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The Case of the Restless Redhead

(Perry Mason #45)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  484 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Evelyn Bagby has ambition, bad luck – and red hair. When she is caught with stolen diamonds is looks like an airtight case. But Perry Mason believes she has been set up. Then comes news of another crime and Mason finds the charge against his client is murder.
Paperback, 191 pages
Published September 24th 2010 by House of Stratus (first published July 1st 1954)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
No good deed ever goes unpunished. Perry Mason kept forgetting about this simple truth and as a result kept getting in the same trap over and over. This time he ended up in a courtroom following the proceedings of a case with which he has nothing in common. A redheaded woman was accused of a theft of valuable jewels.
She was assigned a young inexperienced public defender with her being as poor as a church mouse.
Church mouse

The young guy was badly losing to prosecution due to his complete lack of experience
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
What begins with Mason helping out a young attorney with his cross-examination skills in defending a young waitress framed for jewel theft turns much more complicated when soon after, she finds herself framed for murder. Though Mason’s client in this one seems much more straightforward than some others he’s defended, the other players have much to hide. The evidence is already rather complicated and the fact that everyone (not the actual culprit alone) is trying to hide something adds further tw ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another excellent Perry Mason mystery / legal drama.

I won't go into the plot (but it is a really good one), suffice to say it is full of old-style charm, cunning tactics and flamboyant characters.

So glad I've still got plenty of these dramas left to enjoy!
Dec 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, hardboiled
I find a lot of parallels between this Erle Stanley Garner novel and Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep. I don't mean in terms of plot points or even writing style. The similarities are in the incomprehensibility of the plot and its too many nuances. Even when seeing the story faithfully translated into a screen version, main plot points faithfully preserved, it's still difficult to figure out the reason for all that happens.

This novel was adapted for the screen and is Season 1, Episode 1, of the
Sep 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books off and on for many years. Many years ago, I was an intense fan of the series, and read them all, at least once. Now, after a lot of water over the dam, I'm looking at them again.

Those who are used to really fine mystery writers may find the writing style here a bit stiff and mechanical. Nonetheless, I still love the general setting: the characters of Perry, Della, Paul, Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Berger. That, and the ingenious plots, are why I read Pe
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was the basis for the first Perry Mason episode ever aired (S1E1, not the pilot), so you know it's going to be good. This is the famous case with the identical guns and Perry using one to add extra bullet holes to the murder scene (forcing the authorities to realize that guns had been switched, although, as it turns out, not by the guilty parties, and thus unnecessary, although quite helpful to Perry's case). In fact, the stuff with the guns is all a red herring; something the defenda ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
A little too drawn out and I nearly got lost by the end; I've read better from Gardner. ...more
Bailey Marissa
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2k17, adult

There's a lot of lawyer talk but it's really interesting. Also, there's some Della/Perry but it's only hinted at.

Recommended 12+ for murder and language
Brent Butler
Apr 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Entry #45 in the novel series became the first episode aired in the TV series! The TV adaptation stay faithful to the outline of the novel, with the biggest changes being skipping over a major incident leading the novel and combining some characters to create a murderer.

The novel is a compelling read, with a typically cryptic set of circumstances enmeshing Mason's client in a murder she was no where near. Typical courtroom scenes have the reader chuckling as Mason confounds Sgt. Holcomb (yet aga
Martina Kovaříková
I would be honest, I definitely read better books where Mason is involved. But it is not terrible, still well worth the read if you enjoy the books with Perry Mason. Just this one seemed bit off to me. I will have to read few more to see if I just remember it wrongly or other books had more with Della and Drake appearance. Somehow, I missed them!
I still enjoyed the book and will definitely read some more from the author soon.
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This one is among the more complex plots among the Perry Masons I have read. And I am reading one after a long, long time. I was introduced to this character by my Grandpa, when I was much younger. He had a bunch of his books and encouraged me to read them. And I fill in love with Della Street, a tad more than Mason obviously :) Was glad to read one again after all these years and was looking for more, this time, in one of my uncle's homes. ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the more interesting cases. Especially, since it starts with a cross-examination and has a nice helpful portion where Gardner has given a tip for young lawyers.
This case has all the elements that can keep a reader gripped - glamour, star struck struggler, murder, truimph of good, and lastly, a gripping trial in the court of law.
Kieran McAndrew
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An aspiring actress is accused of theft and her court appointed attorney finds himself working alongside Perry Mason. Freeing her from her theft charge, Mason and Neery find they are soon called on again: to defend their client against a murder charge!

Gardner's tight plotting means that his short novels still feel rich and full of detail.
Darel Krieger
Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it
This book was used as the basis of the very first Perry Mason episode starring Raymond Burr. I had never read any of Mr. Gardner's books but had seen many of them turned into episodes for the above named TV series.
It was an enjoyable read and interesting in the way they did things and lived life back in the 50's. I will definitely be reading more of Mr. Gardner's writings.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recently I learned that before there was a television series, Perry Mason movies were made in the 30s. Then I discovered that it all started with a book series, with the first book released in 1933. So, I went to my library, where there were a couple of titles. This quick read was entertaining.
Jeff J.
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
#45 in the Perry Mason series. Perry mentors a young defense attorney and his client, quickly finding himself over his head in trouble. One of the better books in the series I’ve read. Adapted for the television series.
Jul 27, 2017 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.
Cathy Houston
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Cathy by:
Perry teaches a young lawyer how to defend his client
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
The amount of info on the clues sometimes left my head spinning, but overall a fun and engaging read!
Dr Hanif Hassan Barbhuiya
Again, a true Perry Mason classic
Ed Barker
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Okay, the actions of some of the characters seem implausible even for 1954.
Daniel Callister
Sep 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Terrific, lots of fun to read.
The general standard of Perry Masons is remarkably high, gathering from the other two I have read before. This one's okay.

Had the feeling the women in it were being sold a little though, and I guess this would have been the Case in other Perry Masons as well. Well, they are selling murders and that's why we bought 'em and relished 'em. The faintest of sex (ualization of women) goes with it I guess.

The tone and language is a bit pointedly informal, a bit silly, especially noticeable in the conte
Book collector
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are too many books to do individual reviews for so this is an author overview really. The star rating will give an idea of my feelings on the individual books.

Erle Stanley gardner was one of my father's favourite writers. He had a virtually full collection of the books. I was aware of the books mainly through the TV series of Perry Mason but started to read the novels shortly before my father passed away. Since then I've read all of the books and enjoyed them. I can't say gardner is a favo
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, mystery
#45 in the Perry Mason series. For once Perry has a client who doesn't disregard his instructions to keep her mouth shut; in fact, Perry instructs her to tell the police and reporters everything she knows, over and over. Mason sails close to the wind in manufacturing evidence after the fact that he knows Sgt. Holcomb will swear he discovered sooner than was possible. Preliminary hearing pyrotechnics eventually embarrass DA Burger but getting there is all the fun in this above average series entr ...more
Not one of my favorites. The usual mishmash of who shot who, when and where. Drawn out courtroom scenes. Hysteronics. Since learning that Gardner dictated his books into a machine, and seemed to have control over the degree of editing his work, you can't help but wish for an editor with a sharp blue pencil. So much needless repetition of information and long drawn-out speech. Gardner should have been his own editor, as many of the best writers were and are. The "Restless Redhead" herself drops o ...more
Dyah Subagyo
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Well, usually Perry Mason skirted on the edge of lawful and unlawful. This time, I feel that he has fallen over that edge.
So, three stars. I understand that his deed helps solving the case, but still, it's a wrong deed.
Ellen Oberkotter
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
More confusing than most of his books - and Mason steps way over the legal line at one point. Still, I always enjoy Gardner's books, as much for the glimpse of the world of the 1940s as for the story. ...more
Les Anderson
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of the better Perry Mason novels. Things move quickly in the courtroom here but Mason really shows his ability. The addition of a young, small-town lawyer learning from Mason really gave insight into some of Mason's tactics. ...more
Jun 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one has a particularly memorable opening with Perry Mason visiting a courtroom where he winds up advising a young attorney on cross-examination techniques. Not my favorite way to end one of his stories, though.
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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

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 (Perry Mason, #3)
  • The Case of the Howling Dog (Perry Mason, #4)
  • The Case of the Curious Bride (Perry Mason, #5)
  • The Case of the Counterfeit Eye (Perry Mason, #6)
  • The Case of the Caretaker's Cat (Perry Mason, #7)
  • The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece (Perry Mason, #8)
  • The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (Perry Mason, #9)
  • The Case of the Dangerous Dowager (Perry Mason, #10)

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