[from the back cover] "All that glitters isn't gold. A rich man sends Donald Lam looking for a man--when he really wants to find a woman. A minor missing persons case turns out to be a major one. And a pleasure boat on pontoons serves as a smuggler's ship on wheels. This is a job for detectives who know fact from fiction, so Erle Stanley Gardner, writing as A. A. Fair, pits his top team, Bertha Cool and Donald Lam, against the people who know all too well that All Grass Isn't Green."
[from the back cover] ""You're bait. You're window undressing." Stripper Daffidill Lawson thought it over for a moment. "Tell me more." "You check into the motel," Donald Lam said. "I'll be half a block away watching your room through binoculars. You forget to pull the shade and start stripping--slowly. If anybody shows up and starts watching, I'll turn on a red light. If you see that red light, you move slowly over to the telephone and call the police." "Then what?" "Then the police come and catch him, and then they knock on your door and say, 'Lady, you shouldn't undress with the curtains up.'" "And what do I say?" "You tell them," Donald said, "that your agent thought if you could hold a murderer spellbound until the police arrived, it would be a service to humanity and swell publicity.""
Perry Mason tells Della Street to get her notebook and pen ready, since they are getting Aunt Lorraine and Montrose Dewitt out of bed.
A playboy is murdered in his lakeside cabin and a mother and daughter, who had both been there, start to suspect each other so they call on Perry Mason for help.
[from the back cover] "Clane closed the bedroom door and looked at the woman. She was wearing nothing but a slip. Her blond hair was uncombed. A cigarette dangled from her lower lip. "What the hell do you want?" she spat out. What Clane wanted--and fast--was the answer to one question: Who killed Horace Farnsworth? But to get the truth he had to handle this tough babe just right. She was as touchy as a trainload of nitroglycerine. One wrong move on Clane's part and she might blow his case so high he could never find the pieces again... just out of pure, overdeveloped viciousness!"
Who was that masked woman? That's the question plaguing the perpetually inquiring mind of Perry Mason. No one loves a good mystery more than Mason--but being asked to represent a client who's concealing her identity, not to mention the particulars of her case, has given even the legendary legal eagle a case of ruffled feathers.
A beautiful debutante is shocked. Her beloved wealthy uncle is missing. Strange relatives are in charge of his fortune- and they're counting her out. Then a dead man surfaces, pointing his finger straight at her. Now she's desperate. To Perry Mason, however, it's all in a day's work. With clever secretary Della Street and street wise detective Paul Drake, he takes on THE CASE OF THE BEAUTIFUL BEGGAR.
A beautiful blonde gets a fist in the eye from her employer's son, and Mason must defend her when her roommate is murdered.
Perry Mason asks, "Why would anyone hire a girl with the figure of a strip teaser and pay her $100 a week to put on weight?"
A young woman is hired to impersonate someone because her measurements and coloring match a very specific list. It is a tricky ploy in a divorce, and it soon leads to a murder charge against her chaperone.
A returning war veteran stumbles across a buried clock that is apparently keeping sidereal time. A murder victim is found in a rural area where, it seems, all the neighbors go out for walks at night.
There's no love lost between Delane Arlington's fiancee and his frosty family. The wealthy widower's heirs are extremely eager to keep their lovestruck uncle from tying the knot -- thus cutting off their route to easy street. That's what brings Selma Anson, Arlington's beleaguered bride-to-be, to Perry Mason.
When a key witness in a forgery case goes missing, the police come down on Mason, who now has two clients to defend against serious criminal charges: Gerald Shore--and his own secretary, Della Street!
THE CASE OF THE CARETAKER'S CAT was the seventh Perry Mason mystery that Erle Stanley Gardener wrote. Our story opens as Charles Ashton seeks the advice of Perry Mason. His previous employer, Peter Laxter, now deceased, left a provision in his will that Ashton, a faithful caretaker, would always have a job with his heirs. But one of the heirs, the nasty Samuel C. Laxter, has decided that Ashton's cat must go. Poor old Clinkers the cat must leave or Samuel Laxter threatens to poison him. Perry takes the case, probably out of sheer boredom. He's just finished a murder trial, and there's nothing interesting on his desk. But before you know it, Ashton is dead; strangled. And then old Peter Laxter's nurse turns up dead, too. Maybe Peter Laxter's death wasn't an accident, either! And just who is getting blamed for all these deaths? Young Douglas Keene, the fiance of beautiful young Winifred Laxter, the only Laxter heir that DIDN'T inherit under the strange will. Up steps Perry Mason to defend the innocent young man. And so he does in his usual flamboyant style. Perry appears along with Della Street, his faithful secretary. and Paul Drake, his detective friend. District Attorney Hamilton Burger shows up just long enough to speak a paragraph's worth of dialog. But what a paragraph it is!
At the behest of Perry Mason, who is representing a young man hit by a car, Paul Drake places an ad in the paper asking for witnesses to the hit and run. To Mason's astonishment, two different drivers are identified, one by a mysterious letter enclosing a key.
When Peter Brunold shows up at Perry Mason's office, claiming one of his glass eyes has been stolen and a counterfeit substituted in its place, who could guess that it would lead to murder? But before you know it, the real authentic glass eye is found. Found in the hand of a dead man. And Brunold has an excellent motive for wanting him dead! He's in love with the dead man's wife. Was it suicide? Well, a gun is found on the floor of the room. But then a second gun is found under a blanket. Wait! There's a third gun in the dead man's shoulder holster. What's with all the guns? And that typed suicide note is starting to look suspicious. Yup, it's gotta be murder. And Peter Brunold is the one that all the evidence is pointing to. Can Perry Mason prove his innocence and at the same time point the finger at the guilty party? And can he do it, all the while confounding the new D.A.? You betcha! But why did he just go out and order six custom-made glass eyes?
Features the novella The Case of the Crimson Kiss (1948) in which Perry Mason clears his client, despite damning evidence in the victim's lovenest, through lipstick kiss impression on the dead man's forehead. Also the short stories: Fingers of Fong (1933) The Valley of Little Fears (1930) Crooked Lightning (1928) Arm's Length (1939)
A key element in a complicated story of a body found on a beached boat is acandle that stands at a steep angle. "The details of the boat grounded at low tide with a corpse in the cabin are superbly handled, and the rest of the story--motives and characters--is both believable and reasonably straightforward.... (It) is an absolutely first-rate job."
The `Publisher's Note' says this was published after Erle Stanley Gardner's death in 1970. It contains a Perry Mason novelette and three short stories. Two predate the Perry Mason series. Contains THE CASE OF THE CRYING SWALLOW THE CANDY KID THE VANISHING CORPSE THE AFFAIR OF THE RELUCTANT WITNESS
At all starts when Rhoda Montaine visits Perry Mason's office, seeking legal advice for "a friend." Perry's no dummy. He knows what she's up to. Seven years ago, she was married to Gregory Moxley, a con man and rotter of the worst sort. He disappeared and she's ready to have him declared legally dead. She's just recently married wealthy Carl W. Montaine, and is now horrified to find that her first husband, Gregory Moxley, is still alive. Not only that, but he's seeking blackmail money to keep quiet and out of sight. It seems like a setup for murder and that's just what happens. Rhoda's supposed to sneak out of the house at 2 AM to meet with Moxley and pay him off. She shows up at his apartment a few minutes late, and is right in the middle of his murder. It's an open-and-shut case; she evens admits she hit him with the fireplace poker. Will Perry Mason be able to solve the crime?
When Matilda Benson solicits the help of Perry Mason, her request seems simple enough: cruise to a gambling ship moored just beyond the twelve-mile limit and buy back the IOU's signed by Miss Benson's niece. But after Mason reaches the floating casino, he discovers problems aplenty--most notably the ship's owner with a bullet hole through his head. Strangely enough, Matilda and her niece are also on board that night...when someone tosses a gun over the railing. Does Perry Mason's client have something to hide? With the support of his trusty secretary, Della Street, and the ever-helpful Paul Drake, Mason dives into an ocean of menace.
Perry Mason defends a man embroiled in a stock battle who is accused of killing a business rival's secretary. Was the woman in a nightgown with a mudpack on her face trying to keep the gun herself, or palm it off?
When a man is shot, his second and third wives each claim to be his legal widow and heir to his millions. Perry Mason triumphs in another dramatic court appearance.
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