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

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  302 Ratings  ·  18 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 23, 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!

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
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
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
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
Mar 27, 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! :(
Aug 28, 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.
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.
Rijo John
Mar 27, 2014 Rijo John rated it it was ok
Nice plot - solves too easily without hassles
Nov 09, 2014 Aristotll rated it really liked it
gorgeous plot
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 24, 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
Jul 03, 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.
Elizabeth S
Oct 07, 2010 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.
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.
Vincent Darlage
Sep 16, 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.
Aug 18, 2009 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.
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..
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Apr 17, 2016
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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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