I was surprised to find out that there are curse words in the book. Perry Mason in the TV show and the Radio Drama are different. It made the Radio Drama exciting and different but I was not prepared for it.
This is the fifth book in Erle Stanley Gardner's long-running Perry Mason series, originally published in 1934. By then, at least according to the storyline, Perry and his principal associates, Della Street and Paul Drake, were already in the prime of life and Perry had already mounted an impressive record of courtroom victories. Given that, one would assume that Perry, Della and Paul all must have been somewhere in their seventies or early eighties by the time they finally won their last case in 1973. But fortunately they aged well and seemed to be just as physically fit and mentally alert at the end of their careers as they had been in the beginning.
The case opens when a nervous young woman appears in the office to consult Perry "on behalf of a friend." She needs to know when a woman can have a missing husband legally declared dead so that she might be free to marry again. Naturally, Perry sees through the ruse and questions the woman aggressively. He figures that she will soon fold and reveal that she is there he own behalf and they can then get down to business. But the woman fools him and instead of caving, she gets up and leaves in a huff. Perry starts to feel bad because he was so gruff with the poor young thing, and he feels even worse when Della informs him that the woman had paid a $50.00 retainer!
The plot thickens when Perry discovers that the woman accidentally left her purse in the famous leather client chair. Naturally, there's a gun in the purse. Perry now feels morally obligated to assist the woman even though she has given Della a fake name, address and phone number. Of course this won't deter Perry in the slightest. He puts Paul Drake on the case and inevitably, by the end of the afternoon, he knows more about the woman than she knows about herself.
Naturally there will be a murder; Perry's client will be arrested and charged and things will look awfully black. Of course the D.A. will not play fair and this leads Perry to resort to some clever trickery of his own. Things move a mile a minute and at one point, the D.A. is actually checking up on everyone who owns a Buick in the entire city of Los Angeles! In the end, of course, there will be a great courtroom scene and Mason will again demonstrate his agile mind and his incomparable skill at cross-examining hostile witnesses. This is a quick fun read that would be enjoyed by anyone who likes to occasionally return to the golden age of the pulp paperback novel.
This was pretty darn good. As I have read this book a few years ago it was easy for me to follow the plot. However IF you have not read (or remember the book) then I can see where you might get lost somewhere in the middle as a lot of stuff seems to be happening all at once.
Sound was great and the voice talent ranged from great to acceptable. The story followed to book almost to a T. I got this at the library as free is always good!
I would rate this a 4.0 to 4.5 out of 5 stars. Recommended for drive time to and from work.
This is the fifth in the series of full cast audio dramas based on the popular PERRY MASON books. Just like the other four, it is a rollicking fun dramatization. The story is truly a classic PERRY MASON who done it. Obviously the cast is having a ball, and Colonial Radio hits another home run.