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The Case of the Duplicate Daughter

(Perry Mason #62)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Muriell Gilman left her father at the breakfast table while she cooked seconds of sausages and eggs. When she returned, he had disappeared - seemingly into thin air. She searched the house from cellar to attic. Then she went out to the workshop. There, scattered on the floor, were hundred-dollar bills, and in their midst, a spreading crimson stain. That's when she telephon ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 194 pages
Published September 12th 1988 by Ballantine (first published March 1st 1960)
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Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Muriell Gilman was serving a breakfast to her father when suddenly the latter asked her to cook him more eggs and sausages breaking his daily routine.
Eggs and sausages
When Muriell brought him those it turned out her father mysteriously and completely disappeared leaving all his things behind. After searching for him in the house Muriell decided to check the workshop. What she saw in there prompted her to rush to the nearest phone and call Perry Mason for an immediate appointment.

I should stop here to avoid fur
Customary fast-paced Perry Mason mystery, but overweight in the legal-technical-details department and with a rather abrupt ending.

Plus, ESG breaks one of Knox's "Ten Commandments" (or "Decalogue") for the Golden Age Whodunits (view spoiler) by introducing the threhad for the final solution only at the very end.

Although the crime-investigation-trial thread is there; it is interesti
COUNTDOWN: Mid-20th Century North American Crime
BOOK 210 (of 250)
When one reads Gardner (especially his later work) amid such greats as Ross MacDonald and Patricia Highsmith, one notices weaknesses.
HOOK=2 stars: A daughter cooks a second breakfast for her father, but upon her return to the dining room, he is gone. Not hungry anymore? Office emergency? Or bored with the plot already? A flat opening for me.
PACE=3: Solid after the first chapter.
PLOT=1: Gardner commits a mystery-writer crime: he in
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Again we come across a staged murder by pushing a car over a precipise. Gardner very shrewdly shows how both ways can be caught.
This is one of those cases where Mason suddenly gets vital information at the very end of the book. It is almost like he wanted us to believe that, fighting a case in court is more a part of luck, than serious study, legal logic and research work!
I couldn't help but wonder, whether Gardner was recently advised to watch his weight while thinking up a plot for this book.
Kieran McAndrew
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A routine case of murder for Perry Mason becomes complicated when Hamilton Burger tries to indict two suspects for the same murder.

Gardner's fast paced and well written thriller hides a big twist at the end which yet again shows Mason at his finest.
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first Perry Mason book I have read. It's a little different from other mystery novels in that Perry Mason is a lawyer and not a detective, amateur sleuth, or other person caught up in a crime. All of the story except for the very beginning takes place from Mason's perspective. A father and daughter call/come to him at different times but for the same thing. At first Mason simply tries to figure out how to help his client, the father, which isn't easy since he isn't revealing everythi ...more
Kate Picher
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book at a thrift store and started reading. The style is very snappy and in typical Perry Mason manner, quite intellectual. Four stars to me means I would tell others to read it--but with a warning. This book is as sexist as a Madmen episode. Page 72:

Mason said, "Miss Matilda Norman, the secretary in question, had left for the night. She is reported to be somewhere in the fifties and is built along the lines of a string bean."
"These other women, I take it," Della Street said, "w
Dec 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Thinking back over the plot of this story now that I've read it, I'm still not sure why Perry's client didn't just level with him in the first place. But that's an almost automatic element of the formula, that the client is hiding something and that mystery has to be solved as part and parcel of the murder case. Anyhow, a fun read with some eagerly turned pages. It's 1960 and we're enough into the modern world that the reader can contemplate the situation of a child born out of wedlock. ...more
B.R. Stateham
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Published in 1960 you can't say its one of Gardner's best. But it moves fast and the court scenes are very captivating. It's good to go back and re-read something out of the past. This is a perfect example. ...more
Daddy has gone missing. Everyone's on a diet. Uh oh. I can see Erle Stanley Gardner and his typing pool ALL having to go on a diet if HE did. That's how he rolled. A real Patriarchy and not a lot of room for dissension. ...more
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Only Perry Mason could surmise that something could not be what it seems when Muriell Gilman’s father Carter wanted an extra sausage and egg for breakfast after already having two of each prior. This kind of detective savvy is enough to make Batman blush. This is pretty much the first clue Perry gathers when Muriell contacts him after her father suddenly disappears from the breakfast table upon asking for more breakfast.

Subsequently finding a red substance on the floor of her father’s workshop,
Rupesh Goenka
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Edward Carter Gilman resides with his daughter Muriell, 2nd wife Nancy and Nancy's daughter Glamis Barlow. One morning he unexpectedly walks out from their home in the middle of eating his breakfast and vanishes. Muriell comes across his napkin, a overturned broken chair, scattered hundred dollar bills and a crimson colour spread on the floor of her father’s workshop. She approaches Perry Mason to help her father. Carter Gilman is prepared to go prison in order to safeguard his family even thoug ...more
Robert A Keene
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was one of only a few Perry Mason books where his client was a man, but Mr. Gardner is not slipping Carter Gilman, Perry's client has 2 gorgeous daughters that could be guilty as hell. I enjoyed this my very last Perry Mason book, I have now read all 82 Earle Stanley Gardner Perry Mason novels almost every one has been a fun read for me. ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Possibly one of the best Mason novels. The identity of the murderer was glaringly obvious after a point but motivation wasn't because unlike in earlier novels, Gardner left no hints till the last few pages. Thoroughly entertaining ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Muriell Gilman's father abruptly leaves their house during breakfast, she gets worried enough to start her inquiry. After stumbling across Mason's phone number and annotation not to call the police in case anything happens, she decides there is no time to waste. When she informs the lawyer of a large amount of loose cash and red stains in the workshop, he decides to investigate it. Della Street connects the dots and notices similarity of names with a man who made an appointment for the same ...more
James Vest
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Characters line up to double cross Perry Mason in this maze of clues, characters, and details with a domino row of bad news leading to Mason being subpoenaed as Hamilton Burger’s next star witness.
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very fun plotting! Some small parts of the book don't stand up to the test of time in terms of prejudice and stereotyping, but, overall, a good read. ...more
Dr Hanif Hassan Barbhuiya
A classic!!
Venkatesh Chetlur
May 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Typical Perry Mason fare. Lots of courtroom drama and then a finish with a flourish.
Dec 13, 2016 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 off-putting. It can be stiff and mechanical. Nonetheless, I still love the general setting: 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 1950 are the best. This one was written in
Book collector
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are too many books to do individual reviews for so this is an author overview really. The star rating will give an idea of my feelings on the individual books.

Erle Stanley gardner was one of my father's favourite writers. He had a virtually full collection of the books. I was aware of the books mainly through the TV series of Perry Mason but started to read the novels shortly before my father passed away. Since then I've read all of the books and enjoyed them. I can't say gardner is a favo
May 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
To a child reared on the Perry Mason TV series it came as something of a shock to discover the novels upon which it was based, in which Perry isn't nice respectable Raymond Burr but a flamboyant figure, more P.I. than lawyer, who spends much of his time on the fringes of legality, not infrequently straying beyond them. Likewise, Della seems to be a bit of a vibrant gal rather than the almost demure Barbara Hale. I've lost count of the number of the novels I've read since that discovery; these da ...more
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, legal
#62 in the Perry Mason series. The answer to the puzzle of Glamis occurred to me early on, but the details and Perry's courtroom machinations make the read worthwhile.

Perry Mason series - Muriell Gilman left her father at the breakfast table while she cooked seconds of sausage and eggs. When she returned, he had disappeared - apparently into thin air. She searched the house from cellar to attic. Then she went out to the workshop ...there, scattered on the floor, were hundred-dollar bills - and i
Doug Dams
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
A daughter comes to Mason for help when her father goes missing at breakfast and when she looks for him, discovers a pool of blood in his workshop and several one hundred dollar bills. Twins separated at birth and a blackmail stir up a murder and Perry Mason has to defend the daughter against murder charges. A good story of mistaken identities and an unknown twin adds a good twist to the story.
When a dad disappears from the breakfast table, the woodworking shop is discovered in shambles. But look! There's a pile of moola scattered about the floor! There is murder afoot! Who did it, and why? We find out at the trial, and the killer is a shocker.

I enjoyed this story, as usual with Perry Mason novels.

Les Anderson
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Once again, it is only through a witnesses testimony on the stand that Perry Mason finally figures out the truth. The friendship between Tragg and Mason grows, with Tragg apologizing for serving a subpoena on Mason.
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
All of Gardners books are great.
Jeffrey Marks
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
definitely not a play fair mystery. The solution lies in one of Father Knox's rules for playing fair with the reader. ...more
Vincent Darlage
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
One of the better Perry Mason mysteries. Hamilton Burger was really upsetting the judge, and I wasn't sure how Perry Mason was going to get out of this one. ...more
Tici Truly
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it
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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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