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The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll

(Perry Mason #55)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  698 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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 death of a lone
Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1958)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Start your review of The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll (Perry Mason Mystery)
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.

Mildred saw an opportunity to start her life anew and assumed the identity of the dead woman.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
too far-fetched. Not one of his best.
Benjamin Thomas
Mildred Crest’s fiancé, a nice fellow by all accounts turned out to be an embezzler, leading Mildred to take her car and flee in distress…but with no goal in mind. She picks up a hitchhiker, a similar young woman named Fran Driscoll. An automobile accident leaves Fran dead and provides Mildred with an opportunity to steal Fran’s identity and try to start her life anew.

Unfortunately, Mildred didn’t count on all of the trouble that Fran’s past has now brought to her own life.

The fifty-fifth novel
Kieran McAndrew
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mildred Crest is dumped by her fiancé, who admits he was using her to hide his embezzlement from his firm. The same night, she picks up a young hitchhiker named Fern Driscoll, who causes a road accident that kills her and almost kills Mildred. Deciding to assume Driscoll's identity, Mildred soon finds herself at the mercy of a blackmailer and calls on Perry Mason for help.

A good mystery requires wheels within wheels and Gardner knows how to deliver these in spades. A novel which will keep reader
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.
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".
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
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.
Reading the entire series. This was a good one, I did not know who it was until a few pages before it was revealed.
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!
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
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!


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 media, online photos, or some such.

Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best Perry Mason books ever. Even though it had been decades since the last time I read it, on page 4 I was like, "Oh, this seems familiar," then on page 9 I was like, "Oh yeah, this one," and on page 13 I was like, "Man, he really knows how to set up a situation!" and by page 20 I was like, "Holy cow! What's going to happen next!?!"

Set in the 1950s, when a college girl from Stanford might calmly advise a new acquaintance to carry an icepick to defend herself from a threatenin
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.
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!
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.
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.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it!
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!
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
Amal Vinod
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet thriller of Mason..
James Vest
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mason takes a young woman’s case for a nickel and buys a two-for-one, double murder investigation against his client who isn’t who she says she is.
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!
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, legal
#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
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 to disappear
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 things worse for the ch
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
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.
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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)
  • 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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