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The Case of the Gilded Lily

(Perry Mason #50)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  461 ratings  ·  38 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.
Paperback, 188 pages
Published September 12th 1985 by Master Mind Books (first published 1956)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it
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)
Sandy Chris
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ingenious. I loved every page of this book.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardner-read
Gardner decides to start this book more like a novel with setting up the background of the crime. A rich businessman is called on by a stranger in a matter of most importance. It turns out to be a classical, but clever blackmail. The action is described in a real time manner, so the reader readily follows the action. The famous lawyer is nowhere to be found as yet. When a murder is committed, naturally, the rich man runs for help to Mason's office. I noticed certain similarities in both men and ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, mystery
#51 in the Perry Mason series. An oddity in this series entry is that Perry Mason doesn't appear until page 58. The first four chapters are spent setting up the blackmail scheme and getting Perry's client on the hook for murder. Perry pulls his usual courtroom sleight-of-hand, in this case what appears so much like falsifying evidence that he has secretary, Della Street, concerned about his ethics. An entertaining read where Perry vindicates his client in spite of efforts by the client's secreta ...more
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn't see the end coming on this one. I thought I finally had one figured out, but I guess that's why they call it a mystery.

The story starts out slow and you have to get through 60 something pages before you even get to Perry Mason. I know it's important but still a little tiring. And I wonder why the guy bothered to hire a lawyer if he was so bound to do things his way anyway?

Wasn't sure about some of Perry's hijinks this time around, was glad to see Della questioning him. I think he was
Victoria Mixon
Nov 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Oooh, Perry Mason really pushes his luck this time. And Gardner, once again, helps by forbidding the characters to ask him the questions that would turn his deliberate legal sleight-of-hand into a felony. Suddenly I do not want to know that lawyers pull these stunts to keep murderers from being prosecuted, as though justice were nothing more important than a poker game.

Also, my solution was way better, even though at the end I could see it was the red herring Gardner dragged across the path of a
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-mystery
The Perry Mason mysteries are a very easy read that make it a good summer time mystery. What I liked about this was that there was not a pile of bodies, just the one murder. Also while I thought I had things figured out the murderer was not who I expected it to be and did not die. A great old style whodunnit book.
It's like a trip back to the 50's - the lovely Della and the clever lawyer and his sidekick. What a fun little read. You would not be able to write this book today -- too many stereotypes and cliches. I found three of these Perry Mason's in my daughter's library. They were original copies. Quick and fun reads. Damn! Perry Mason was pretty smart.
Aug 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Typical Perry Mason mystery. Mason is called in to defend a wealthy lawyer accused of murder after having been been blackmailed. The usual Mason slight of hand skirting close to the edge of the law along with the detective work of Paul Drake enable Mason to successfully defend his client.
Elizabeth S
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-mystery
Not my favorite of the Perry Masons. Begins with the client being blackmailed, and that gets rather tedious and annoying. The end discovery of the real killer is, of course, surprising. But the legal, courtroom stuff wasn't as interesting as in other Perry Mason books.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
an absolute thriller and makes for a very enjoyable read as Perry Mason gets down to solving another mysterious criminal act in the town, this time embroiling his own wife.

the book has the reader hooked on as Perry unravels the mystery and puts the puzzle pieces together.
This case felt stiff to me. I found little interest in the characters and Perry Mason seemed harsh and unscrupulous.
Dec 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Another classic Perry Mason novel...A quick, short read, that has the normal who dunnit and classic Mason and Della Street combo...
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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)
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  • The Case of the Lucky Legs
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  • The Case of the Curious Bride (Perry Mason Mystery)
  • The Case of the Counterfeit Eye
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  • The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece
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