Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Case of the Terrified Typist” as Want to Read:
The Case of the Terrified Typist
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Case of the Terrified Typist (Perry Mason #49)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  493 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Perry hires a temporary typist who flees in a panic, leaving behind a pair of diamonds hidden in a wad of chewing gum. Down the hall from Perry's office, a co-owner of a gem importing company has been charged in a smuggling scheme, and with murdering his accomplice. Mason agrees to defend the accused man, who would rather die than cooperate. And he just might--unless Mason ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 12th 1987 by Ballantine (first published 1956)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Case of the Terrified Typist, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Case of the Terrified Typist

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 786)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 17, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal, mystery
#49 in the Perry Mason series. The terrified typist of the title was a young woman mistaken by Mason's staff for a typist from a temp agency. Her additions to the story are not fully developed and her major contribution may be in the alliterative title. This is no better than average for the series but there is a unique way in which Perry escapes a guilty murder verdict for his client.

Perry Mason series - Mason is in a quandary: one of his office typists is out sick and the other is too overwhel
Asra Ghouse
Jul 27, 2011 Asra Ghouse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-reads
There were two reasons why I badly wanted to read this book. Back in 2001, I was on this mission to complete the entire collection of Perry Mason series. This happened to be the only book that I couldn't get my hands on. Another reason being the result of a quiz I had taken on Perry Mason which said this case was... er... the most difficult of Perry's caes. (view spoiler)

Finally, in 2003 I got my hands on this book. To be honest, I wasn'
Jan 31, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first Perry Mason book I've ever read and I was pleasantly surprised. I can remember when my parents used to watch Perry Mason (yes, I'm that old). Even though I really didn't watch the shows myself, they certainly gave me a background for reading this. I could easily visualize all the main characters (in black and white, of course) and I loved that. In this particular case, Perry is needing an extra typist and wants a really competant one. The woman that arrives is perfect and is busily plo ...more
Mar 22, 2008 Jim rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Why anyone would read this is a curiosity to me even as I read it. The characters are stiff as wood. The courtroom scenes are largely taken up with bickering about the rules of evidence. The stories are dated.

One character is asked if he can prove that he went to bed, and he announces with ruffled virtue, "Of course not, Mr. Mason, I am a single man! I sleep alone." Of course he is lyiung. Given that these books were written in the age of Mickey Spillane, that must have sounded silly even then.
Sadie Heilemann
A fast read, but I found it irritating that the rivalry between Mason and DA Hamilton Burger was shown in such a way that made Burger look like a complete idiot. Not enough characterization, not even much in the way of odd quirks that made characters memorable, as in the last Gardner novel I read. An amusing read but fluffy. There was an interesting introduction about a pal of Gardner's who cleaned up a town in Texas. It was actually more interesting than the story in many respects.
Feb 09, 2015 Freya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
I'd have never guessed the ending of this book. Right to the end it seems Mason has been bested for the first time. His client found guilty of first degree murder, then out of the blue it all changes.

The tension between Hamilton Burger (the DA) and Mason has been building up with Mason never losing and Burger constantly looking out for a way to make Mason lose over last 48 books. In this one it seemed that Burger had finally had his day.

This book was fun.
شريف ثابت
لولا ثغرتين واضحتين:

- إنتفاء المبرر القوى المقنع لإيمان بيرى ميسون الأعمى ببراءة موكله دوين جيفرسون

- عدم وجود سبب لكشفه حقيقة اختطاف موكله واستبداله بجيمس كانكيد

لولا هاتين الثغرتين لاختلف التقييم.. الرواية شديدة الإمتاعبشخصياتها، بتفق وتلاحق الأحداث، بالمبارزة العقلية القانونية بين بيرى ميسون وخصمه هاميلتون بريجر المدعى العام، بالترجمة الجيدة، بالصفحات الصفراء المهترئة لطبعة روايات الهلال بتاريخ 1967
Oct 12, 2013 Dorothea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not terribly impressed by the first Erle Stanley Gardner mystery I've read. I'm sure there must be better ones to start with, though! But I picked this up by chance in a secondhand bookstore. As a paralegal in a law firm, I enjoy reading about the workaday details of running a firm in past times. As this story begins with a shift worked in Perry Mason's office by, apparently, a typist from an agency, there are plenty of such interesting details.

This was about the only thing I really liked about
Giri Dv
Dec 01, 2013 Giri Dv rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very very poor narrative. Highly confusing. Kincaid impersonates the defendant and gets indicted for murder. Why would anybody play an impersonation like that? What happened to Baxter? Is he really dead? If Kincaid killed him, why would he stick around and get arrested?

Many Perry Mason stories come with confusing narratives. You can easily lose track after some time. Ultimately you make some sense of the story. But this book seems to be worst of all.

Perry Mason books normally come with use of i
This probably rates a 3.5 but it is a good one of the batch of Perry Mason novels. I especially liked the typist character and the deductive sleuthing in this one. I should have suspected the end but I didn't.
Jun 13, 2015 Richa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I got so confused figuring this one out.
I really liked this one, it started off with a bang.
Aug 11, 2012 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
I went through a Perry Mason binge many years ago. I know I missed some, though, and this must be one. It doesn't seem familiar, and I was immediately hooked.

This was good, not the best I ever read. Sure an eye-opener to be reminded of attitudes towards women and people from other countries that were openly practiced in the 1950's. I don't remember Gardner portraying Mason as a god who had to suffer through life with idiots, as he is in this book. Maybe I need to revisit this series, out of curi
Eman Aboul Saad
Jan 22, 2015 Eman Aboul Saad rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A star for the plot twist at the end, that's it. The characters sound like robots with a tendency to state the obvious while other somewhat unexplainable stuff are left unexplained. At times the dialogue sounds overly formal and I don't know why Perry Mason had to address Della at the end of every sentence almost every.single.time while talking to her. I only finished it because I don't like to leave books unfinished and it wasn't too long.
Doug Dams
Oct 15, 2011 Doug Dams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perry Mason finds a nervous typist in his office and when she suddenly vanishes he becomes curious. He discovers she was never hired by Stella and that diamonds are stuck under the desk she used, with chewing gum. Mason tries to find the owner of the diamonds and naturally ends up in court defending a man for murder. How the diamonds, the murder and the client are related all comes out in the courtroom. A good story.
Kunal Sen
Oct 24, 2011 Kunal Sen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
apart from a bizarre introduction, an impenetrable client and a next to impossible defense, this case is important for being historically the only case that Mason loses. But then again, does he? A most intriguing twist in the end quickly succeeds another unexpected one just before it and leads us to a singular conclusion. One of the must-reads in the Perry Mason cannon.
Feb 22, 2013 DavidO rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-or-5-stars
Mason actually loses this case (not a spoiler, that info is on the back cover). Lots of twists and turns and Mason once again gets saddled with a horrible client. Maybe his worst yet.

Sadly I had to bury this book in the trash when I finished it. It's an old 35 cent copy and the pages were literally falling out as I read. I gave it a little funeral.
Sep 28, 2011 George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
# 49 in the Perry Mason mystery series in which the lawyer manages to win another case. In this one, his client is suspected of murder and, as usual, gets his client acquitted while also solving the case. Many twists as Mason unravels the issues to acquit his client who appears in his office and is mistaken for a requested pool typist.
Rebecca Fieler
Jan 27, 2011 Rebecca Fieler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my few memories of my great-grandmother was her watching episodes of Perry Mason over and over. Every so often you need a book that is quick and comfortable, and I guess that was it for me. I grew up with murder mysteries on TV, and sometimes it is nice to backtrack from the movie to the book.
Rijo John
Pretty good again - very dramatic ending!
Jeffrey Marks
Not one of the best. The ending felt rushed and the deductive processes were not really shown. Gardner has Mason "lose" the case, but then corrects the situation by a plot twist.
Oct 08, 2010 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read every book in this series in junior high from the library. I was done reading all the Nancy Drews and i really liked all the Perry Mason books too.
Dec 06, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Perry Mason solves the case of multiple mistaken identities. This was really complicated, but not in a way that made me care about understanding.
Vincent Darlage
Sep 20, 2011 Vincent Darlage rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Even though I expected it (I read this before back in 1999), it was still a shock to have the jury come in with a verdict of guilty...
Jan 10, 2016 Eva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Perry Mason a vyľakaná pisárka"
Paris Wimmer
Paris Wimmer marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2016
Prasad Setlur
Prasad Setlur marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2016
TinaLovesReading marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
Krish marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2016
Bin added it
Jan 30, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 26 27 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Chinese Orange Mystery
  • Fire in the Blood (Scott Cullen Mysteries #3)
  • The Long Divorce (Gervase Fen, #8)
  • The Nidhi Kapoor Story
  • Fraudster
  • Compass Box Killer (Inspector Virkar, #1)
  • More From the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Blue Shoes and Happiness / The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
  • Last Seen Wearing
  • Muscle Memory (Brady Coyne, #16)
  • American Evita: Hillary Clinton's Path to Power
  • Stirring Up Strife (Hope Street Church Mystery, #1)
  • The Fabulous Clipjoint
  • Murder on the Yellow Brick Road (Toby Peters, #2)
  • Lavender Road (London at War)
  • Lament For A Maker (Sir John Appleby, #3)
  • The Lost Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Smallbone Deceased (Inspector Hazelrigg, #4)
Erle Stanley Gardner was an American lawyer and author of detective stories who also published under the pseudonyms A.A. Fair, Kyle Corning, Charles M. Green, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenny, Les Tillray, and Robert Parr.

Innovative and restless in his nature, he was bored by the routine of legal practice, the only part of which he enjoyed was trial work and the development of trial strategy. I
More about Erle Stanley Gardner...

Other Books in the Series

Perry Mason (1 - 10 of 85 books)
  • The Case of the Velvet Claws (Perry Mason, #1)
  • The Case of the Sulky Girl (Perry Mason, #2)
  • The Case of the Lucky Legs
  • The Case of the Howling Dog
  • The Case of the Curious Bride (Perry Mason Mystery)
  • The Case of the Counterfeit Eye (Perry Mason Mysteries)
  • The Case of the Caretaker's Cat  (A Perry Mason Mystery)
  • The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece
  • The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (Perry Mason #9)
  • The Case of the Dangerous Dowager (Perry Mason Mystery)

Share This Book