2011: 27. The Case of the Howling Dog

“Della Street held open the door to the inner office, and spoke in the tone which a woman instinctively uses in speaking to a child or a very sick man.”

The Case of the Howling Dog, Erle Stanley Gardner

        This is my first Perry Mason mystery - my previous exposure to his works was largely in the crossword puzzle realm (both “Della” and “Erle” pop up occasionally).  I have to say, I didn’t have particularly high expectations (this was another old time yard sale purchase that I picked up on a whim), but I ended up pleasantly surprised.  It’s not perfect - the solution to the mystery was a bit disappointing, and it’s a little too hard boiled for my tastes (so many people carrying guns and calling ladies “dames”).  But I loved how legalistic it is - Perry Mason is a defense attorney, and a lot of what he does is use defense attorney moves to protect his client.  I wasn’t really expecting that aspect of it, so I thought it was a hoot to see him setting a situation so that a witness’s credibility could later be called into question.  Of course, as an attorney myself, I am pretty sure that he was violating bar rules left and right, but as a reader who is a lawyer, I liked to read a book that worked that angle of a mystery novel.  I’d read another Perry Mason, for sure (and since this one, at least, seems out of print, I’ll have to keep my eye open at yard sales!)

Categories:  Fiction, Mystery

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017