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The Case of the Gilded Lily

(Perry Mason #50)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  626 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Stewart G. Bedford loves his wife Ann, and cooperates with blackmailer Binney Denham. But he wakes from a drugged drink to find Binney shot, his gun missing, and his blonde escort "Gerry, for short" missing. Binney claimed an accomplice, and somebody beats up Gerry. California lawyer Perry Mason, secretary Della Street, and PI Paul Drake team up for answers. ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published September 12th 1985 by Master Mind Books (first published July 1st 1956)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me ask you a trick question: what is the world's most dangerous job? How many of you came up with the right answer - blackmailing?
This thankless job without a doubt make people's lives very short regardless of whether they are professionals or amateurs. However I am getting ahead of myself.

Steward G. Bradford was a wealthy businessman who bought himself married a trophy wife.
Trophy wife
It seemed the marriage was reasonably happy: the guy got himself an easy on the eyes companion and his wife changed
Not one of my favourite Perry Mason mysteries, but decent enough.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
I didn't see the end coming. This one was one of the better Perry Mason's I have read. A combination of a difficult client, an interfering Secretary, lots of instances where it seems Perry is on the wrong side of the law and a conclusion that's a bolt out of the blue. This was a good one! ...more
Phil Noble
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great twisty plot. I had forgotten how much I like Erle Stanley Gardner's writing until I picked up this book by accident. ...more
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it
To protect his wife, Stewart Bedford agrees to help a blackmailer. He wakes up to find the blackmailer killed with his own gun. He will need the aid of Perry Mason. Gardner follows his usual storyline.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First sentence: Stewart G. Bedford entered his private office, hung up his hat, walked across to the huge walnut desk which had been a birthday present from his wife a year ago, and eased himself into the swivel chair.

Premise/plot: The first four chapters introduce us to the major players, and in addition gives us a glimpse of the crime scene. Perry Mason enters into the novel in chapter five--after the crime has been committed but before the police have been called.

The basics: Stewart G. Bedfo
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
First Perry Mason reread during the quarantine whose plot seemed familiar to me this time around. However, I couldn't remember who did it. And although I ultimately missed the actual murderer, I did twig to the plot twist. Gardner plays fair here. The twist is clean, not a deus ex machina. The characters are a bit better than his usual wooden folks, and for a change the women are somewhat believable. This is still a universe in which Della Street is the only good one, though. It is amazing that ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Too convenient an end. All nicely tied up. But this is one of those books where Mason plays around with the evidence, luckily which turns out alright at the end.
The only good part was the lovely court room argument back and forth, over technicalities.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long opening sequence describing the situation and cast of characters that will give us our murder is not the best approach to a Perry Mason book since we're all waiting to see what Perry himself is going to get up to. Once we got rolling, it was a pretty good story. ...more
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A businessman named Stewart G. Bedford is being blackmailed by a man named Binney Denham who comes to him with a proposition from his associate named Delbert: Delbert needs twenty thousand dollars to finance a venture of his. He’s promised to pay back the money within six months.

But Bedford tells him he has no idea who Delbert is. Then Binney threatens him with his wife's criminal records. He knows little about His wife Ann Roann who’s much younger than he is beside the fact that she’s a victim
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pretty ginchy. Gardner kits out this one to make the reader think they've figured it out early. And the reader has indeed figured something out early, while ignoring the aspects of the case that are needed to supply the coherent, complete solution. Very nice sleight of hand and fast as hell. This is my fourth Mason novel and the guy does spend a lot of time, it seems, defending rich businessmen. He's propping up the patriarchal capitalist hegemony! I won't stand for it! Etc. ...more
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I would rate this Perry Mason in the very upper echelon of the ESG books, even though it is a latish entry in the series. The plot is relatively easy to follow, without many of the detours and red herrings that are characteristic of many of the other Mason novels. Burger is puffed up and bellicose, which makes his inevitable comeuppance all the more satisfying. It’s a quick read with a satisfying conclusion.
Kieran McAndrew
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A businessman is blackmailed after someone reveals his May to December second wife has a felony arrest on her record. When the blackmailer is subsequently murdered, Perry Mason leaps to the defence.

Gardner knows how to set up situations, with believable characters and believable motives for fantastic crimes.
Kate Picher
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bishop
The writing is more procedural than some of Gardner's other Perry Mason books. And I wasn't sure how Mason figured out who the murderer was. He seemed to base too much on chance. I was glad my library had it though. ...more
As always..a formulaic, but fun escapist read. This one only got three stars as the solution to the mystery relied almost completely on Perry Mason's super power of split second lie detecting. ( He can tell almost instantly if anyone is telling the truth or lying) ...more
James Vest
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A man is thrusted into a blackmail scheme so deep, he lands right in the middle of an open and shut murder rap. Though the story loses a lot its sparkle on the way to the climatic courtroom finale, the opener deserves credit for being pure dynamite—one of the best in the series.
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Well," he said, "let's get on some ground we can talk about. What did you do before you met that character?"
"Corespondent," she said.
"You mean, a professional corespondent?"
"That's right. Go to a hotel with a man, take my clothes off wait for the raiding party."
Apr 28, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
These translated to TV a lot better than they read (I realize I'm generalizing, having only read this one, but I'm unlikely to read any others). Both language and plot recapitulation were very repetitive, especially during the courtroom scenes. ...more
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.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Loved this series as a teenager; can't remember much of this but know it wasn't one of my favs ...more
Sovana Dash
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Came across this book through a friend of mine and I'm so glad I did. Finished it within half a day. Couldn't leave the book unless until the law page. A must read. ...more
Sandy Chris
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ingenious. I loved every page of this book.
Joana Simões
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A case for Perry Mason to solve.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A page-turner as usual, but a little short with Mason solving everything abruptly at the end.
Em Witteveen
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Again with these books, I feel like some of the writing is a little too dense. Not much action happens for a few pages before we finally love on again. But still a good weekend mystery.
Jeff Laporta
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent story. We'll written and keeps moving. Highly recommend this classic detective style approach story of Perry Mason. ...more
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Style is too dated. Guess it was Raymond Burr that made it so good.
Donald Harwick
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I didn’t completely buy in to Perry’s explanation at the end, but a riveting, “can’t put it down for long” read.
Jeff J.
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
#50 in the Perry Mason series. A case of blackmail turns into a murder case. Perry Mason to the rescue!
Paul Coughlan
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great read, with a super twist at the end.
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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)
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  • 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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