The Case of the Lazy Lover (Perry Mason #30) Erle Stanley Gardner. 1947. 212 pages. [Source: Bought]
First sentence: There was usually a big pile of mail on Monday morning. Della Street, Perry Mason’s confidential secretary, having arrived a full half hour before the office was scheduled to open, deftly inserted the paper knife under the flaps of the envelopes, cut them open with one swift wrist motion, read the letters and sorted them into three piles.
Premise/plot: Perry Mason stars in the Case of the Lazy Lover. In this vintage mystery, Perry Mason is surprised to discover two checks in the mail. They are not from a client or anyone he's ever spoken to. Obviously the sender will most likely be seeking his services. But what kind of case will it be? (Though readers of any Perry Mason book can tell you MURDER.)
Lola Faxon Allred is in a bit of a pickle. Can Perry Mason keep her out of prison?
My thoughts: I absolutely love and adore the classic television show. I have enjoyed some of the Perry Mason novels as well. Some better than others. But all prove worth reading for one reason or another. I enjoy the banter between Mason and Drake, for example. And it's always fun to see Lieutenant Tragg as well!
Not all mysteries are quotable. I enjoy when they are.
“How old is she?” “Forty-two.” “I believe,” Mason said, “that psychologists agree that that is one of the most dangerous ages for a woman.”
Mason said, “We’re allergic to questions until we know what happened.” Inman said, “What the hell! I can take these women down and throw them in the hoosegow if I have to.” “Sure you can,” Mason said, “and I can get a writ of habeas corpus if I have to.”
Gertie said, “Gee that’s swell. I just started one of those diets and I’ve counted calories until I feel like my belt buckle is scraping against my backbone. I’ve just been looking for a good excuse to throw the whole thing overboard, and I think this is it! You always did like tenderloin steaks, Mr. Mason, and my butcher said he’d been saving some for me.
“What the hell,” Mason told him. “Do you want to look a gift horse in the mouth?” “You’re damn right, I do!” Tragg said. “Any time you give me a horse, I’m going to look in his mouth.”
“Tomorrow morning Tragg is going to interview you. You’re going to talk with him freely and frankly. You’re going to try and talk your way out of a murder rap. It isn’t going to be easy. If you’re telling the truth, you can do it. If you’re not telling the truth, you’d better do a lot of revising …” “I’m telling the truth, Mr. Mason.” “Then,” Mason told her, “that’s all there is to it.” “And I’m to talk to Lieutenant Tragg?” “Sing like a skylark,” Mason told her. “Bare your soul to him. Pose for pictures in the newspapers. Tell everybody everything. Have nothing to conceal. Only be sure that it’s the truth, because if you try to lie, you’ll get caught, and if they catch you in a he it’ll mean life imprisonment, perhaps the death penalty.”
“There are times,” Mason said, “when an artistic lie can crowd the truth right off the stage.
“And don’t ever forget, a good lie can sometimes have all the grace of artistry, but only the truth can have the ring of sincerity.”
“But I’m afraid to have her tie to something unless it’s the truth. Believe me, Paul, when you’re in a jam the truth is the only thing solid enough and substantial enough to rely on.”
“Circumstantial evidence never lies, but it isn’t always easy to interpret it correctly.”
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