Friday, September 08, 2017

The Case of the Daring Decoy

The Case of the Daring Decoy. (Perry Mason #54) Erle Stanley Gardner. 1957. 198 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Jerry Conway opened the paper to page six. There it was, just as it had been every day for the last week.

Premise/plot: Jerry Conway is a businessman with a big problem: he's trying to prevent a hostile takeover of his business. In a few weeks, the stockholders will be voting and Gifford Farrell has done everything in his power to ruin Conway's chances of holding onto his company. The novel opens with Conway receiving a series of phone calls from a mystery woman; she identifies herself as Rosalind, but both know that's a false name. (Both being Conway and his confidential secretary.) She urges him not to go to the ultra-secret, mostly suspicious meeting they've agreed upon. She smells a TRAP. But he wants to know what she knows that might help him keep control of the California and Texas Global Development and Exploration Company. It only takes ONE chapter in this mystery for the crime to be committed and Perry Mason called.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed The Case of the Daring Decoy. I always enjoy reading Perry Mason, but some are more enjoyable than others. Some are more quotable than others. I love how the novels are full of clues, yet aren't always straightforward to solve.

Perry & Della
"Chief," she said, "what is it? Is it a murder?"
Mason nodded.
"Who found the body?"
"We did."
"That's bad!"
"I know," Mason said, putting his arm around her shoulder and patting her reassuringly. "We always seem to be finding bodies." 
Mason & Conway

"Now, wait a minute," Mason said. "Don't start trying to think out antidotes until we're sure what the poison is and how much of a dose you've had."
Mason & Mrs. Farrell
"Now how about a drink?"
"Well," Mason said, "I could be induced if you twisted my arm."
"Hold it out," she said.
Mrs Farrell took hold of the wrist, held the lawyer's arm tight against her body, gave it a gentle twist.
"Ouch!" Mason said. "I'll take it! I'll take it!"
Perry to Della:
"The trouble with circumstantial evidence isn't with the evidence, but with the reasoning that starts interpreting that evidence....I'm kicking myself over those peas in the dead girl's stomach. There was the most significant clue in the whole case, and damned if I didn't discount it and think it was simply a waiter's mistake."

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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