Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Case of the Beautiful Beggar (Perry Mason, #76)” as Want to Read:
The Case of the Beautiful Beggar (Perry Mason, #76)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Case of the Beautiful Beggar

(Perry Mason #76)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  410 ratings  ·  48 reviews

A beautiful young woman seeks the help of the world-famous lawyer to free her frail, wealthy uncle from the clutches of a conniving half brother. But the police believe she may be a murderer. Could they be right? Or will Perry Mason and his clever assistants, Paul Drake and Della Street be able to prove her innocence?

Hardcover, 253 pages
Published by Amereon Limited (first published January 1st 1966)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Case of the Beautiful Beggar, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Case of the Beautiful Beggar

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  410 ratings  ·  48 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Case of the Beautiful Beggar (Perry Mason, #76)
A young woman Daphne Shelby begged Mason to see her and the lawyer finally gave up. It seemed she just arrived from abroad and received a letter from her uncle. The letter instructed her to go straight to Mason - without even bothering to visit home, cash the enclosed check in a bank and give the money to the lawyer for the safekeeping. There were some other instructions, but for the review these will suffice. It took Mason just one look at the check to become interested: the amount was not exac ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I used to enjoy Perry Mason mysteries a lot. But this one fell short. Too many plot holes, a very slow dragging book. Not much to explore. I also felt the characters were underdeveloped.

A very beautiful young woman approaches Perry Mason with a strange request: her uncle Mr. Horace Shelby has given her a check for $12500 and wants her to immediately meet Mason and together go to the bank to withdraw money. She had gone for a 3 month vaccation and had come back to find this letter waiting for her
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A typical Erle Stanley Gardner Perry Mason mystery. And by typical I mean a fun, rollicking mystery.

A young woman comes to Mason desperate to find her uncle who she's been living with. She had been taking care of his affairs until she went on vacation overseas for a timely rest. When she returns she finds her uncle taken away to a hospital for the mentally incompetent and another uncle taking over the house. She has a day to move out herself.

Mason helps the young lady find out if her Uncle is r
Doug Dams
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this Perry Mason book. A beautiful woman raised by a rich uncle hires Perry Mason to protect her and her uncle from relatives trying to steal the uncle's fortune. It has the usual Mason twists and turns. It takes a while to find out the true relationships of all the characters and what their motivations are. And then there is a murder, and the beautiful beggar is accused. It takes all the resources of the Drake detective agency, Perry and Della Street to finally find the solution. I li ...more
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The mystery was too obvious here. A lot of repetetion. It seemed more like a book wanting to champion the cause of the rich elderly, than actually a murder mystery. With all due respect for these silver people, I expected little less of the sob story and little more ingenious detection.
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was the first Perry Mason book I've read, and I have to say, I enjoyed it quite a bit! It was humorous, and although it took me a bit to figure out the character-type of Perry Mason (kind of in D&D style - i.e., lawful/neutral/chaotic good/neutral/evil), I did get into the swing of the story eventually.

It is a bit dated, but it's not like I wasn't expecting that, since I knew that Gardner wrote Perry Mason novels from the early 1930s to the mid 1970s. This particular novel was published in
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, mystery
#76 in the Perry Mason series. Daphne had spent her life caring for her elderly uncle. When his half-brother showed up, with his wife and a friend, they convinced the uncle that Daphne was overworked and needed a vacation. This gave them the chance to drug the uncle and have him committed. The half-brother told the court that Daphne wasn't really the old man's niece but the illegitimate daughter of his deceased housekeeper. This novel has the usual twists of a Perry Mason entry and the requisite ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
The only Perry Mason book in my personal library,it was rather dull and unexciting.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books off and on for many years. Those who are used to really fine mystery writers (in the literary sense), such as Ross Macdonald, may find the writing style here a bit dry. Nonetheless, I still love the general setting: the fast pace, the characters of Perry, Della, Paul, Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Berger. That, and the ingenious plots, are why I read Perry Mason.

On the whole, the ones written by about 1953 are the best. This is one of the last ones, writte
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The case of a beautiful beggar and

"If all beggars were as beautiful as you are, it'd be a wonderful world." Of course, the beautiful one is Mason's client, he would have it any other way.
Another fine book by Gardner,but it'd seem that he lost his passion for trial work though. Usually he devotes around 50% but here, the murder is committed in the middle of the book so that leaves less than 20% for the murder trial itself. There's not much fun with cross examination so typical of Gardner.

A youn
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I only gave this 2 stars, because it doesn’t hold up against contemporary detective fiction, but I read it because it’s important historically. Perry Mason and Della Street, c. 1965, were a marker on the road to what we read now, although Gardner’s stories hark back to decades earlier. They are simple, sexist (yes, Della, order the sandwiches) and representative of the times. However in this one, which is generally black and white, the young female client does show a few surprising character twi ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This was one of the best Perry Mason novels that I have ever read. It was fast-paced with a tightly woven plot, well-developed characters and best of all, Perry practically meets his match in a client who comes close to outwitting him. A most enjoyable read! I do have one regret- it’s a pity that this book is not available as an ebook, I would love to add it to my collection of Perry Mason novels!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I always love any time I can watch Perry, Della, and Paul hang out and be adorable and charming. Even when they're being a bit stage-y. Even when the client is a bit dippy. This was a fast, fun read with plenty of twists and turns and some of those good old "Dammit, Perry, you're gonna get yourself arrested" hijinks... And who doesn't love those?
James Vest
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
An elaborate family drama, including a man forced into a sanitarium, a niece determined to rescue him, and a half-brother bent on stealing his fortune. A satisfying web that neatly untangles in court with the help of an army of private detectives and some evidence tampering.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had the portrayal of Perry Mason by Raymond Burr while listening to this audiobook. All the usual characters were there and sounded like their TV actors except for Perry Mason. This Perry was constantly "grinning", while the TV version NEVER grinned.
Danny Reid
Lots of crazy things happening, but the solution lands with a thud.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first of Gardner's that I've read and I liked that the plot would twist just when I thought it was getting wrapped up.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I admit even I began to doubt Daphne’s innocence, but Perry Mason never gave up on her.
Steve Gross
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I was surprised at how much dialogue and how little action there was. The book reads exactly like the TV series.
Bob Box
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Read in 1975. Perry Mason courtroom mystery.
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A woman walks unannounced into Perry Mason’s office seeking assistance. Her plight moves Della Street’s heart and Mason agrees to hear her story. For years, she has taken care of her wealthy uncle and then some other relatives arrive. They encourage her to take an extended trip and while on that trip, they maneuver to strip her uncle of all authority and push her out of the inheritance structure. While on the trip, she receives a letter from her uncle that lists some of the problems. However, w ...more
Thom Swennes
Aug 08, 2013 rated it liked it
When Daphne Shelby, a beautiful young woman, enters Perry Mason’s office with a mysterious letter and check from her Uncle Horace, the reader is once again enthralled into a world of judicial magic. Daphne was on the return leg of a three month Oriental tour when she received an urgent letter from her uncle, instructing her to go to him immediately upon her return to Los Angeles. When they tried to cash the check they were informed that the account had been recently cleaned out, leaving the hero ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Daphne Shelby has taken care of her elderly uncle Horace for years. When Horace's half-brother, wife, and a friend show up and convince Daphne to take a much-needed three-month vacation, she acquiesces and enjoys her trip. She returns, however, to find her life turned upside down. The visitors have taken over Horace's house, had him committed to a sanitarium, and they've wrested control of his financial accounts from both Daphne and Horace. Daphne is kicked out of her home, unable to contact her ...more
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up last night while I was going to bed thinking to start it, and it was such a captivating/easy read that I finished it in a matter of hours late into the night.

This was another book on my dad's recommend book list, and I enjoyed the mystery and adventure of it. I can definitely see why my father would like it so much.
Doug Dams
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it
An attractive woman raised by a rich uncle is surprised to learn she might not be related to her rich uncle and scheming family members are trying to cut her out of the will. But before Mason can determine who she is, the uncle is murdered and she's the prime suspect. It's a good story and keeps you guessing till the end.
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-hold
still at the beginning i can't figure out how this book could possibly have more to it. it seems as though he will solve it in moments... but then no one has died yet...

ok so i was reading it too slow and there was a request for it at the library so I had to return it.. so I will finish it before i forget the story line.
Les Anderson
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is absolutely one of the most character driven Mason novels and, for that reason, one of the best. The murder doesn't even happen for 2/3rds of the story. Before the murder, we are treated to, perhaps, the most difficult client that Mason has had. The trick that Mason uses to trap the killer is perhaps the only mystery in this novel.
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Yes, the Perry Mason books are fairly predictable, but I enjoy the escape. This story revolves around family members vying for the fortune of an elderly relative. Is he losing his marbles or is he being drugged? Is Perry Mason's client telling him the truth? Turn the pages and find out.
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it
This book is great if you like mystery. Perry Mason is a classic, daring lawyer-detective. The book is a little rough around the edges; the characters swear and there are some innapropriate comments in it. But if you can handle Perry Mason bending the rules, it's a good read.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Death of a Dude (Nero Wolfe, #44)
  • A Family Affair (Nero Wolfe, #46)
  • Fletch (Fletch, #1)
  • The Secret of Chimneys (Superintendent Battle, #1)
  • The Breast
  • Please Pass the Guilt (Nero Wolfe, #45)
  • The Seven Dials Mystery (Superintendent Battle, #2)
  • Death Times Three (Nero Wolfe, #47)
  • The Dain Curse
  • The Honourable Schoolboy
  • Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3)
  • A Phule and His Money (Phule's Company, #3)
  • Phule's Paradise (Phule's Company, #2)
  • The Path of Flames (Chronicles of the Black Gate #1)
  • Detectives and Young Adventurers: The Complete Short Stories
  • Absolution by Murder (Sister Fidelma, #1)
  • Crucible of Gold (Temeraire, #7)
  • Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)
See similar books…
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)

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
21 likes · 0 comments