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The Case of the Singing Skirt (Perry Mason #58)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  352 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Ellen Robb does more than just sing for her supper -- she also dances and sells cigarettes in a two-bit gambling parlor in a one-horse town. But when she hits a sour note with her scheming employer by refusing to help fleece a fat-cat customer in a crooked card game, she finds herself out of all three jobs. That's when she sings her song of woe to Perry Mason, who promises ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 198 pages
Published April 22nd 1992 by Fawcett (first published 1959)
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Kurt Reichenbaugh
Jul 22, 2013 Kurt Reichenbaugh rated it liked it
I have this one in a two-fer with The Case of the Black-Eyed Blond. Singing Skirt is entertaining enough. Two too many guns get involved in a murder, and Hamilton Burger raises hell in the court by complaining that every time Mason gets his hands on murder weapons he "juggles them around and just confuses everyone!"

No shit, Counselor!

Freya
Mar 19, 2015 Freya rated it liked it
Lots of twists and complications in this one. An interesting nugget of the law is explored that covers someone being shot by two bullets from two different guns. Which gun and shooter is responsible for the murder?

For the first time I found Gardner slip up. There is one point in the story that is swept under by the DA Hamilton Burger. He does not dig into how a gun makes it from Mason to the murderer.

It felt like Gardner could not explain it away so he escaped it! :(
Bob
Mar 28, 2015 Bob rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Over the last thirty-five years I've read all of the Mason novels at least once, and most several times. This is not one of the best, though it is pretty good considering it is a late novel.

It was written in 1959. By then, the TV series was a huge hit, Gardner was aging, and he was churning these novels out with the help of a staff. It shows. From around 1934 to 1940 the novels have a film noir feel and can be intense. From 1940 to around 1952 they are more mellow, but very creative and pretty w
...more
Ed
Jan 23, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, mystery
#60 in the Perry Mason series. Instead of his usual L.A. haunts, much of this entry takes place in Rowena, a nearby town controlled by gambling interests. Ellen Robb runs afoul of the gamblers and is run out of town in her cigarette girl costume. She goes to Perry and he decides to gain retribution for her. I found some nautical elements of this 1959 entry to be reminiscent of the classic The Case of the Crooked Candle (1944). Average.

#60 Perry Mason series - Ellen Robb does more than just sing
...more
Syrdarya
Sep 08, 2012 Syrdarya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Ellen Robb worked as a singer and cigarette seller at a gambling hall in the small town of Rowena. When she refuses to take part in a plan to cheat a customer who likes her, the hall's owner George Anclitas comes up with a ruse to frame her for stealing. Robb asks Perry Mason for help, and he takes on the case. Mason helps Ellen Robb beat the stealing charge, but she comes back for more help. Mason's attempt to save her the second time may cause him to lose his license, but he's determined to wo ...more
Nolan
Nov 20, 2009 Nolan rated it it was ok
A casino singer finds herself out of work, accused of something she didn’t do, and all because she refused to cheat a customer. Desperate for help and worried about her personal welfare, she approaches renowned defense attorney Perry Mason. He initially helps her get her job back, and things seem ok for a time. But a regular customer has fallen hard for her, and the man’s wife isn’t exactly thrilled about that. She approaches the casino owner, demanding her money back—the money her husband has l ...more
Betta
May 31, 2016 Betta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The usual quick inhalation and the book is done! I need to get an omnibus or something so it'll last longer. Anyway, this was an edge-of-the-seater for a couple of reasons. Rather late in the book it seems most everyone, including Mason, thinks his client has lied to him. Not new I guess, but this puts Mason in a bit of a wringer because of some consideration he has made for his client. And Hamilton Burger has seemingly gotten wise to it; it could mean disbarment for Perry Mason if he doesn't th ...more
Anna
Dec 02, 2016 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: gardner-read
I'm a bit disappointed with this one. The plot twists are good as always, and the novel is enjoyable, but I knew who was lying long before it occurred to Mason which was a little irritating after a while. A beautiful cigarette girl makes the famous lawyer take her case, over and over again. There are very interesting legal court decisions presented and a lot of surprising schemes. Mason really get his hands wet fighting the powerful casino moguls.
Les Anderson
Jun 17, 2016 Les Anderson rated it really liked it
Wow, I still don't understand how Mason figured out the actual chain of events. This case comes closest to landing Mason in jail, although his actions were legal. Also one of the better depictions of Hamilton Burger. It's amazing how Mason figures these things out while court is in session.
DavidO
Mar 09, 2013 DavidO rated it liked it
The case is interesting enough, but a bit of an eye roller with some of the unlikely things that happen. Sadly the interesting part of the case was just some window dressing (the gamblers) while the murder was the main focus.
Lee Ann
Jun 22, 2009 Lee Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Fast paced, well-written, clever – ESG relies too much on the deus ex machina to clear everything up – Hamilton Burger would be more of a foil if he were less of a caricature. Thrift store find
Jeffrey Marks
Jun 30, 2011 Jeffrey Marks rated it liked it
Very noir for a Mason book. Brings back memories of Gardner's pulp days with a city run by the grifters who have set up a gambling operation in town. Of course, Mason prevails over them.
Richa
Aug 25, 2015 Richa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a lot legal than some other books in the series and hence satisfied the lawyer in me! It was also extremely confusing but logical at the same time. A good case.
Rijo John
Mar 27, 2014 Rijo John rated it it was ok
Nice plot - solves too easily without hassles
Anne
Aug 29, 2012 Anne rated it liked it
The first Perry Mason book I read..Was quick to read and had a certain amount of suspense..
James Vest
Oct 01, 2016 James Vest rated it really liked it
Perry Mason, in the hottest water I've even seen him in after one of the most complex, twist filled setups, whose only detriment as a story is it's courtroom carousel of redundant questions.
Kim
May 25, 2014 Kim rated it liked it
I like Erle Stanley Gardner, so it was no surprise that I enjoyed this one. A nice light and fast read. A good "escape" book.
Karla
Aug 12, 2008 Karla rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm currently pretty close to the beginning, but I really like mysteries and I loved watching Perry Mason as a kid.
Mike Jensen
Apr 25, 2012 Mike Jensen rated it did not like it
Gardner has lost it by the time he churned out this sorry Perry Mason novel. It is better to get the palgue than to read this book.
Elizabeth S
Dec 19, 2009 Elizabeth S rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-mystery
One of the better Perry Masons. Has several interesting legal points, nice case-work, and not as frustrating as some Perry Mason stories.
Vincent Darlage
Sep 15, 2012 Vincent Darlage rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I last read this twenty years ago. It's still quite the page turner. I wasn't sure how Perry was going to get out of it this time.
Tony
Tony rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2013
César Abanto
César Abanto rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2016
Tam
Tam rated it it was amazing
Sep 27, 2014
Glenn Hopper
Glenn Hopper rated it it was ok
Aug 22, 2010
Ruth
Ruth rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2015
Bill
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Jun 21, 2014
Ralph
Ralph rated it really liked it
May 19, 2012
Bookfreak
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Apr 11, 2013
Nikhila Makker
Nikhila Makker rated it liked it
Feb 11, 2011
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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
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More about Erle Stanley Gardner...

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