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The Case of the Beautiful Beggar

(Perry Mason #76)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  475 ratings  ·  58 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)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  475 ratings  ·  58 reviews


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Gene
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
Alex
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
...more
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
...more
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
Toby
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
...more
shravya
Mar 15, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richa
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.
Ed
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, legal
#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
W
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.
Bob
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
...more
Anna
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
...more
Rusty
Feb 01, 2022 rated it really liked it
A young woman named Daphne Shelby appears in Perry Mason's office asking for help. Upon returning from a six month trip to the Orient, she finds a letter waiting for her from her uncle. Until the trip, she had cared lovingly for her wealthy uncle. The letter tells her to contact Mason and not to return home. Enclosed in the letter is a check she is to cash as soon as she can. When she goes to the bank she discovers that a half-brother and his wife have taken control of the uncle's fortune and co ...more
Amit Bikram
Dec 10, 2020 rated it liked it
This was the first of the later Perry Mason books that I read to reinitiate myself to the world of this virtious and stand up defense lawyer, having read most of the first 20 books in my first stint. The book did feel a bit of a let down, the plot not being original, atleast it didn't feel original to me. The Case of the Rolling Bones(Perry Mason #15) had a broadly similar beginning, with an old man, the head of the family, being tucked into a mental asylum by greedy relatives while the good rel ...more
SueChor
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
Christopher
Mar 02, 2021 rated it liked it
This late entry (1965) in the series features a defendant who is as annoying and obtuse as any that Perry ever represented. Nonetheless, he sticks with her all the way. The plot is easier to grasp than most of the Mason books, and the story moves along nicely. Even if the identity of the murderer is less than shocking, and an important twist near the end a bit too prettily-wrapped, this is an entertaining read. As a bonus, we are treated to a two-page restaurant scene revolving around the manner ...more
Nicole
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!
JayeL
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angie
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? ...more
Tejsweeta
May 07, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Have read these courtroom dramas by Gardner over the decades and they don't get old somehow. Even when , just like with Agatha Christies, I kind of know the format, the contrived plot, and can often guess a part of whats coming, but still there is some bit that it throws in which keeps the interest.

Good enjoyable short read!
...more
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.
Corinne
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. ...more
J.L. Rallios
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A definite best (so far) of Perry Mason mysteries. I love the intricate plots, surprise twists, and the stalwart way that Perry Mason rescues his client, Daphne, as much as from the being tried unjustly as from herself. A fun, page-turner mystery!
Debra Bates
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn't love Perry Mason? I like the fact that he shows empathy and caring to the unfortunate one and seeks to be loyal to his client while upholding the law. We can learn a lot about our legal system just by reading these books. ...more
Renad Ahmed
Nov 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
I got no chance to read this series in English but I was so lucky to find it translated into Arabic.
The events of the novel are fast and successive without boredom or stretching and lengthening, and that what I liked most in Erle Stanley Gardener's written.
...more
Danny Reid
Lots of crazy things happening, but the solution lands with a thud.
Nancy
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. ...more
Sharanne
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.
Dean Anderson
Jun 04, 2022 rated it liked it
Always enjoy it when Perry tweeks the law a bit.
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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

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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