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

The Case of the Drowning Duck (Perry Mason #20)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  384 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A dead man in the kitchen, gas fumes permeates the house, a duck seem to be drowning in the fishbowl, but it didn't die. Maybe that fact has something to do with murder?
Mass Market Paperback, 45 pages
Published December 4th 1993 by Fawcett (first published 1942)
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 Drowning Duck, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Case of the Drowning Duck

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 610)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I picked this up as a Kindle ebook and Amazon has a number of Erle Stanley Gardner books available. I loved the old TV series with Raymond Burr and the slightly newer ones featuring a much older Raymon Burr. I like that the ebook format is allowing us to revisit a lot of older authors. I am sometimes disappointed as I was with Leslie Charteris "Enter the Saint". Often these older novels just don't stand the test of time but that isn't the case here. Yes, the world has changed since the time this ...more
I picked up a bunch of old Perry Mason mysteries and thought I’d try one. I fondly remember reading several when I was a kid and they hold up well. There are the usual archaic references to contemporary technology, and one very jarring reference to a Red River Valley in California where there were large cotton farms. That was a bit ungeographical. Not to mention the constant cigarette smoking . It was just a given that everyone smoked. And women were to be good-looking and useful.

Nevertheless, i
Mark Stratton
Just another atypical typical Perry Mason story. Courtroom hysterics, more suspects than you can shake a duck at, and a duck that sinks.

It is interesting to read a book, set in the present at the time of its writing that is instructive of new developments that we take for granted today. Detergents were something relatively new at the time, and not referred to in the same fashion as we would consider them today.

And there was a drowning duck....sort of.
Absolutely brilliant! This is a perfect example of how unexpected twists and turns can happen! What caught my attention was the title of the book and how can it ever be related to a murder?! The first 100 pages wasnt that interesting and i took almost 3 days to finish it. The last 100 was completed in one go ! Trust me , it kept me glued. By the time i finished, i was like , what ??

The client, Mr. Witherspoon is a rich business man who considers Family as his priority. He has a daughter Lois, wh
The Drowning Duck is my second Mason, although a much earlier story than my prior. My first foray was a latter Gardner from the sixties, while this was written in ’42. My one comment about Mason still stands from my last review…why are people so enamored with a Lawyer. Okay, different time and place. Newspapers were certainly more relevant for getting news as opposed to TV, hence you are likely to be more up on local versus national/world news. As such, local court cases would get more face time ...more
Jun 18, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: mystery, other-usa, 2011
This was a quick and intriguing read. I've only read a few books in the Erle Stanley Gardner. It was an interesting story and although it was written almost 70 years ago, it seems almost timeless. I thought the description of "detergent" was very funny, however, considering the advances of technology in our cleaning materials. Overall it was a very entertaining story and was perfect for a long flight home.

interesting quote:
"Every man who has lived enough to be more than a stuffed shirt, has a c
Couldn't follow this one for some reason. Too much real life going on to focus, I think.
Rupesh Goenka
A Super Suspenseful Perry Mason mystery...
Nothing outstanding here, but interesting enough.
Aug 07, 2012 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: legal
#20 in the Perry Mason series. This humerous entry has the distinction of being the only mystery I'm aware of to use a surfactant as a major plot element. Perry winds up juggling timetables and ducks.

Perry Mason series - Wealthy John L. Witherspoon hires Perry Mason to delve into a twenty-year-old murder case in order to prove that the young man Witherspoon's daughter intends to marry has homicidal impulses in his genes.
Jessas, kui segane saab üks juhtum olla. Aga põnev ka. Osa asju suutsin ma välja nuputada, kuid osades asjades suutis autor mind ikka tõsiselt üllatada.
Leheküljel seitse oli ka üks vahva ütlus:
"Igal inimesel, kes on elanud küllalt kaua, et olla midagi rohkemat kui lihtsalt ülikonnatäide, on elus mõni suletud peatükk. Kui mitte, pole ta ka inimene."

Content - This is how a mystery should be - lots of twists and turns and complicated details muddying things up and a dizzying list of possible suspects.

Mechanics - The writing is not amazing but it passes very well.

Squeaky Clean? - Murders and affairs and such are only referred to not dwelt on or described. A few bad words.
The first Perry Mason I didn't particularly enjoy. Part of the problem is that the whole case is about Mason investigating events that occurred twenty years earlier, so we lack the famous courtroom drama.
It's 1942, the United States is sending young men to war, and a "detergent" is a newfangled chemical handy for parlor tricks. Perry Mason even then was a headstrong man of action and justice was his quest.
Written during WW2. I saw the drowning duck experiment in a TV episode. Quite complicated mystery and lots of possible guilty parties. Was surprised to find out who killed the last victim.
Heather's Mum
A dead man in the kitchen, gas fumes permeate the house, a duck seem to be drowning in the fishbowl, but it didn't die. Maybe that fact has something to do with murder?
I'm amazed at how Gardner continued to have fresh, complex plots for each Perry Mason book, even though he wrote 150 of them!
Vincent Darlage
I have read this one a couple of times and it always sticks with me - esp. the method for drowning the duck.
my first Gardner...a lot better than I expected.
Another fun Perry Mason mystery.
Rijo John
Nice and the usual stuff we expect.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Mugger (87th Precinct #2)
  • The Penguin Pool Murder (Hildegarde Withers #1)
  • Rock Bottom
  • There Was an Old Woman
  • The Broken Vase
  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2014
  • Quarantine In The Grand Hotel
  • Line of Control: A Thriller on the Coming War in Asia
  • The Lusitania Murders (Disaster Series, #4)
  • On the Lisbon Disaster
  • Dick Francis's Front Runner
  • Miss Fortune (Allie Fortune Mystery #1)
  • Poor, Poor Ophelia
  • House Dick (Hard Case Crime #54)
  • The Wrecking Crew (Matt Helm, #2)
  • Murder Off the Books (Sullivan Investigations Mystery, #1)
  • Final Curtain (Roderick Alleyn, #14)
  • The Herring Seller's Apprentice
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