Married Eva Griffin has been caught with a prominent congressman, and is ready to pay the editor of a sleazy tabloid hush money to protect the politician. But first Perry Mason tracks down the publisher of the blackmailing tabloid and discovers a shocking secret, which eventually leads to Mason being accused of murder. This is the first Perry Mason mystery and our introduction to secretary Della Street, detective Paul Drake, and the great lawyer himself.
Criminal lawyer and all-time number-one mystery author Erle Stanley Gardner wrote close to 150 novels that have sold 300 million copies worldwide. His most popular books starred the incomparable attorney-sleuth Perry Mason. In The Case of the Curious Bride, a woman claiming not to be a bride consults Mason about her "friend", whose husband, long thought to have died in a plane crash, turns up alive.
"Excellent short story"
Poker-faced Nellie Conway, the nurses bed-ridden Elizabeth Bain, brings trouble when she calls on Perry Mason with a glass phial containing four pills which she suspects are poison. Her employer, Nathan Bain, she says, had promised her money to give them to his wife. But when Mason has one of the pills analyzed it is found to consist of acetylsalicylic - in other words good old-fashioned aspirin. Is Perry Mason's client a hoaxer, a psychopath, or something trickier?
After con man Greg Moxley married Rhoda Lorton, he took her money and flew - only to have his plane crash. Years later, Rhoda weds millionaire scion Carl Montaine. But now Moxley has turned up alive and well...with plans to pocket the Montaine fortune - or else make Rhoda's bigamy public. Desperate to protect the good name of Montaine, Rhoda seeks out Perry Mason. But before Mason can reel in Moxley, somebody murders the scheming blackmailer.
Young Marjorie Clune's best asset is her greatest misfortune: a pair of exquisite legs. They attract the perfect heel, a self-professed movie promoter named Frank Patton, whose scam seems even more flawless than Marjorie's lissome limbs. When the hype clears, the local chamber of commerce is many dollars poorer, Marjorie's been hung out to dry - and Patton's been found with the knife of Marjorie's lover implanted in his chest....
A spanking-new tin can, secretly placed among the rows of Mrs. Florence Gentrie's preserves, contains not a speck of food - but it does carry one very damning clue to a murder that took place right next door. Such an unsavory discovery in such an unlikely place can't help but pique the curiosity of a dedicated mystery hunter like Perry Mason.
Platinum blonde Veronica Dale is arrested on a charge of vagrancy. Yet, she has a hotel reservation in her name. Addison, head of a department store, booked the room for her and is now being blackmailed. Perry Mason can't decide who is hiding what. Then comes murder - and one of Perry Mason's toughest trials.
In his will, Peter Laxter guaranteed his faithful caretaker a job and a place to live...for life. But Laxter's grandson Sam says the deal doesn't include the caretaker's cat - and he wants the feline off the premises by hook, crook...or poison. When Perry Mason takes the case, he quickly finds there's much more at stake than an old man's cat - a million dollars or more to be exact....
Aspiring actress Stephane Olger just wants to be in pictures. But she may end up in mug shots instead when she gets herself caught up in a crime. Shortly after quitting her job and moving to Hollywood, she is picked up by a well-dressed man while hitchhiking. The man loses control of the car and they end up in a horrible accident. Both Stephane and the driver escape unscathed but the strange man flees the scene leaving Stephane to face a charge of manslaughter.
Frances Celane has good reason to pout. Thanks to a provision in her late father's will administered by her uncle, she's caught in the middle of a family feud between matrimony and money. If she chooses marriage, she loses a million. But beautiful young Frances has a strong will of her own that she's not afraid to use. One way or another, she means to hear wedding bells and cash registers making beautiful music together. Her first move: hire Perry Mason to orchestrate things.
Who killed Philip Rease? Peter Kent was known to be a sleepwalker and a bloodstained knife was found under his pillow. There were people who would like to see Peter Kent out of the way, but would they frame him for murder? And would that explain the reason for Rease's death? It was another case full of traps for Perry Mason.
Julia Branner insists her marriage was sabotaged by her millionaire father-in-law, who forced her to give up her baby girl for adoption. Now, years later, a young woman appears, claiming to be Julia's long-lost daughter. But Julia insists the heir-apparent is a fake - and vows to keep the family fortune from falling into the wrong hands.
Years ago Alden Leeds found a rich vein of gold in the Klondike. Now his greedy relatives fear he's planning to throw his fortune away on a gold-digging spouse, Emily Milicant. So to prevent the two from joining in holy matrimony, they commit their affluent kin to a sanitarium on a trumped-up charge. Then Leeds escapes, only to end up in the company of Emily's blackmailing brother, John, a manufacturer of fixed dice, rolling bones that always come up seven.
In the dead of night, a thick fog lies over the black waters. You are aboard a fancy yacht full of fancy people who loathe one another. Suddenly you hear...A scream! A splash! A shot! The fateful cry, "Man Overboard!" And the next thing you know, you find yourself clutching a beautiful woman wearing only a flimsy nightgown. In her hands she holds a gun. That's the predicament in which Perry Mason suddenly finds himself. But that's only the beginning.
While enjoying a leisurely ocean cruise in the company of secretary Della Street, Perry Mason is approached by passenger who is worried about the wellbeing of her husband. Not long afterward, her husband is seen jumping off the ship, an apparent suicide - but when the body is recovered, it turns out that he was shot. Accused of murder, the wife puts her fate in the hands of Perry, who in the course of piecing things together unearths the fact that the husband had once accepted a huge bribe while serving on a jury.
Compared to a juicy murder trial, a case of feuding neighbors isn't exactly Perry Mason's cup of tea. But Arthur Cartright insists that Mason is the only one who can muzzle the howling hound that's driving Cartright crazy. But Perry doesn't realize just how crazy until he meets his client's neighbor. Clinton Foley says Cartright is barking up the wrong tree with his canine companion - and swears that the man is dangerously insane to boot.
The extraordinary Perry Mason never handles straightforward divorce cases, but this one is an especially strange bird. Rita Swaine is dating her sister's ex-boyfriend. Her sister, Rosalind, is married to shady insurance adjuster Walter Prescott, who's got dollar signs in his eyes and ice water in his veins. When Rita's beau gallantly steps in to warn Rosalind about her heinous husband's designs, Prescott hatches a plan to prey on them all...by suing for big profit.
In The Case of the Howling Dog, Arthur Cartwright, an anxious man, goes to Perry Mason to have his neighbor arrested for his vindictive and noisy dog. He is under the belief that his howling is an indication that somebody has been murdered in the neighborhood. He demands that his will be written bequeathing the estate to the lady living at the neighbor's house. However, the will is mysteriously altered by an unknown person, and Cartwright goes missing, along with the lady.
"Erle Stanley Gardner would be proud!!"
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 IOUs 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?
Thanks to a bungled robbery at a fancy hotel, the already-married Eva Griffin has been caught in the company of a prominent congressman. To protect the politico, Eva's ready to pay the editor of a sleazy tabloid his hush money. But Perry Mason has other plans. He tracks down the phantom fat cat who secretly runs the blackmailing tabloid -only to discover a shocking scoop. By the time Mason's comely client finally comes clean, her husband has taken a bullet in the heart.