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The Case of the Lonely Heiress

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A suspicious personal ad conceals nefarious intent--and eventually lands in the lap of Perry Mason. It appears that Marilyn Marlow inherited a small fortune from her mother, who got the sum from her wealthy employer. But now the old man's relatives are contesting the will. Whoever sways Rose Keeling, the key witness to the signing of the will, is sure to be the victor. Ent A suspicious personal ad conceals nefarious intent--and eventually lands in the lap of Perry Mason. It appears that Marilyn Marlow inherited a small fortune from her mother, who got the sum from her wealthy employer. But now the old man's relatives are contesting the will. Whoever sways Rose Keeling, the key witness to the signing of the will, is sure to be the victor. Enter the personal ad. Marilyn intends to find Rose a Mr. Right--in order to get the goods on her. But when Rose is murdered, Perry Mason sets out to find a gentleman caller who had a date with death. Reissue.


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A suspicious personal ad conceals nefarious intent--and eventually lands in the lap of Perry Mason. It appears that Marilyn Marlow inherited a small fortune from her mother, who got the sum from her wealthy employer. But now the old man's relatives are contesting the will. Whoever sways Rose Keeling, the key witness to the signing of the will, is sure to be the victor. Ent A suspicious personal ad conceals nefarious intent--and eventually lands in the lap of Perry Mason. It appears that Marilyn Marlow inherited a small fortune from her mother, who got the sum from her wealthy employer. But now the old man's relatives are contesting the will. Whoever sways Rose Keeling, the key witness to the signing of the will, is sure to be the victor. Enter the personal ad. Marilyn intends to find Rose a Mr. Right--in order to get the goods on her. But when Rose is murdered, Perry Mason sets out to find a gentleman caller who had a date with death. Reissue.

30 review for The Case of the Lonely Heiress

  1. 4 out of 5

    Evgeny

    A long time ago shortly after the cavemen discovered the wonders of controlled fire there was no internet. Thus is was much harder to meet people. What did lonely people do? They placed ads in classified section of newspapers. Some businessmen realized it was a profitable idea to make publications consisting almost entirely of such ads. One such guy ended up in hot waters thanks to the ad his brochure was running. Basically it stated that a very rich heiress got tired of people around her and wa A long time ago shortly after the cavemen discovered the wonders of controlled fire there was no internet. Thus is was much harder to meet people. What did lonely people do? They placed ads in classified section of newspapers. Some businessmen realized it was a profitable idea to make publications consisting almost entirely of such ads. One such guy ended up in hot waters thanks to the ad his brochure was running. Basically it stated that a very rich heiress got tired of people around her and wanted to meet a simple country lad unspoiled by big money. Needless to say everybody and their brother became interested and the popularity of the publication skyrocketed. The competition accused the publisher of playing dirty and threatened to take him to court unless he can produce the heiress and prove that the ad was not a fake. The guy had no clue about the identity of the girl so he had to come to Perry Mason asking him to find her and protect from a potential lawsuit. Mason found the girl fairly quickly, but at the same time he realized that she was not kidding when she said about being rich. This means big money and big money means big trouble, like quite a few people wanting to forcefully share the burden (and money) and a dead body or two to make life even more exciting. So Mason got to do what he did best: to defend his client against a murder charge. Would I spoil it much if I say he did not fail this time - yet again? As you can see from the above description the beginning of the story looks complicated - this is practically a trademark of a Perry Mason story. The mystery itself is quite good as well, but if you manage to see through a countless number of red herrings it is not impossible to solve. 4 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Perry Mason is hired by publisher Robert Caddo to learn the truth behind a suspicious classified ad in his magazine, in which a young woman is claiming to be a good-looking heiress who’s trying to find a man. One of Caddo’s competitors has accused him of false advertising—planting this ad in his magazine to build circulation. Caddo says the ad is genuine and he wants to be able to prove it, but ad placements are anonymous. With help from Paul Drake’s investigators and Della Street, Mason quickly Perry Mason is hired by publisher Robert Caddo to learn the truth behind a suspicious classified ad in his magazine, in which a young woman is claiming to be a good-looking heiress who’s trying to find a man. One of Caddo’s competitors has accused him of false advertising—planting this ad in his magazine to build circulation. Caddo says the ad is genuine and he wants to be able to prove it, but ad placements are anonymous. With help from Paul Drake’s investigators and Della Street, Mason quickly learns that the ad is truthful. A young woman named Marilyn Marlow, who is in fact an heiress, placed the ad. Marilyn’s mother, a nurse, recently died in a car accident after attending a wealthy patient, George P. Endicott, who changed his will shortly before he died to leave her most of his large estate. But Endicott’s siblings are contesting the will, so although Marilyn did inherit the money, she may be in danger of losing it. Having satisfied Caddo that he doesn’t have to worry about a false advertising charge, Mason gets back to a brief he was working on. But he can’t get his mind off the Marilyn Marlow case: he’s troubled because, although he knows who placed the ad, he doesn’t understand why she placed it. He and Della discuss it: “‘She’s certainly going to a lot of trouble to get the perfect mate,’ Della Street said. ‘I’m afraid she’s not looking for a mate,’ Mason observed thoughtfully. ‘For what, then?’ Mason shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘For someone to commit a murder, for all I know.’” This off-handed remark soon looks like it may have been prescient when one of the witnesses in the will contest is found dead and the police finger Marilyn for the murder. Mason agrees to represent her, even though the evidence against her is strong. But he thinks he can find—or maybe create—a crack in the evidence and show she’s innocent. Defending, as usual, an underdog client who looks guilty, Mason describes how he’s different from most other lawyers: “‘Darned if I know why I do it, Della! But I always do.’ ‘Do what?’ ‘Stick my neck out for my clients. I should have taken the case just the way any other lawyer would have; taken the facts as they were and let the chips fall wherever they might. But no, I’m not built that way. I’m always a pushover for a client who is having the breaks go against her.’” This has always been a hallmark of Perry Mason. The reader (or viewer, in the case of the popular Raymond Burr TV series) sees that the odds are long, but knows that one way or another, Mason will overcome them. This is a good mystery with a bit of a twist at the end. The clues on which the case turns are not obvious (and maybe a bit out of date for modern readers), and I for one was kept guessing all the way. I also enjoyed the chemistry between Perry and Della. It’s quite a partnership: “Mason got to his feet, took Della Street into his arms and kissed her. She laughed up at him, and he said, ‘Why is it your feminine charms are never so alluring as when you’ve thought of some piece of skullduggery?’”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Brown

    Tragg finally shows up. Gardner must have had some bad instances with the police and DAs when he was practicing law. These characters are all very bad people in his books. They all seem interested in one thing - taking the easy way to solve a crime. While these are just stories, Gardner must have some experience with the methods used by the authorities and while these might be over stated they have some validity from other sources.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ralph

    3.5 stars - Not great literature, but well plotted and paced.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janine

    Loved the 50s Perry Mason shows so was intrigued to read one of Gardner’s book. This was my first one. Written in 1948, you have the “heiress” bring grilled by the police with no Miranda warning and if you need to make a call, there are no cellphones so you better have plenty of change for a pay phone. But the classic elements that make a good mystery are all here in spite of the dating. And all those wonderful TV characters, Della Street, Paul Drake and Lt Tragg appear (no Hamilton Burger for t Loved the 50s Perry Mason shows so was intrigued to read one of Gardner’s book. This was my first one. Written in 1948, you have the “heiress” bring grilled by the police with no Miranda warning and if you need to make a call, there are no cellphones so you better have plenty of change for a pay phone. But the classic elements that make a good mystery are all here in spite of the dating. And all those wonderful TV characters, Della Street, Paul Drake and Lt Tragg appear (no Hamilton Burger for the prosecution though). Loved Della in this book; she’s more gusty and prominent in the book - and, of course, smarter at times than her boss (😂). Quick, enjoyable read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    #31 in the Perry Mason series. This 1948 series entry provides a sense of time by mentioning the housing shortage of post-war Los Angeles. The entree to the mystery is a minor plot wherein Perry represents the sleazy publisher of a lonely hearts magazine. An advertiser in the magazine is the Heiress of the title and she soon becomes Perry's client as she hopes to remain an heiress. Good, solid entertainment. Perry Mason series - Perry is defending a client who has been framed, and Perry engages i #31 in the Perry Mason series. This 1948 series entry provides a sense of time by mentioning the housing shortage of post-war Los Angeles. The entree to the mystery is a minor plot wherein Perry represents the sleazy publisher of a lonely hearts magazine. An advertiser in the magazine is the Heiress of the title and she soon becomes Perry's client as she hopes to remain an heiress. Good, solid entertainment. Perry Mason series - Perry is defending a client who has been framed, and Perry engages in a few unorthodox practices to protect his client. The client anticipates inheriting wealth from her mother who had nursed a sick man. The man wrote a will to her, leaving the bulk of his fortune. Needless to say, his family did not appreciate the bequest, and one of the witnesses to the will is considering changing her testimony to the effect she did not witness the signing. Murder enters within the confines of this thick plot. It is not easy to figure out "who done it," but Perry, assisted by Della Street and with minimal help from Paul Drake, manages to frustrate Lt. Tragg once again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alyson

    Upon re-reading... I'll keep it at 4 stars. Totally enjoyable installment in the Perry Mason series, but a bit lackluster in its big reveal. Perry figured out the score based on a much smaller clue (and really only one) than he normally spots, so it felt a bit fantastic. But still great! Lots of suspects, though a fairly linear plot. This is one of the many instances (many being subjective) where Perry gets to play cupid a bit, as well as defense attorney extraordinaire. Upon re-reading... I'll keep it at 4 stars. Totally enjoyable installment in the Perry Mason series, but a bit lackluster in its big reveal. Perry figured out the score based on a much smaller clue (and really only one) than he normally spots, so it felt a bit fantastic. But still great! Lots of suspects, though a fairly linear plot. This is one of the many instances (many being subjective) where Perry gets to play cupid a bit, as well as defense attorney extraordinaire.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Okay, so it's not ground-breaking literature, but I like these. I enjoy trying to figure out what clues the author has left for Perry to use in the courtroom (the clues the police missed!). Sometimes I do actually wish for the client to be guilty...this was one of those, but I always know that's not going to happen. Okay, so it's not ground-breaking literature, but I like these. I enjoy trying to figure out what clues the author has left for Perry to use in the courtroom (the clues the police missed!). Sometimes I do actually wish for the client to be guilty...this was one of those, but I always know that's not going to happen.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kjersti Egerdahl

    Found this at the Hood Canal cabin and read it all on Saturday - perfect down to the trashy illustration on the cover (not shown here). Lots of '40s slang to read out loud in a Broadway Baby voice: "Looks like he's trying to cut himself a piece of cake - with a chisel." "For the moment, that leaves us behind the eightball." Found this at the Hood Canal cabin and read it all on Saturday - perfect down to the trashy illustration on the cover (not shown here). Lots of '40s slang to read out loud in a Broadway Baby voice: "Looks like he's trying to cut himself a piece of cake - with a chisel." "For the moment, that leaves us behind the eightball."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    A young woman inherits a small fortune that originated with a prior will. The heirs of thar will contest the bequest. When a key witness dies, Perry Mason takes on the case.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richa

    The twist at the end was good. One of the few books where Gardner has been more open about the relationship between Della and Perry.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books off and on for many years. Those who are used to really fine mystery writers may find Gardner's writing style a bit stiff and mechanical. Nonetheless, I still love the general setting: the characters of Perry, Della, Paul, Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Berger. That, and the ingenious plots, are why I read Perry Mason. On the whole, the ones written by 1950 are the best. This is number 31 in the series and was written in 1948. By that time, the books no long I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books off and on for many years. Those who are used to really fine mystery writers may find Gardner's writing style a bit stiff and mechanical. Nonetheless, I still love the general setting: the characters of Perry, Della, Paul, Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Berger. That, and the ingenious plots, are why I read Perry Mason. On the whole, the ones written by 1950 are the best. This is number 31 in the series and was written in 1948. By that time, the books no longer had the film-noir feel of the earliest, as that had gone out of style, but they were more carefully crafted and better written than those of a decade later when they became dry and formulaic. A man named Robert Caddo comes to see Mason with an odd problem. He publishes a "lonely hearts" magazine. People (mostly women) send in letters detailing their lives and the kind of people they want to meet. In order to respond to a letter, an interested reader has to buy the magazine and send in a special form from it. Caddo's problem is that he published a letter from a woman saying she is an heiress and wants to meet new people. Of course the response has been huge! Many copies of the magazine have been sold. Someone complained to the bunco squad that this must be a racket, as no genuine heiress would ever write such a letter. Caddo is afraid he's getting into legal trouble! Perry says he will help. He will figure out if the author of the letter is for real. It doesn't take him long. The letter was written by Marilyn Marlowe. She has inherited a great deal of money from her recently deceased mother, who was bequeathed the money by one George Endicott. The mother was a nurse who helped George Endicott a lot on this last illness. Endicott gave most of his fortune to Mrs. Marlowe and very little to his siblings, brothers Ralph and Palmer, and sister Lorraine. His will was witnessed by two other nurses, Rose Keeling and Ethel Furlong. But the Endicott siblings are furious and want to show that the will is fake. They are trying to bribe Rose Keeling into saying that she wasn't actually a witness. By placing her ad, Marilyn Marlowe is trying to get a young handsome man of a certain type that she can control who will inveigle his way into Rose's affections so she will stay loyal to the truth, that the will is genuine. Sound a bit complicated? A bit far-fetched? Maybe, but it starts to work, until suddenly Rose is murdered. Marilyn is arrested and Perry goes out on a limb to help her. This is a good, average Perry Mason story from the era after the War and before the TV show became a big hit. There aren't really very many suspects. The most obvious one seems to have an iron-clad alibi. There is no exotic locale or character to add special interest, although Delores Caddo is rather unique. The only love interest is quite tepid. The defendant is sympathetic but not exceptional. Modern day readers may not be familiar with the kind of fountain pen that was standard for decades. They contained a rubber bladder (later a cartridge) that one filled with ink from a well. They produced smooth and nuanced writing, but you couldn't push down hard on the paper with them, unlike ball point pens. Ball point pens were just becoming common in 1948. Plot hole: How did the knife get into Marilyn's car? Never explained. The story about Rose giving Marilyn the key so she could come back in the apartment later seems far fetched. After all, there's a door bell and electric release button! It's really just a plot gimmic to get the key into Perry's hands, so he and Della can come back into the apartment. Recurring themes: Mason in some jeopardy for cutting corners. Tragg and Holcomb are both in it. There is no Hamilton Burger. The courtroom scenes are good. The basic idea is very clever. The cast: Marilyn Marlowe, the lonely heiress who places an add in the magazine produced by Robert Caddo, the magazine owner who makes money off lonely people. Dolores Caddo, jealous wife of Robert. Kenneth Barstow, operative for Paul Drake who looks like a greenhorn from the sticks. Ralph Endicott, brother of deceased wealthy George Endicott. Palmer Endicott, another brother of deceased wealthy George Endicott. Lorraine Endicott Parsons, sister of Ralph and Palmer. Rose Keeling, nurse who witnessed the will of George Endicott. Ethel Furlong, second nurse who witnessed the will of George Endicott. Recommended. I gave it three stars, which is probably a bit low. Call it 3.5.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ray Moon

    Much More Complex and Nuanced Than I Expected This is the first Earle Stanley Gardner novel that I have read. I chose to read a Perry Mason novel because I recently completed watching the first five seasons of the TV Perry Mason series from the 60s. This review is written for someone like me who has watched some or all of the TV series and is thinking of reading one of the novels. This novel starts with Robert Caddo, the publisher of a cheaply printed “Lonely Hearts Are Calling” magazine. He is be Much More Complex and Nuanced Than I Expected This is the first Earle Stanley Gardner novel that I have read. I chose to read a Perry Mason novel because I recently completed watching the first five seasons of the TV Perry Mason series from the 60s. This review is written for someone like me who has watched some or all of the TV series and is thinking of reading one of the novels. This novel starts with Robert Caddo, the publisher of a cheaply printed “Lonely Hearts Are Calling” magazine. He is being threatened by authorities for false advertising if he can’t produce the identity of the person behind one classified ad that is reportedly from an heiress. After much skepticism, Mason accepts Caddo as a client and asks to an excessive fee which Caddo pays. Perry writes a few responses to the ad, and the heiress responds to one. Paul Drake sends one of his men as the author of the response. Her identity is discovered. Case closed. Fortunately for reader, the heiress calls Mason because she discovered a dead body, and it sure looks like she was the murderer. The novel continues, and Mason goes into high gear at this point. As Mason works to uncover the truth behind the murder to defend his client, there are plenty of twists, turns, and misdirections. My attention was captured from page 1. There are so many things that I really enjoyed in reading this novel. Here are some: * three of Mason’s schemes backfire spectacularly so he does make mistakes and pays for them; * Della Street’s character is much more complex and interesting character than she is in the TV series, and she provide a critical point to bolster the defense; * There is a real blowup between Mason and LT Trag, and not the pillow fight tiffs in the TV series; * LT Trag smokes a cigar; * Street regularly calls Mason chief; and * the dead woman was nude—this was not prurient as she lived alone and was attacked after taking a bath, which is a critical point in the case. As to what some readers may object, the worst examples of vulgar language were “For the love of Mike” and “You get the hell out of here.” There were not any intimate scenes but there were some references to first and second base. All of the violence is described after the fact. The vast majority of reads should not find anything objectionable while reading this novel. This is 32nd Perry Mason novel. I found absolutely nothing that appeared to depend upon a previous novel, so you should be able to read this book first without any issues. I did find some editing issues, but as such I did not give them any weight in my rating of this novel. There were one misspelling, two hyphens where not needed, a shift in margin, a bolded word for no reason, and two periods instead of a space between words in the middle of sentences. This is a reprint. Due to the pandemic, the libraries are closed so I could not confirm if these existed in the original publication. Still, this is sloppy editing. I had only one question. The heiress is described as a beautiful blonde and whose name is Marilyn Marlow. This novel was published in 1948. The best I can find is that Marilyn Monroe first bleached her hair around 1946 and started modeling and bit parts in movies. I wonder if the name of the heiress was a play on Monroe’s name. One last statement, if you have watched the TV series version of this novel, it is entirely different. The only novel specific characters in both are Caddo and the heiress by another name. Otherwise, the storyline is quite different. Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read. It was a quantum step of from the 60s TV series but I suspect that it was the moral TV code at the time. I rate this novel with five stars. If you want read a Perry Mason novel, “The Case of the Lonely Heiress” would be a good choice with which to start.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scilla

    Perry Mason does it again. I love these old mysteries. The publisher of Lonely Hearts are Calling, Caddo, calls on Perry Mason to find out the name of an heiress who has put an ad in his magazine. Mason calls in Paul Drake, detective, to help him. Mason then writes two letters to the heiress care of the box number in the magazine pretending to be someone he thinks she will respond to. The heiress is Miss Marilyn Marlow. Her mother Eleanor, a former nurse, inherited from a very wealthy patient, a Perry Mason does it again. I love these old mysteries. The publisher of Lonely Hearts are Calling, Caddo, calls on Perry Mason to find out the name of an heiress who has put an ad in his magazine. Mason calls in Paul Drake, detective, to help him. Mason then writes two letters to the heiress care of the box number in the magazine pretending to be someone he thinks she will respond to. The heiress is Miss Marilyn Marlow. Her mother Eleanor, a former nurse, inherited from a very wealthy patient, and has died in an auto accident. Soon, Perry Mason is working for Miss Marlow and no longer for Caddo. Meanwhile, the family members (two brothers and a sister) of the dead man are fighting the will. It appears that one of the witnesses of the will is being bought by the family to say she didn't really witness the signing and the man signing didn't know what was in the will. When the witness is murdered, Miss Marlow is the one to find her. Homicide Detective Tragg is believing the family members who get Miss Marlow arrested. We also find that Caddo has been cheating on his wife who has a bad temper and may have bitten off more than she can chew. However, Perry Mason and Della Street win in the end.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bob Perry

    The last 7 years I've been watching a lot of Perry Mason reruns on TV. Recently the Sundance Channel showed the earliest episodes that I've ever seen. Going all the way back to 1957 I believe. I watch at least one episode per day the last few months. That being said, I was amazed to learn that Erle Stanley Gardner was the most published author in the 20th century. I'm a baby boomer and had always believed that Stephen King held that crown. Having learned that interested me into the actual writin The last 7 years I've been watching a lot of Perry Mason reruns on TV. Recently the Sundance Channel showed the earliest episodes that I've ever seen. Going all the way back to 1957 I believe. I watch at least one episode per day the last few months. That being said, I was amazed to learn that Erle Stanley Gardner was the most published author in the 20th century. I'm a baby boomer and had always believed that Stephen King held that crown. Having learned that interested me into the actual writing as opposed to the TV version. I figured that Mr. Gardner must have been one talented writer to hold the crown so I was very intrigued to find out how he measured up to the genre of books I've read in my lifetime. This is my first book and I can tell you it was very good to great. The tempo of the story and the character development was spot on. Perry Mason is a little more rough at the edges compared to the TV show. The story held my interest the whole time and I didn't see the ending coming as it did. Needless to say, I enjoyed this book very much. It was a quick read but one that has started me down an enjoyable path that I will continue.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amit Bikram

    This book takes us back to the era before internet and social media, where in order to make new pen pals, you needed to publish an ad in a magazine, in response to which others would send letters to the magazine publisher thus initiating a chain of letters which, hopefully one day, would lead to something more. Something similar sets us up for yet another Perry Mason mystery, which starts in quite an unorthodox manner, with the murder not happening till well into the book. Once the murder has bee This book takes us back to the era before internet and social media, where in order to make new pen pals, you needed to publish an ad in a magazine, in response to which others would send letters to the magazine publisher thus initiating a chain of letters which, hopefully one day, would lead to something more. Something similar sets us up for yet another Perry Mason mystery, which starts in quite an unorthodox manner, with the murder not happening till well into the book. Once the murder has been committed and all characters have been introduced, the book rattles along at a breakneck speed, and Mason does pull a couple of risky maneuvers to reach the correct conclusion of the case and save his client once again. And if it hasn't been made clear from the title of the book, the lonely heiress is infact Mason's client in this case. Overall, the case is quite simple, with not many complicating factors, and there aren't many loose ends to tie up at the very end. For that very reason, I will rate this book the usual 4.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    Marilyn Marlow's mother, inherits a fortune from a wealthy employer. Marilyn's mother died, leaving Marilyn the money. The will is being contested. When Rose Keeling, a witness to the signing of the will, is murdered, Perry Mason and his talented associates set out to find the killer. I grew up watching Raymond Burr as Perry Mason and he will always be THE Perry Mason as far as I am concerned. When the opportunity arose to read Erle Stanley Gardner's books, I jumped right it. The books are much m Marilyn Marlow's mother, inherits a fortune from a wealthy employer. Marilyn's mother died, leaving Marilyn the money. The will is being contested. When Rose Keeling, a witness to the signing of the will, is murdered, Perry Mason and his talented associates set out to find the killer. I grew up watching Raymond Burr as Perry Mason and he will always be THE Perry Mason as far as I am concerned. When the opportunity arose to read Erle Stanley Gardner's books, I jumped right it. The books are much more descriptive than the 1960s television show. There was one curious error in the story. When the murder victim is found, blood is "welling" from her wound. Once the heart stops beating blood stops flowing. There are many twists and turns until the real killer is found and Perry Mason prevails.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This is a Nook e-book, not the paperback, but I could only find one ISBN. Mysterious Press and Open Road Media aren't great at giving that kind of information. I haven't read a Perry Mason mystery in years, so I couldn't resist this when it popped up. Perry and his secretary Della Street find themselves involved in a case where their client appears to be a murderer, but they suspect several other people. It all begins with a sort of lonely-hearts service run by a sleazy magazine writer, primaril This is a Nook e-book, not the paperback, but I could only find one ISBN. Mysterious Press and Open Road Media aren't great at giving that kind of information. I haven't read a Perry Mason mystery in years, so I couldn't resist this when it popped up. Perry and his secretary Della Street find themselves involved in a case where their client appears to be a murderer, but they suspect several other people. It all begins with a sort of lonely-hearts service run by a sleazy magazine writer, primarily to sell his magazines. It ends with a trial, of course, with Perry performing brilliantly and crushing the district attorney, as usual. Great fun.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    I haven't read any of these Perry Mason books before, but thought I'd give it a try. Written in 1948, the things the clients and witnesses said to Mason and each other were rather corny sounding. Anyway, a man who publishes a Lonely Hearts brochure comes to Mason to find out who one of his advertisers is. She says she an heiress and is looking for a boyfriend from the country as a companion. It doesn't take long until her identity is revealed, and her complicated reason for her ad is revealed. O I haven't read any of these Perry Mason books before, but thought I'd give it a try. Written in 1948, the things the clients and witnesses said to Mason and each other were rather corny sounding. Anyway, a man who publishes a Lonely Hearts brochure comes to Mason to find out who one of his advertisers is. She says she an heiress and is looking for a boyfriend from the country as a companion. It doesn't take long until her identity is revealed, and her complicated reason for her ad is revealed. Of course, when another woman is found stabbed to death, she is arrested and the court case begins immediately. Perry Mason figures it out within two days. What a guy!

  20. 4 out of 5

    David L.

    I hadn't read a Perry Mason book in well over fifty years, I know I read a couple because my hometown library was chock full of them. I got curious after watching HBO's Perry Mason and I didn't have any preconceived notions from the TV show. My parents never watched that show and in those days, you watched what your parents watched. This book has to be appreciated for the time it was written in (1948) and nothing more. I suspect I'll read a couple more, would like to get my hands on the very firs I hadn't read a Perry Mason book in well over fifty years, I know I read a couple because my hometown library was chock full of them. I got curious after watching HBO's Perry Mason and I didn't have any preconceived notions from the TV show. My parents never watched that show and in those days, you watched what your parents watched. This book has to be appreciated for the time it was written in (1948) and nothing more. I suspect I'll read a couple more, would like to get my hands on the very first one. Doubt that I'd ever read them all, that's a lot of potboilers.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patrick SG

    You appreciate the Miranda warnings a lot more after reading this 1948 novel. Third degree interrogation of murder suspects and when that doesn’t work bring in the “gentlemen” of the press to surround and grill them. You read Perry Mason as they are a throw back to another era. This one, being a later one of the 80 or so the author wrote, is more in the Who dunnit mode rather than the hard boiled ones that marked the early ones - and the ones the new HBO series models itself on.

  22. 4 out of 5

    terry stallings

    Is She Guilty? Perry Mason takes on the case.of Marilyn Marlow, an heiress who has placed an ad in a lonely hearts magazine. But is Marilyn really an heiress? And when a nurse, who could expose Marilyn as a fraud, turns up dead, Marilyn is charged with her murder. Can Perry Mason find the real killer? Or is his client guilty? Read it, and find out. You'll be glad you did! Is She Guilty? Perry Mason takes on the case.of Marilyn Marlow, an heiress who has placed an ad in a lonely hearts magazine. But is Marilyn really an heiress? And when a nurse, who could expose Marilyn as a fraud, turns up dead, Marilyn is charged with her murder. Can Perry Mason find the real killer? Or is his client guilty? Read it, and find out. You'll be glad you did!

  23. 5 out of 5

    John R. Goyer

    I should confess that I'm a big fan of the TV series, and compared to the nuanced and slightly modernized version of Perry on the show, this book is good but not a classic by any means. A bit dated in style and dialogue it was a fine read but nothing stood out to make it exceptional or a series that I would search out for more. I should confess that I'm a big fan of the TV series, and compared to the nuanced and slightly modernized version of Perry on the show, this book is good but not a classic by any means. A bit dated in style and dialogue it was a fine read but nothing stood out to make it exceptional or a series that I would search out for more.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    My first Perry Mason. Despite a childhood addiction to the TV series with Raymond Burr, I had never ventured into the print versions. Untaxing, readable and great fun without being a great story of detection, this has a good- looking rich girl searching for answers-don't many of them follow the same pattern? 3.5 stars My first Perry Mason. Despite a childhood addiction to the TV series with Raymond Burr, I had never ventured into the print versions. Untaxing, readable and great fun without being a great story of detection, this has a good- looking rich girl searching for answers-don't many of them follow the same pattern? 3.5 stars

  25. 4 out of 5

    Philip A. Guercio

    Perry Mason at his best I have been a fan of Erle Stanley Gardner since my early teens. My Mother had dozens of his books and I had the joy of reading many of them. The characters are interesting, the plot believable, and just enough clues left around for the reader to participate in solving the mystery. All around enjoyment.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Prescott

    This is the first Perry Mason book I've read, or at least in many, many years. For the first 75% or so, the book is almost all conversations. It reads very quickly. Also, I've watched a bunch of, if not all of the Perry Mason episodes. So I have mental images of the regular characters. This helps me, I think. But I read it in only about 4 days. A little over an hour a day. This is the first Perry Mason book I've read, or at least in many, many years. For the first 75% or so, the book is almost all conversations. It reads very quickly. Also, I've watched a bunch of, if not all of the Perry Mason episodes. So I have mental images of the regular characters. This helps me, I think. But I read it in only about 4 days. A little over an hour a day.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abhishek Dafria

    A classic whodunit case! Many characters, some with murky pasts, each in a way linked to the murder. There is no drama beyond what is needed to resolve the murder, so you never lose track of the end goal. Only disappointment is that we see less of Perry Mason in the court and more of him as a sleuth. But that should not deter you from reading this one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Henry Louis

    Are all Perry Masons this boring? I had liked all the Gardner I had read up to this point, but this was pretty tedious. I mean, folded laundry plays a key role in the plot. Folded laundry! Chandler this ain't. Are all Perry Masons this boring? I had liked all the Gardner I had read up to this point, but this was pretty tedious. I mean, folded laundry plays a key role in the plot. Folded laundry! Chandler this ain't.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    A lonely heiress puts out a personal ad in a magazine and then ignores all the replies. Enter Perry Mason and, hot on his heels, an arrest for murder. Gardner's most famous lawyer must prove that his client is innocent and is willing to call on all his skills to prove the police wrong. A lonely heiress puts out a personal ad in a magazine and then ignores all the replies. Enter Perry Mason and, hot on his heels, an arrest for murder. Gardner's most famous lawyer must prove that his client is innocent and is willing to call on all his skills to prove the police wrong.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    "But she didn't tell you that she was there at the time the murder was committed?" "Well, not in so many words." "Or at about the time the murder was committed?" "Not in so many words." "Or that she knew anything about the murder?" "Not in so many words." "But she didn't tell you that she was there at the time the murder was committed?" "Well, not in so many words." "Or at about the time the murder was committed?" "Not in so many words." "Or that she knew anything about the murder?" "Not in so many words."

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