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The Case of the Demure Defendant

(Perry Mason #51)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Lawyer Perry Mason believes Nadine Farr did not poison Mosher Higley. Under truth drug, she confesses to Dr Denair, who brings the tape recording to Perry. As usual, secretary Della Street and PI Paul Drake help, Lt Tragg and DA Burger hinder. Is the killer her fiancé Locke, Higley niece Sue Newburn and hubby Jackson, man of work Cap'n Hugo, or a nurse?
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 13th 1991 by Ballantine Books (first published 1955)
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3.70  · 
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Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story starts with a scene of a doctor using so-called truth serum on his patient Nadine Farr trying to get to the root cause for her anxiety.
Truth serum
He ended up getting Nadine to admit that she poisoned her uncle who died of a heart attack according to his death certificate. This left the doctor with a dilemma: should he suppress the evidence because of confidentiality between a doctor and a patient or should he forsake the doctors' ethics and go to the police as the law requires? As everybody and
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Criminal attorney Perry Mason is one characters most recognized by Americans (of the middle of the twentieth century) who read Erle Stanley Gardner or listened to the Perry Mason radio show or watched Raymond Burr play him on television. Gardner was an even more prolific writer than Rex Stout and that is saying a lot!

By the time he wrote The Case of the Demure Defendant, Gardner was as interested in exploring certain aspects of the intersection of law and science as he was in just writing popula
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to SeriouslyJerome by: Alison Schmidt
Shelves: mystery
Given to me by Alison - maybe as a gag gift? It started a Perry Mason obsession - tv show included. I've watched/read so many Perry Masons I can now watch contemporary murder mysteries & figure out who done it within a half hour - not because I'm so smart, but because they're still following a basic formula.
An Odd1
Jun 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Perry Mason believes Nadine Farr innocent of poisoning wealthy Mosher Higley three months ago. She confessed murder on tape to psychiatrist Dr Denair while drugged with "truth serum". But truth serum is not true.

Nadine did blackmail Higley with proof he shot her father, his business partner, dead, so Nadine was born out of wedlock, and swindled her mother, their secretary-plus. After Higley demanded Nadine leave her fiance John Locke, she stole cyanide pi
THE CASE OF THE DEMURE DEFENDENT. (1956). Erle Stanley Gardner. ***.
Mosher Higley (where did he get his names?) was found in his bed. According to his doctor, he died of heart disease. His niece lived with him, and she had her share of mental issues. At the time, she was undergoing treatment by a psychiatrist to determine the source of her severe symptoms of ‘nerves’. One of the treatments her doctor used to explore the potential underlying reasons for her condition was the administration of ‘tr
Thom Swennes
When Dr. Logbert Denair decides to use a truth serum to treat a patient suffering from a deep seeded sense of guilt, he uncovers more than he had bargained for. Nadine Farr, a young, single and very attractive woman had come to him with feelings she could not explain and had problems coping with them. With her consent he gave her a diluted solution of sodium pentothal and began to question her. Her answers led to a confession of murder. Dr. Denair consults Perry Mason as to eventual implications ...more
Vincent Darlage
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
One of the best of the Perry Mason series. This is one of the first Perry Mason novels I ever read, back in 1991 or so. It impressed me then - and it still impressed me 20 years later.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another classic Perry Mason, but this time his neck's in the noose! A psychologist comes to Mason with a baffling question: if a patient admits to murder while mostly unconscious, must he legally inform the police? Does he have to hand over the taped interaction or do the laws of patient confidentiality apply?

Since there is a slight chance that the admission is false, Mason counsels the doctor to investigate before doing anything, and the doctor hires an expert--Mason--to find out more. The poli
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good, face-paced mystery. I kept oscillating between guilty and not guilty till the very last page! The cross examination, though highly technical, was a personal treat. It was sharp, fast, accurate and exciting!
Ashwin Dongre
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good mystery, it builds very nicely, escallates very fast. If you pay attention to details, conversations, you could figure out who's the culprit. Great courtroom drama. I nJoyed it very much.
Tight little legal mystery well worth the effort. Some of the legal precedents have changed since this was written but still interesting.
James Vest
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mason goes down to the wire and hits the ultimate roadblock in the form of a perjured witness that’s bent on leaving Mason on the hook for a crime he didn’t commit, involving a bottle of cyanide.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, e-book, p-b, repooo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, legal
#50 in the Perry Mason series. Nothing particularly new about this series entry. Too much evidence is found and the DA accuses Perry of planting the exculpatory material. Parry is in a fix until, during the trial, he notices that the DA's case has a flaw and he doesn't hesitate to exploit it. An enjoyable read, typical of the series.

#50 Perry Mason series - Nadine Farr had emotional problems, and visited a psychiatrist. She is given sodium pentothal and her answers are recorded on tape. During t
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gardner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes it's nice to return to those thrilling days of yesterday! So, on a whim, I picked up an old hardback book of Perry Mason at a used book store. Having grown up in the 50's, I found myself reliving those wonderful hours I had spent in front of the TV set watching Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. To my knowledge, I have never read Earl Stanley Gardner's creation before, and I am glad I did. Through the pages of the book, I had a delightful, nostalgic reunion, and all my old friends were there ...more
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story starts with a drugged girl lying on the couch and being interviewed by a man, who turns out to be her doctor. She was given a mystical mixture of medicine, known as a truth serum, to find out what has been bothering her conscious. Unexpectedly, she confesses to murdering her "uncle" Mosher, who officially died few months earlier of natural causes and has already been buried. The doctor, an old friend of the lawyer, not being sure what was his legal obligation in this case, calls to Mas ...more
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: 2011, mystery, other-usa
For some reason, I seem to be on a Perry Mason kick. I've read a couple of his stories recently and they are quick, entertaining reads. They speak to an older time, before cell phones and 24/7 news on television, where people could be more anonymous and less reachable.

This is a quick and entertaining read, although the plot seems a bit contrived. I am becoming more familiar with the main characters and they are (mostly) likable and fairly complex. I love that Della loves to eat and I hate that
It depends on who you are talking to in the cast of characters as to the heroine Nadine Farr being demure or not.

Mosher Higley is mean, so its anyone's guess who actually killed him. The police think Perry is obstructing justice again but that prejudice is legally unfounded and it almost blinds them to other options. All the ends aren't wrapped up until the last page. Even Paul Drake doesn't see the end coming!
Doug Dams
Oct 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Perry Mason defends a woman accused of murder using cyanide. But she isn't being truthful with Mason and her reputation isn't as clean as she told Mason. What is she hiding and who committed the murder keeps Perry busy trying to solve the mysteries and keep his client from prison. It's an average story for the series. It keeps you turning the pages, but the twists aren't that neat.
Les Anderson
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gardner really does introduce some ideas very pertinent to real life court cases. Is a confession made to your psychiatrist while under medication admissible? The broader picture shows that truth matters more than technicalities though. This is one of the few cases where the guilty party is not exposed during the trial.
Once more, the damsel in distress. She gets put on the back burner rather quickly as Perry races around unearth missing bottles of poison and sacchrine tablets. He gets the dame off in the end, and you, the reader, could care less. Nadine who?
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ma-fav
It is an awesome book.! The author ERLE STANLEY GARDNER is a wonderful author.It is undoubtedly a page turner. A MUST READ GUYS!
Clever, but a bit lacking in the ending - as if it were suddenly tacked on. Still, as dated as it is, a fun read.
Nov 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
( O caso do soro da verdade )
Reads like a breeze. Quick paced and to the point.
rated it it was amazing
Oct 02, 2011
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May 09, 2017
Ashish kumar
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Nov 06, 2011
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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

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