Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Case of the Lucky Loser (Perry Mason, #53)” as Want to Read:
The Case of the Lucky Loser (Perry Mason, #53)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Case of the Lucky Loser

(Perry Mason #53)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  775 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The voice on the phone was young and silky. The woman it belonged to touched something soft in Perry Mason's cool, legalistic mind. The offer she made was too intriguing to pass up. But what began as a request for a simple courtroom visit turned into an intrigue of baffling complexity — as well as one of the most cleverly rigged frame-ups of Perry's career.

Its a case of a

Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 14th 1990 by Fawcett (first published April 1st 1957)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Case of the Lucky Loser, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Case of the Lucky Loser

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  775 ratings  ·  66 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Case of the Lucky Loser (Perry Mason, #53)
Henry Avila
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perry Mason, the illustrious California attorney finds himself knee -deep in a perplexing case in fact two, one leads to another, they are intertwined in a complicated affair, this could destroy his career. An attractive young lady contacts Mr. Mason, an acquaintance of hers from a wealthy family Ted Balfour, has been charged with hit -and- run, Della, Perry's secretary believes the girl Marilyn Keith, is in love with him. An automobile accident claims the life of a shadowy man .This ensures Mas ...more
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I have now reached book #61 in my reading challenge of Perry-Mason-stories-in-chronological-order, but I have returned to the Lucky Loser as a special favourite. I thoroughly enjoy the story’s tight & fast pace (I am not one for the long-winded, guilt-ridden, gritty detective fiction of the present) and the big legal/whodunnit bang at the end.

Also, this is almost the first time that Perry Mason encounters an adversary that is in the same league as himself. Banner Boles, trouble shooter for the m
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A hit and run, marital infidelity, crochety millionaire Uncles, and a drugged defendant complicate a trial that ends in double jeopardy, or doesn't it? And who, indeed, is the deam man? ...more
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Heavy on the litigation and technicalities of law. I had to look a few things up to figure out what was happening. Light on the tricky-mystery that I can ... Understand. Oh, well. I'll still read them all. ...more
cEe beE
After running out of Nancy Drew and Dana Girls books to read, I opened one of the pulpy '60s Perry Mason paperbacks from my father's library - the ones with barely clad women on the covers - and was promptly addicted.

These non-PC series were a huge part of my childhood reading and I'm so glad they have them on Kindle. This particular volume is one of my favorites.

Since my father's collection is long gone, I'm currently collecting the vintage paperbacks for my own library.
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Fast, enjoyable Perry Mason novel, in which you'll learn all about Double Jeopardy. Suitably brilliant villain who gives Mason a tight challenge. I read it while down with a cold, and it was a perfect compliment to the vitamins, orange juice and chicken soup. ...more
Sep 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I did not figure this one out until the end, love these stories. Quick and easy afternoon reads.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I did not see that end coming!
This was a very exciting story & I thank my friend Melindam for recommending it.
I will definitely check out other Perry Mason stories.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First sentence: Della Street, Perry Mason's confidential secretary, picked up the telephone and said, "Hello."

Premise/plot: The novel opens with a mystery woman calling to hire Perry Mason to sit in on a trial occurring later that day. Ted Balfour has been charged with manslaughter--a hit and run accident. At the time of this trial, the man hasn't even been identified yet. After the trial--while the jury is debating Mr. Balfour's fate--Mason receives a few more phone calls about the case. He en
Feb 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Entertaining legal crime that ticks the boxes of classic crime.
Oct 25, 2013 rated it liked it
About the story: A young man from an affluent family, Ted Balfour, has been arrested on the charges of hit-and-run accident and killing a drifter in the middle of the night. Perry Mason is dragged into the case when he receives an anonymous call requesting that he be present during the hearing of the case. When the ingenious detective sits through the arguments of the prosecutor and the defense, he realizes that there is much more to the case than what meets the eye.

He agrees to take on the cas
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, mystery
#52 in the Perry Mason series. Perry starts by being hired to watch a day of a trial and comment on testimony of a witness. The trial ends in a guilty verdict of manslaughter and a suspended sentence. The defendant's uncle's wife hires Mason to look out for the defendant which surprises Mason since the trial is over, but the corpse is exhumed and the defendant is rearrested on a trial of murder. The concept of double jeopardy is entertainingly explored before Mason pulls out his usual hat rabbit ...more
Kieran McAndrew
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What starts off as a strange request to observe another defense counsellor soon develops into one of the most intriguing frame ups of Perry Mason's career. He must use all his famed legal skills to uncover the truth and unmask a killer.

'The Case of the Lucky Loser' has an interesting hook, but excels itself when Mason brings in an argument of double jeopardy, much to the chagrin of the judge.

A fairly well paced novel, the story is far more intricate than it first appears.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books for many years. Those who are used to really fine mystery writers (in the literary sense) may find Gardner's writing style a bit dry, and the dialog a bit unrealistic. 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 about 1953 are the best. This is from 1957. It was
serialized in The Saturday
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Published in 1956, Gardner, with TCOT Lucky Loser, has fully embraced the no-frills style that characterizes his later Mason stories: lots of dialogue, barely any attention paid to atmosphere and anything but the barest description of places or other physical elements of his story. It’s a quick, intriguing read with a Byzantine resolution that gushes forth in the last two chapters. Paul does a few things, but Della - aside from the usual opening interaction with the mysterious client - is almost ...more
Jan 29, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
A very convoluted mystery...it seemed none of the people involved was telling the truth and when the truth was finally revealed, it was a great surprise.

The Perry Mason books have to read completely and in a short time for me or I would never remember the characters or the theme of the plot. Each character seems to play so many roles so unless I kept notes, I would find it hard to remember who did what and who said what.

Again the ending was a surprise but made sense when all the evidence was rev
Pat Camalliere
Mar 15, 2022 rated it really liked it
I recently watched the TV version of this book and wanted to see how it compared. The book was way better. This plot was quite unusual with a lot of surprises and would say this was one of the better Perry Mason stories. Instead of at the end, courtroom scenes were interspersed at a number of places throughout the book. Also, having recently watched and enjoyed Ray Donovan on TV, was surprised to find that so long ago wealthy men found it necessary to employ "fixers." I had thought this was a mo ...more
Apr 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I just love these books. Full of court room drama, excellent sleuth work and a wonderful twist in the plot. These books are some of the best entertainment reads that you can lay your hands on. This one is right up there with all the incredible Perry Mason cases.
Ted Balfour has no recollection of a hit and run that he was involved in. A loyal secretary, a dubious wife, two rich business men and one overly smart trouble shooter. All of them put together try to get Mason into a plot that may cause
Frank McAdam
The old Perry Mason stories are always a fun read, but the plot on this one is so totally implausible it would be laughable if it weren't so byzantine that it's almost impossible to follow. Still, it's a treat to have glimpses of 1950's America when the height of luxury was to fly in an "air-conditioned" airplane with real foam rubber seats. ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardner
One of his best. Mason is paid anonymously to sit for a day to observe a murder trial of a man accused of a hit-and-run and convey his thoughts. That night the trial ends up with a hung jury and a plea deal is formulated which involves a guilty plea, fine, and a suspended sentence. . The case involves double-jeopardy with Mason skirting the law once again.
Jun 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the face of it, this was a much more complex case than those featured in two earlier entries in the series which I read recently.

However, many common factors emerge, not least a heap of deeply obnoxious rich people with secrets to be winkled out by the intrepid Perry.

The idea of a twice dead corpse I have encountered before but the tale is nicely-told.

3.5 stars
B.R. Stateham
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
A very good Mason novel. When Earle Stanley Gardner plotted his novels thru from beginning to end, they are a fast-paced, quite interesting to read filled with more action than you would think. Lots of times, it seems Gardner had the first half of as book planned out, but basically fell off the wagon after that and just hurried to find an end.

Not this one. It was an entertaining, fast read.
Soumya Banerji
Good book but full of typos

Enjoyed the plot thoroughly. Perry Mason has rarely been in a tougher situation but he pulls it off. Some of the legal arguments were pretty interesting too. I would have rated it five stars except for the typos that appeared in almost every page. A very shoddy job of transcription.
Joe Wocoski
Jan 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Loser lucky to have Perry Mason on his side and a woman who believes in him.

Against all odds a nephew with deep gambling debts framed for murder. Mason untangles the twisted web of purjured testimony until he gambles on a wild card hunch and wins big in court to uncover the murderer(s) of a man with no face.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I realized too late in reading this to realize that it might have been possible for the reader to "solve" the case. This makes me interested in reading other Perry Mason stories. I enjoyed the discussion of legal ethics and evidence rules. ...more
Joseph Donovic
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve been a fan of Earle Stanley Gardner’s mystery novels for a long time. The Case of the Lucky Loser is one of his best efforts. Twists and turns in the plot, along with colorful characters make this a novel which is difficult to put down once you have begun reading.
James Vest
Jul 08, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Perry Mason has been told by two different people exactly how the murder unfolded proving his client’s innocence. But a perjured witness — and an accusation of felony evidence tampering hanging over Mason — has left the lawyer on the ropes with truth as his last, best knockout punch.
Tom McClelland
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Typic Gardner case. Always good
Sandy Chris
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always, it was awesome. This time, though, I did almost believe that Perry Mason had no comeback but I am so glad I am wrong. :)
Jeff J.
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
#53 in the Perry Mason series. Per usual, a simple case turns out to be much more challenging.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Roman Hat Mystery (Ellery Queen Detective, #1)
  • Guiltless (Sandhamn Murders, #3)
  • The Beast's Betrothed (The Bluestocking War)
  • One Wylde Night (The Wylde Wallflowers, #1)
  • The Difference a Dare Makes
  • Saint Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4)
  • The Sanctuary Sparrow (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #7)
  • The Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #6)
  • Herkules Und Der Stall Des Augias / Der Prozess Um Des Esels Schatten. Griechische Stücke. Neufassungen 1980
  • A Spooky Little Murder: A Violet Carlyle Historical Mystery (The Violet Carlyle Mysteries Book 37)
  • Disaster at the Vendome Theater (Verlaque and Bonnet #10)
  • The Fingerprint (Miss Silver, #30)
  • Ma enam iialgi ei joo! Kuidas see päriselt õnnestuks?
  • A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, #10)
  • The Album
  • Ashes to Ashes (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #8)
  • JAGAROOKAN | ജാഗരൂകൻ
  • Cold Earth (Shetland Island, #7)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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)

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
3 likes · 1 comments