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The Case of the Fenced-in Woman

(Perry Mason #81)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  386 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Case of the Fenced-In Woman, The: A Perry Mason Mystery, by Gardner, Erle Stanley
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 28th 1994 by Ballantine (first published January 1st 1972)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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A guy named Morley Eden came to Mason with a very unusual problem. He bought a house from a contractor. The said contractor was in the middle of divorce proceedings that went really bad for him (it is along story) and as a result Morley Eden became an owner of only half of the house with the second half belonging to contractor's wife. She quickly build (not herself obviously) a fence through the house dividing it by half and got a restraining order against whoever tried to enter her side.

So Mor
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable Perry Mason mystery / legal drama.

The ending is a bit messy but I don't really care and I did really enjoy this one - plenty of sass and running around in Vegas and swimming pools and winning seemingly impossible legal battles (not really a spoiler!)

Two quotes that tickled me:-

"The young woman who had her back toward him was wearing a glittering, dark gown which fitted her like the skin of an onion"

"It takes a woman to undo the machinations of another woman. A man is helpless as
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This case was built up and explained at the very end. I wouldn't call this a proper mystery since very few facts or clues were given. The court scene was also very fortituous. Moreover, the narrative was too repetitive. Gardner relied majorly on sex appeal to sell this one. ...more
Mar 31, 2011 rated it liked it
disappointing Perry Mason, weak characters
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This Perry Mason tale is different from most of the others as there is no real dramatic courtroom scene where all is revealed. In this case, the identity of the murderer is not revealed during the trial and not completely resolved by Mason at the end. Of course, when Perry Mason makes a statement about what he believes to be the truth at the end, the reader is inclined to agree.
The plot device of a house being fenced down the middle as a consequence of a divorce action has been used before. L
Samyuktha jayaprakash
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Walt Carlson
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Perry Mason fans
Recommended to Skjam! by: Dave Romm
I read this in a Detective Book Club edition, paired with "Inspector West Takes Charge." See my full review at ...more
Nida Guenther
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
From the first page I was hooked and look forward to other stories from Erle Stanley Gardner.
Danny Reid
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: perry-mason
Pretty outlandish for a Mason mystery.
Mrs. Flores
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Funny, witty, mystery. What can go grown when a model decides to take literally half your house?
James Vest
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
A slow start and bizarre setup, the plot acrobatics doesn’t really start until the courtroom, and even then, the end is a twist that rings the fabric of the story dry.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Morley Eden comes to Mason with such a bizarre predicament, the lawyer is drawn to our as much as I am.

The first thing I knew about this book when I started reading it is that I had already read it years ago and loved it. I remembered only that someone has put a fence across a house, therefore I was intrigued, but it didn't spoil the fun of reading it again. I was as interested as Mason to hear the story.

Eden buys a house from a contractor named Carson, but he doesn't have the rights to t
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books off and on for decades. Many years ago, I was an intense fan of the series, and read them all at least once. Now, after a lot of water over the dam, I'm looking at them again.

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 Ham
Sai Prasad Guttapalli
Morley Eden visits Perry Mason about his problem. A beautiful woman has run a barbed wire fence through the middle of his house! Morley Eden paid a contractor to build a house on a lot, but half the lot belonged to his wife, and now she has claimed her share. Chapter One explains how this happened. Perry visits Judge Goodwin to learn about his decision in this case. The Judge hopes to use this conflict against the contractor Loring Carson. Perry Mason visits Nadine Palmer to tell her about Morle ...more
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
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, mystery
#81 in the Perry Mason series. A Publisher's Note reads: "The manuscript for The Case of the Fenced-In Woman was one of two full-length Perry Mason novels left in Erle Stanley Gardner's pending file at the time of his death in 1970. Although the work was written a few years earlier and set aside, the publishers believe it was ready for publication. But it should be noted that the author had not done his usual final-draft polishing and checking." I kept the note in mind as I read the novel and th ...more
Les Anderson
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm nearing the end of my commitment to read the entire run of Perry Mason mysteries. it's interesting to consider the changes that have taken place over the years, especially considering the content of this story. The actions of Mrs. Carson, while enjoyed in the early 70s, would have been scandalous in the 30s, when the first Mason mystery was published. It also seems like Mason and Della's relationship has suffered from the cultural change. The boss/secretary relationship is not nearly as acce ...more
Robert A Keene
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of two full-length novels published after Erle Stanley Gardner's death in 1970, the publisher note says it was written earlier and set aside, but the author had not done his final-draft polishing. I believe this book is a little unpolished, but still a very good read with the usual lying defendants and the police keeping evidence from Perry. Not too much of Della or Paul, it's mostly Mason and the cast of characters. ...more
Panu Mäkinen
Jännittävä oikeussalidraama, jossa asianajaja Perry Mason puolustaa asiakastaan Morley Edeniä, jonka asunnosta löytyy murhattu mies. Alkuasetelma on eriskummallinen: Morley Eden on ostanut talon, jonka toista puoliskoa asuttaakin yllättäen myyjän vaimo. Tämä on teettänyt tontin ja talon halki piikkilanka-aidan, joka jakaa koko kiinteistön kahtia. Kun tapaukseen liittyy vielä murha, tarvitaan Perry Masonin nokkeluutta tapauksen ratkaisemiseksi.
Published after his death, a rather racy Mason with nudity, bikinis, lingerie parties, and Las Vegas hookers. A weird premise of a house and property dispute split by barbed wire.
Rijo John
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Good plot, far fetched deduction
Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, mystery
A nice little book I listened to as audiobook. A bit nerve-bending on some places as the police twists Mason in a very irritating way, but when one gets through it one is happy at the end :)
Vincent Darlage
Fun story. Perry has to go into the trial blind, not knowing the truth, but trusting his clients are actually innocent.
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
I don't enjoy Perry Mason as much as I used to :( Tragg gets on my nerves now, and Perry is not much better... ...more
Mark Stratton
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Not one of the better Mason novels, but we were warned that this wasn't polished by Gardner before he passed. Still, I know some writers who'd be thrilled with this as a final draft. ...more
Hannu Vilponen
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy entretenido, como siempre con 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)
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  • The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece (Perry Mason, #8)
  • The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (Perry Mason, #9)
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