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I'd never read a Perry Mason novel before, nor have I seen the TV show. Still, as a law student, I figured I should at least try the first one out.
I was pleasantly surprised by the mystery, and especially surprised by the fact that a lot of the law quoted here is actually real! This novel doesn't have any courtroom scenes, but a good defense attorney wins most cases during investigation, so even that was accurate.
Also, the narrator does a great, hard-boiled, film noire, detective voice. If you're on the fence, this is a really fun trip. Enjoy!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
I once attended a lecture where the premise was -- if you enjoy detective / legal stories, there are 2 types of people -- those that love "Law and Order' and those that enjoy "Perry Mason." I fall in the L&O crowd, but my husband loves the Perry Mason series on TV. On a recent trip, I loaded up this first in the Perry Mason series for us to enjoy on the drive. Our expectations were not met.
I knew the story would be dated since this first book in the series was written in 1933, but was hoping for some charm. Nope -- the characterizations are incredibly weak and dialog is absolutely unbelievable. I thought Gardner would be a great author, but not so much in my opinion. My problems are much more than the dated format and mannerisms. His opinion of women is outrageous and during one of the witness interviews, the "N" word was used to our complete horror. We tuned out at that point. The narrator did not improve this terrible book.
Listen at your own risk.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
Probably like many others I came to this book with my preconceptions formed by the TV series, expecting a Raymond Burr type figure, omniscient but still, in a resssuring way, cuddly, and though I did enjoy a couple of the stories as a child they had faded from memory. The Perry Mason in this story remains omniscient, but he is a particularly abrupt and unpleasant chap and treats the adoring and yet efficient Della as a moronic minion to be ordered or dismissed as his whim dictates.
The story is basically simple and the 'twist' at the end extremely predictable as the clues are perhaps too signposted, but worse than that, the reading is, to be kind, curious. The reader spits out the words through clenched teeth, as though suffering a serious case of constipation, and yet the extremely hurried delivery is sometimes hard to follow and indicative, paradoxically, of diarrhoea - one does worry for his digestion. I think a lesser character is meant to be from Scotland, but from this narrator's rendition, it could be South Africa, Wales, anywhere.
Perry Mason is probably best left in the mateus rose hue of misty memory.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful