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I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason (A Cece Caruso Mystery #1)

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  629 ratings  ·  76 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
It started with a case of writer’s block. Pretty, vivacious Cece Caruso turned to a life of crime after her divorce. But she’s neither breaking and entering nor running cons. Instead, she’s writing biographies of famous crime novelists, and now it’s Erle Stanley Gardner’s turn under Cece’s magnifying glass.

While the creator of Perry Mason had a
Mass Market Paperback, 280 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by Avon (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

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The title of this one grabbed me while shopping in a local used bookstore. I had never read this author before, but the title just sort of tickled my reading funny-bone and so I picked it up. I was NOT disappointed.

Cece Caruso's is a biographer by trade. As our story opens she is working on biographical material on Erle Stanley Gardner, the creator of Perry Mason as well as the private eye team of Bertha Cool and Donald Lam. (He also did quite a bit of pulp writing under a number of pen names-
Another mystery series that is light and fun! These books takes place in Los Angeles and I love reading the descriptions of places I know. In this book, our main character, CeCe Karuso, is writing a biography of Earl Stanley Garner. Garner was the author of the Perry Mason books and live in Ventura, CA. Garner often received letters from real inmates, asking him to review their trial.

CeCe gets involved when she finds a letter that Garner received at the end of his life, and she takes over the i
I'm a fan of the original Perry Mason show and have read a number of Earl Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason books so I enjoyed all the biographic and geographic references as the main character Cece Caruso pursued writing her ESG biography. The mystery part was sort of generic but OK for a murder mystery. Cece and her cast of characters were interesting but a little busy - she's a writer/biographer, and she's into fashion, and shopping, and she has a whole cast of characters including family, friend ...more
Apr 12, 2014 Cheryl rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Wasn't sure I would like this one, despite how much I enjoyed the title, but I was pleasantly surprised. The title character is a biographer who, in this selection, is writing about Erle Stanley Gardner (author of Perry Mason). I'm sure that's what drew me to the book because I do love Gardner's Perry Mason novels. The main character is also interested in fashion...more that I care to know, but I do like her style. She just can't resist a mystery and takes you along with her, mostly into trouble ...more
The title caught my eye, since I'm a big Perry Mason fan. The story is about a woman writing a biography of Erle Stanley Gardner, who gets caught up in an old murder mystery. A man, claiming to be wrongly convicted of murdering his wife, wrote to ESG, asking for help with his case. Cece, the biographer, believes the man's story, and thinks looking into his case will provide her with good material for her book. Of course, she gets in over her head the more she investigates. I liked the characters ...more
i really wanted to like this book since I liked Perry Mason and Raymond Burr. But I didn't like this book.

The author spends too much time giving me names of fashion designers as if that will give me clue what she's wearing or buying. I'm not up on fashion designer names so when she gives me a name instead of describing the clothes, I have no idea what she is talking about. Worse than that, WHY is the author spending SO much time worried about fashion?

This is a mystery (somewhere in the writing
RATING: 4.5/B+
GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: Mystery, 2004, 280 pgs
CHARACTERS: Cece Caruso/writer
COMMENTS: Cece is divorced, late 30's, loves vintage clothing and has one married daughter. She writes biographies for mystery authors and is currently working on Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason series). While doing research she comes across an unresolved murder case from 40+ years ago. Very good debut!
I loved the theme, love Perry Mason, and the mystery was fun. I think it was a little rough in places, mostly in trying to establish the heroine, Cece. I'll also admit to caring less about what she is wearing, whether it is jeans or a 1940's pouf dress. Although I know a lot of people love those details, to me they just drag down the story. I'll keep reading because the rest of the titles are just as interesting as the Perry Mason and will continue to ignore the dress details.
I got this book off the "Recommend" Table at the library. It was pretty fluffy, but a fun read. The characters were likable, and the author's writing was witty. There were some unexpected twists and turns in the mystery. Sounds like it's the beginning of a series of books and I'll probably pick up another one.

Sue Horn
I know my personal affinity to this one may be do to my affinity for Perry Mason as well. I read this one a year and a half ago, when I was in a fog over my husband's sudden passing. Walking the treadmill and seeing Cece (Susan Kandel's protagonist) doggedly dig up clues about Erle Stanley Gardner and Perry Mason, well, I loved it and her. I somehow felt that Alberto had sent me this gift of a "new" book about some old favorite themes with a female protagonist who would not let life beat her dow ...more
A fun and fluffy mystery about a biographer who gets caught up in a decades-old murder case. Suspend some disbelief (Most of the players are still alive? They remember? A 5'11" woman can wear all these vintage clothes?) and enjoy.
Jan C
I think what I liked about this book is that Cece takes us through her research process when she is writing a biography of Erle Stanley Gardner and gets caught up in a case that he had worked on.
Oct 20, 2014 Spotsalots added it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I picked this up at the local book exchange with mild hesitation that it might prove annoying rather than fun light reading. Fortunately, it proved to be a reasonably entertaining example of its genre. The main character is a Los Angeles divorcee who has developed a career of writing biographies of famous crime writers, and in this book she's writing about Erle Stanley Gardner. Much to her surprise, this leads to investigating an actual cold-case murder.

The book can be considered a cozy, althou
Mia Parviainen
I used to watch "Perry Mason" a lot during college because it aired on one of our local stations that had a lot of classic TV episodes. Someone gave me this book as a gift because of my interest in mysteries and the show. Fans of Perry Mason will appreciate Kandel's sprinkling of facts about Erle Stanley Gardner throughout the book as the protagonist, biographer-turned-sleuth Cece Caruso, works on writing a volume about the mystery writer's life. At first, Cece thinks that she is merely writing ...more
Sep 22, 2010 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is the first book in this series and like the later Hitchcock-themed book that I read first, it is a fast-paced, slightly madcap romp through a few days in the life of our heroine. I'm not sure it's a full "4", but I'd rate it at least a "3.5". The author does a pretty credible job of weaving in the backstory of Cece and her friends and family to the main plot. It feels far less forced than other books I've read that have a colorful "supporting cast". But it's no television ensemble show, C ...more
I DREAMED I MARRIED PERRY MASON by Susan Kandel is 280 pages in paperback. This is #1 in A Cece Caruso Mystery.

Brief Description:

"Ever since I left my sorry excuse for a husband. I've made my living writing biographies of mystery writers. For the last twelve months, I've been working on Erle Stanley Gardner. Perry Mason has stolen my life."

Everybody in Los Angeles has problems. Former New Jersey beauty queen Cece Caruso has a ton. In addition to a bad case of writer's block and trying to save he
Sep 14, 2010 Ladiibbug rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
#1 Cece Caruso cozy mystery series

Smart, witty, funny, and packed with delightful and interesting Perry Mason and Erle Stanley Gardner (author of the Perry Mason mysteries) trivia, I adored this book! This is a humorous cozy, but not too fluffy or cutesy. It is very well written!

Cece Caruso is working on an Erle Stanley Gardner ("ESG")biography. Her research takes her to Ventura, California, an hour north of her home in L.A. ESG lived in Ventura, where he practiced law and wrote his Perry Mason
Some books grab a hold of you, get in your head, and make you keep reading so you can get to the end. You may not necessarily like what happens in the story, but you have trouble putting the book down till you know how it ends. I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason is not one of those books. For a who-dunnit/mystery, this is not a good thing. The story is cute enough: a divorced biographer obsessed with vintage couture comes across a decades old murder case in Ventura, CA. Suspecting that the man serv ...more
Mark Baker
Cece writes biographies of dead mystery authors. While working on a biography of Erle Stanley Gardner, she finds a letter he'd received from a prisoner who claimed to be innocent. Can Cece dig up this cold case and prove the man innocent? I found this debut a little slow at times, but I was still drawn to Cece and the mystery.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Cece Carusoe is at it again. This time she is researching for a biography of Erle Stanley Gardner the creator of the world famous Perry Mason. Gardner was a lawyer in addition to being an author. Cece has discovered a case that was brought up before the "Court of Last Resort" that was never completed so she decides to follow up. She is given a push by the prison chaplin and a man in prison for the murder of his wife. Her goal is to prove that he did not commit the murder. Cece is also trying to ...more
Something of an idiot plot (where the story moves forward because the protagonist acts like an idiot). The tidbits about Earl Stanley Gardner were interesting, though.
Mailis Viiand
What does it say about you when you are in your twenty's and feel closer to the 40 year old Cece here, than you have felt to young heroines in a long time?...I think it means the book is the best kind mystery out there and you should get your hands on it quickly...right now mystery thrives in categorization, cozys march hand in hand with crafts and other interests, but this one isn't that simple and i loved it for it...plot was complicated but effortless at the same time, and i enjoyed every pag ...more
I started this series out of order and read Not a Girl Detective first. I've actually never been exposed to Perry Mason or Erle Stanley Gardner before. (Though I think I'm going to check him out next time I'm at the library.)

This book isn't going to be a life changer nor is it inspirational but it was exactly what I was looking for, a funny cozy mystery. I love Cece Caruso. I love how spunky, smart, and not-perfect she is.

I enjoy Kandel's voice and it was a very smooth read. It was a good myste
Katie Casey
A fun whodunit with a unique spin - the main character is a biographer who is doing a story on the author of Perry Mason, Erle Stanley Gardner, and ends up working a case he never got around to. This is the first in a series. Of course, I will have to read the next one since it has a Nancy Drew theme (Not a Girl Detective)!
I like this author's writing style. I think the second book in the series, Not Another Girl Detective with Nancy Drew, was better. This book had mystery but not much else. However, I think maybe she wrote this book in the style of a Perry Mason, and I haven't read any Perry Mason books yet. Maybe that's my problem. (Maybe I'll have to read some now!) I have read a few Nancy Drews and am familiar with the format. I think I'll have to try the Agatha Christie version next, I've read a lot of those! ...more
This was a fun, funny, somewhat adventurous, murder mystery. Cece Caruso is just the right balance of zany that makes for a great read. I loved learning so many interesting facts about California. The author has a flair for giving enough personal details while keeping you looking for the next clue to solve the mystery. You gotta love a mystery that keeps you just as interested in the clothes the characters are wearing and what they are eating as in the main storyline!
I Dreamed I married Perry Mason is the first in the CeCe Caruso series. CeCe is an engaging protagonist, a biographer obsessed with vintage fashion. The plot escalated quickly, throwing in new developments on nearly every page. However I wish the author had provided more than just the couple of suspects introduced early on in the novel. It was fairly easy to spot the killer. Yet it was an entertaining read and I plan to continue the series.
I picked this book up at the library because the waiting lists for the books I actually wanted to read we're in the thousands. CeCe Carusa is a biographer working on her Earle Stanley Gardner book (he wrote the Perry Mason books). This book is an enjoyable, light mystery. You aren't going to have solved the mystery of life once you've read it, but there are some unexpected twists and turns that will keep you reading.
Susan Swansburg
maybe more like 2.5.
Cece is a divorce mother of one woman who is going through some marital troubles herself in this book. Cece is a biographer and is writng a biography on Earle Stanley Gardner (ESG) who created the Perry Mason books before Perry Mason was a television show. Cece loves to wear vintage clothes and has help from friends in the industry who keep her hip. Some scenes in the story are funny.
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She attended graduate school in art history at UCLA. She has been an art historian and critic, writing for the L.A. Times and various art magazines, as well as editing the international art journal, artext. In addition, she also taught art history and theory at U.C.L.A., Art Center College of Design, and U.C. Santa Barbara.

Susan has been married since 1991 to a professor of media design, Peter Lun
More about Susan Kandel...

Other Books in the Series

A Cece Caruso Mystery (5 books)
  • Not a Girl Detective (A Cece Caruso Mystery, #2)
  • Shamus in the Green Room (A Cece Caruso Mystery, #3)
  • Christietown (A Cece Caruso Mystery, #4)
  • Dial H for Hitchcock (A Cece Caruso Mystery, #5)
Not a Girl Detective (A Cece Caruso Mystery, #2) Dial H for Hitchcock (A Cece Caruso Mystery, #5) Christietown (A Cece Caruso Mystery, #4) Shamus in the Green Room (A Cece Caruso Mystery, #3) Ripley, Believe It or Not

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