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

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  529 Ratings  ·  31 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, 214 pages
Published December 4th 1993 by Fawcett (first published 1942)
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Nov 27, 2016 Evgeny rated it really liked it
Perry Mason escaped from the city to take a break from work only to meet a rich guy who wanted to consult him professionally. The guy's daughter decided to marry a young fellow who literally knows nothing about his origins. By hiring detectives his prospective father-in-law found out the father of his relative in the making was executed eighteen years ago for murder. Now Mason's client wanted the lawyer to look through the trial transcript to check if the verdict was fair. After studying the pap ...more
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
Jun 19, 2011 Eric_W rated it liked it
Shelves: legal-drama
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
May 24, 2010 Mark Stratton rated it liked it
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.
Stephen Osborne
Nov 12, 2016 Stephen Osborne rated it liked it
Not one of the best Perry Masons. The interesting thing here is that Mason isn't the defense attorney in the case, at least at first. Of course, when he joins the team, he takes over completely. It's also interesting that Mason meddles with evidence, and this nearly lands him in trouble. Only some fast talk and some fast thinking allows him to avoid probable arrest. The main trouble here, though, is the convoluted solution to the crime. Goodness, it made my head spin.
Whistlers Mom
Sep 24, 2016 Whistlers Mom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, but is it the SAME duck?

Erle Stanley Gardner was a rugged outdoorsman who objected to the stereotype of the attorney as a four-eyed wimp hiding behind his law books. In this book we see Perry Mason riding a horse and changing a tire. We also learn that he puts on clean underwear after he bathes. I think that using the words "granite hard" and "underwear" in the same paragraph is pushing the envelope, but Perry IS a man of action and he and Della ARE o
Oct 01, 2016 Serena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Mar 25, 2013 Steve rated it it was ok
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
Vitasta Chaturvedi
"I am working for a blind woman. They carve her image on courthouses. She has a pair of scales in one hand and a sword in the other. They call her Justice, and she is the one I am working for, right at the moment."

An amazing reply by Perry Mason to his client when tries to implies that he is employed by him.
This time again Mason won't let case and clues come to him, even if the case is 18 years old.
Whiterspoon, an arrogant father asks Mason to investigate an old case involving the father of hi
Sep 27, 2015 Swathi rated it really liked it
Shelves: mason
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
False Millennium
Sometimes Gardner likes to love things to the Southwest, or at least out in the California mountains and desert towns. Eventually, everyone makes their way back to L.A. but in this case, the trial takes place in one of those small towns. Lately, I've been readiing Gardner books where multiple wives or girlfriends are in the picture. There's a war coming. It's 1942 and the younger generation are feeling the effects of their future sacrifice. Having read past the 1940's I can say that Gardner skip ...more
Jun 18, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  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
Aug 07, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 17, 2012 Juuli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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."

Oct 07, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, clean-reads
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.
May 15, 2012 Srivas rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
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.
Nov 08, 2013 Stven rated it really liked it
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.
Pari Rajulu
Aug 22, 2016 Pari Rajulu rated it really liked it
This is the first book which I have started and finished the same day within a span of 8hrs with a few breaks in between. The story was really interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed the way the plot unfolds. Glad to have picked this up.
Heather's Mum
Sep 12, 2007 Heather's Mum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
Vincent Darlage
Mar 09, 2010 Vincent Darlage rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I have read this one a couple of times and it always sticks with me - esp. the method for drowning the duck.
Oct 25, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I'm amazed at how Gardner continued to have fresh, complex plots for each Perry Mason book, even though he wrote 150 of them!
Feb 11, 2011 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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.
Jan 04, 2016 Kevin rated it really liked it
So how do you drown a duck without touching it? Perry Mason explains that there are actually two ways to do it in this fascinating novel.
Donald rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2015
'teresa rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2016
Raghavendra rated it liked it
Sep 20, 2013
Harish Iyer
Harish Iyer rated it it was amazing
Jul 12, 2016
Tr3n1ty rated it liked it
Feb 20, 2012
Jo Massino
Jo Massino rated it liked it
Jan 27, 2011
Anie rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2012
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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...

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