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The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll

(Perry Mason #55)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  640 ratings  ·  35 reviews
THE AGONY OF DECEIT

Engaged to a dynamic young go-getter on his way up the corporate ladder, secretary Mildred Crest was riding high. Until her prince charming embezzled company funds and skipped town, leaving Mildred with nothing but a ring on her finer and egg on her face. Now all she wants is to start life over again. And when a fateful drive leads to the dea
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Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published 1958)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Evgeny
A young woman Mildred Crest was engaged to a seemingly nice rich guy and was happy about her life. Until one day the guy went into hiding with a large chunk of money he embezzled from the company. Completely devastated Mildred drove around without any purpose until she picked up a hitchhiker: another young woman named Fern Driscoll. They managed to get into an accident and the hitchhiker died.
Accident

Mildred saw an opportunity to start her life anew and assumed the identity of the dead woman.
A young woman Mildred Crest was engaged to a seemingly nice rich guy and was happy about her life. Until one day the guy went into hiding with a large chunk of money he embezzled from the company. Completely devastated Mildred drove around without any purpose until she picked up a hitchhiker: another young woman named Fern Driscoll. They managed to get into an accident and the hitchhiker died.
Accident

Mildred saw an opportunity to start her life anew and assumed the identity of the dead woman.
Identity
Everything seemed to be fine until Mildred realized Fern Driscoll was blackmailed before their fateful meeting and that the blackmailers happily switched to her as the target. Luckily for her under her new identity she was working at the same floor as Perry Mason. Unluckily she conveniently forgot to tell the lawyer the whole truth during the initial consultation. As a result Mason himself found a dead body with all the clues pointing toward his client.

This is fifty fifth book of the series. This is also the weakest one so far, bar none. I was able to untangle the mystery sometime after the first third of the book. I kept hoping I was wrong and the real picture is more complicated. It was really painful to read about Mason helplessly struggle building the defense case when the solution was very clear quite early. I managed to solve Mason's mysteries before, but not before him. This is the first time I did this and I do not believe it happened because I suddenly became very smart. It is more of the case of a weak mystery and plotting.

To be fair to the book there was a completely unexpected plot twist by the end which saved the book from 2 star rating, but but main mystery is so easy I do not consider it worthy of Perry Mason (who, to be fair had a temporary drop of IQ in this book - I truly hope it is temporary).
IQ drop
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Koen Kop
too far-fetched. Not one of his best.
Rural Soul
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
It was case no. 55 by Perry Mason as legendary and genius of a character created by Stanley Gardner.
It's more like a courtroom thriller. I liked the cross questioning technique of Mason. It reminds of a Urdu pulp lawyer character Mirza Amjad Baig created by Hassam Butt.
A refreshing read nevertheless after some doses of "Seriously Heavy Urdu Literature".
Richa
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A case full of twists and turns. The culprit was obvious, though an additional surprise is there at the very end. One of those cases where Mason's client wasn't totally honest with him, and his guesswork and lucky breaks get him out of the jam. Again, I couldn't help but wonder, if Hamilton Burger is as much to be credited for Mason's wins, as are is luck and lawyering skills.
Anna
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gardner-read
If you could start all over again and leave your life behind, would you? When young and beautiful Mildred Crest is engaged to be married to the most eligible bachelor, she could hardly imagine how her life would change that drastically. One afternoon at work, she recieves a call from her fiance confessing to many lies he told everyone. As it turns out, he was just an soon-to-be-discovered-embazzeler who was going to make a run for it, therefore he was just ending their relationship. Abandoned, h ...more
Freya
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
The story was engaging but not simple at all. Lots of twists and complications. The solution of the mystery came out of the blue. Didn't see this one coming!
Lorilee
Reading the entire series. This was a good one, I did not know who it was until a few pages before it was revealed.
Adrian Halpert
I always enjoy reading Perry Mason books. They're fast paced, fun and, as a future lawyer, I enjoy books and movies that have the lawyer as the hero, fighting for the rights of their clients when nobody else will. Fun stuff!
The Case of the Foot Loose Doll is fun and fast paced, with a convoluted plot to boot. Having worked in a legal clinic, I know that some of the clients that walk through the door have pretty incredible cases, but the plot here was really stretching it. Don't worry, I won't s
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Jennifer Robb
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery readers
Recommended to Jennifer by: K. Cheshire
I know of Perry Mason mostly through the TV show that starred Raymond Burr rather than through novels. I did find it amusing that the original cover price of this novel was 60 cents and the Half-Price Books tag on it says they were selling it for $1!

SPOILER ALERT!!!



My first thought is that it would be harder now to take on a new identity in the way that Mildred Crest did (by taking the purse of another woman). These days you'd likely be caught out by social me
...more
Jay Wright
I fell in love with Perry Mason at 5 and this desire lead to choosing the legal profession. This is the first time I have read one of Gardner's books. They are short but very entertaining. The action was ever present and with some great twists.
Eric
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by ESG! Did not see the plot unfolding as it did. Lots of twists and turns along the way, but as always, Mason figures out the mystery and solves the crime. A Good Read for sure!
Sharanne
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t believe I’ve ever watched an entire episode of the tv series, but having recently discovered that prior to television, Perry Mason was a book and 1930s film character, I am hooked. These under 200-page novels are a quick and entertaining read.
David Bensky
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With Perry Mason anticipate the unexpected. But this one takes the cake!
HOPE MICHELLE
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it!
CarolynAnn
2.5really
Amal Vinod
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet thriller of Mason..
Dr. Sabarish
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good one . But not among the best ones in Perry Mason series. Rate 4/5
Sandy Chris
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb! The brilliance of Erle Stanley Gardner is epitomized in this book.
Rob Davis
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had some things figured, others only partially or were a surprise. Vintage plotting and execution by Earl Stanley Gardner. Two thumbs up!
Ed
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal, mystery
#56 in the Perry Mason series. A young woman is living under an assumed identity having made off with the other woman's purse after a fatal auto accident. She goes to Mason when she is accosted by a blackmailer. After there is subsequently a murder she is accused and Mason defends her. DA Hamilton Burger is particularly vicious this time around swearing in support of a near-sighted eye-witness' testimony in direct conflict with that of Mason's secretary, Della Street. Surprise after surprise get ...more
Syrdarya
I really enjoyed this Perry Mason book. It seems like a straightforward mystery but grows more complicated as the story continues, and the courtroom scenes are the best part.

A young office worker named Mildred finds out on the same day that her boyfriend is breaking up with her and that he was an embezzler. Distraught and mortified, she goes for a drive and picks up a hitchhiker named Fern Driscoll. They end up in a car accident and Fern dies. Mildred takes on her identity, wanting t
...more
Victoria Mixon
At first I thought this must have been one of his early books because, even though there is a whole series of exciting developments in the first few pages, they are all introduced along the lines of, "And then the really big blow fell."

But that was only in the first few pages. And they really were exciting developments.

The rest of it's a classic Perry Mason/Della Street/Paul Drake adventure, complete with burning cars and the right kind of coincidence (the kind that makes th
...more
Mary
Jan 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mission for the summer was to try to read all the Perry Mason novels...I didn't make it, but I did read quite a few. Some people find them too simplistic (relationship-wise) and want more from Perry and Della than a peck on the cheek. I actually prefer that the mystery take front and center. Of course, these are very formulaic, but I like them anyway. You really know what to expect. And this outing is no different- Perry defends a woman accused of 2 murders, and of course the evidence is stac ...more
Doug Dams
In this story, a woman is jilted by a boyfriend who is also an embezzler. She tries to find her boyfriend but gets arrested for murder. Perry has to solve two cases; the embezzlement and the murder to get his client free. He ends up finding the embezzler boyfriend which leads to the motive for murder. The case keeps you guessing and the court room action surprises you at the end. A typical Perry Mason book with beautiful women in danger and Perry Mason trying to stay one step ahead of the police ...more
Ed
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Perry Mason mystery I've ever read. Of course, I kept seeing Raymond Burr as Mason during his scenes. Loved the show. This book was a corker, too, by the second half where most of the action moves into the courtroom. Yep, Paul Drake and Della Street are there, too. Della even takes the witness stand. Two or three neat twists are dropped in at the end. I suppose it was a formula ESG used, but it's entertaining and fun to read. That's all I ever wanted from Perry Mason.
J.L. Rallios
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun Perry Mason mystery in which the famous lawyer extricates his client Mildred Crest with brilliant deductions and a strategic courtroom defense from the consequences of her own impulsive deceptions. The mystery-part was lightweight (overall predictable), but there was a twist at the end that was surprising and satisfying. A fast, entertaining read that I highly recommend for Perry Mason mystery lovers like myself.
Vincent Darlage
Not the best Perry Mason novel, but it sufficed. It had a nice wrap-up at the end that made the novel better than it otherwise had been. It's nice to see such a strong conclusion to an otherwise lackluster novel.
George
Sep 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perry Mason mystery in which the lawyer manages to win another case. In this one, his client is suspected of murder and, as usual, gets his client acquitted while also solving the case. Case involved identify confusion, murder and black mail.
Bailey Marissa
This book is filled with lots of plot twists that left me confused but wanting more. It's also different in that the first half of the book is from the client's perspective and not Mason's. And that Perry/Della moment at the end is 10/10.

Recommended 13+ for murder, language, and violence.
Michele bookloverforever
good story but Mr Gardner left a loose thread dangling from a tightly woven plot. just who was the corpse?
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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 stra
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Perry Mason (1 - 10 of 85 books)
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“reason I am telling you all of this is that, according to Harrod, Fern Driscoll” 1 likes
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