my hands on them. I would have ordered more but the others are all out of print some I'm going to have to hunt them down in used bookstores and other places. Either way, used or new, I would strongly urge every mystery fan out there to read one as soon as possible.
This will qualify for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 hosted by Carolyn of Book Chick City.