Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Case of the Lucky Loser

The Case of the Lucky Loser. Erle Stanley Gardner. 1957. 192 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Della Street, Perry Mason's confidential secretary, picked up the telephone and said, "Hello."

Premise/plot: The novel opens with a mystery woman calling to hire Perry Mason to sit in on a trial occurring later that day. Ted Balfour has been charged with manslaughter--a hit and run accident. At the time of this trial, the man hasn't even been identified yet. After the trial--while the jury is debating Mr. Balfour's fate--Mason receives a few more phone calls about the case. He ends up being hired as a replacement lawyer when the jury is hung. The victim is identified after the trial in a shocking way: he was hit with a car and dragged, no doubt, but it was a BULLET in the head that killed him. New trial, new lawyer. Same victim. This novel has dozens of twists and turns.

My thoughts: I remember this episode from the television show. But knowing what was coming didn't rob me of enjoying it thoroughly every step of the way. In fact, I think this might be my favorite Perry Mason novel that I've read this year.
"I have one weapon," Mason said. "It's a powerful weapon. But sometimes it's hard to wield it because you don't know just where to grab hold of it."
"What weapon is that?" Della Street asked.
"The truth," Mason said.
© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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