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The Case of the Bigamous Spouse

(Perry Mason #65)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  358 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Gwynn Elston learns that her best friend's husband already has a wife and family, but when he is found murdered Gwynn must ask Perry Mason to defend her against a murder charge. ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 166 pages
Published August 1st 1963 by John Curley & Assoc (first published June 1st 1961)
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Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young woman Gwynn Elston came to Perry Mason office with an interesting and somewhat deadly problem. She lived at her married best friend house and made her living selling children books. The publishing company would get names and addressed of suckers I mean potential buyers and armed with the list Gwynn was trying to make a sale in each case.
One day she came to an unassuming house and to her complete surprise learned that not only the woman who lived there was happily married to the husband
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 a bit dry. 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 one of the latest ones, written in 1961. Th
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: For everyone who have fetish for courtroom drama, this is the lawyer's case files that one would definitely have to read.

The Case of The Bigamous Spouse is the 65th installment in the Perry Mason Series by Erle Stanley Gardner. The book was published in August of 1961. It was also part of the Perry Mason TV Series and aired on November 14th of 1963 - just two years after it was written. Another seemingly simple plot turns into a twisted one within a few pages keeping
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal, mystery
#65 in the Perry Mason series. Accustomed as we are to Perry besting DA Hamilton Burger in courtroom battle, this entry contained a shocker. When the judge overruled one of Burger's objections to a question by Mason, the resulting answer was so unexpected that Burger was actually humbled. If only Perry's client could have committed the murder in the window of opportunity then obviously the window is wrong, and Perry must seek far and wide to find the motivation to justify moving the window. Good ...more
Apr 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
The characters aren't too deep. The culprit is clear right from the start. Somehow, it's enjoyable to glimpse how it was decades past. My first Perry Mason story, and it won't be the last. ...more
Stephen Osborne
A good Perry Mason mystery. One does wonder, though, just why everyone in a Gardner book has such weird names. Bad enough we have Hamilton Burger as one of the regular characters, but every Mason book has the strangest, what-in-the-world names! In this one, there's Felting Grimes, Frankline Gillett, and Collington Halsey, and that's just for starters! No one is named Joe Smith or anything like that! The reason, I believe, is that Gardner dictated his novels to secretaries, often working on four ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I'll admit it: this was my first encounter with Mr. Perry Mason, and I in no way expected this book to be anywhere near as good as it was.

It was terrific for a lot of reasons. First, the plot was interesting and unpredictable, which is good for a murder mystery. Second, it was snappy--it moved along and was an appropriate length for the genre. Third, the characters were classically stereotypical, but interesting anyway. Finally--the sexism was so awful, so cheesy, so overdone and so ridiculous,
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while, you read a Perry Mason book that has a flashy premise with a dud backstory and a decent finish. This book is one of those books.

Mason, Della and Drake team up to protect Gwynn Elston caught in crossfire with a bigamous spouse and his lies. When it becomes a murder and with so many suspects, the police picks Mason's clients, you know the case is not going to hold water.

The defendant, you get to know, is innocent even before the story sets in and therein became a simple my
Vitor Frazão
Tendo visto vários dos filmes na adolescência, há muito que estava curioso por experimentar os livros. Não desilude, é divertido, servido bem para entreter, embora, como é óbvio já não consiga ter o efeito que tinha quando foi escrito.

Um pormenor existente no livro que nunca vi nos filmes é a redundância com que certos elementos dos eventos são explicados vezes sem conta, o que se pode tornar chato se não soubermos saltar certas partes.
Ashwin Dongre
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good novel and a very good plot indeed, . It clearly shows how incidental matters can be of importance.
The title of the novel is also very interesting and cleverly named. (view spoiler). I guessed the murderer quite early in the story, almost as soon as it was commited, and then on went on to see every single clue pointing and strengthening my conviction. Its quite well written.
Do read it.
Les Anderson
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of the Mason books before this have Mason solving the case during the course of cross-examining a witness and this was no different. The other common element is a load of other clues and secrets that divert attention from the real killer. All in all, a a decent mystery if a bit predictable. The best parts, as always, are the characters themselves.
Panu Mäkinen
Gwynn Elston asuu ystävättärensä Nell Arlington Grimesin ja tämän miehen Felting Grimesin luona. Gwynn myy työkseen kirjoja ja saa sattumalta selville erään asiakkaansa luona käydessään, että Felting Grimes on naimisissa myös tämän kanssa. Kun Felting Grimes löydetään ammuttuna ja murha-aseessa on Gwynn Elstonin sormenjäljet, saa Perry Mason kinkkisen tapauksen tutkittavakseen.
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stven by: Dad
This is not prime Mason -- it's 1961, pretty late in ESG's long career. But even middling Mason is a good read. Things happen fast, unexpected turns of event, Mason pulls off a little deception in the interests of justice, then pulls a rabbit out of his hat to solve the mystery. The ultimate "comfort food" reading for me. ...more
There's more than one wife. Horrors! Gardner's fantasy come true. In real life he shoved his never divorced wife into another city and they ended their days that way--never together again. Ole Erle Stanley got things set up purdy much the way he wanted it: lofs of single, female secretaries, camping parties with the "b0ys" at the ranch. Buying lots of toys and yippee kay oh kay eh. ...more
Vincent Darlage
I love Perry Mason novels. Despite the plethora of weird first names, this was a pretty solid mystery novel. I love the interaction between Perry and Lt. Tragg. Even though the characters really don't grow much, when it comes down to it, I just love Perry Mason novels. ...more
James Vest
At 188 pages, this story has less runway than most Perry Mason thrill-rides, but reliably checks all the boxes before a 50 page court showdown where Perry must save both his client and himself from legal peril.
Rupesh Goenka
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The murder mystery is beautifully written with tact & quality humor. There are no drab moments in the novel & it moves smoothly towards a dramatic climax. Though I successfully predicted the killer, still it is an engrossing read. AMAZING.
Rijo John
Fast, short and nice!
Another fun, easy to read, Perry Mason novel!
Newly Wardell
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perry Mason in novel form is pretty great! It's old fashioned and a great yarn. I learned about milk toast and now I cant stop eating it. ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow I guessed correctly the solution of this mystery much early in this case. Mason only proved it competently, providing the motive and the modus.

A good, simple case.
Anoop Pai B
This was my first Earl Stanley book and I am pretty sure that this is not his best work. Didn't find this exhilarating as my cousin said his few other books were!!! ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was my first book as a kid. It's responsible for creating that passion for books. :-) ...more
Aug 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I always enjoyed the Perry Mason mysteries on TV but this is the first time I have read one of Erle Stanley Gardner's books starring Mason.

Written in 1961, I do miss the use of cell phones, DNA, internet, etc but the story was a good one with the ending no where near what I was expecting.

The story started out with Gwynn Elston contacting Mason because she suspects her friend's husband has tried to kill her using strychnine. Perry takes on the case with a retainer of $5 and the story begins with
Debra Bates
Mar 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't love Perry Mason? I remember in the early 60s peaking around the sofa while my parents were watching the black and white Perry Mason TV show. I was suppose to be in bed but didn't want to miss out. A few years later when I had babysitting money coming in I subscribed to a detective book club and so obtained a few of Erle Stanley Gardner's books.
It was fun for me to put the clues together as a 2nd read with many years in between!
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Perry Mason jeszcze nigdy mnie nie zawiódł. Idealna rozrywka na długi wieczór.
Venkatesh Chetlur
Very crisp. And great courtroom stuff.
Mar 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extremely interesting how Mason finds out the secret of the bigamous spouse.
Book collector
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
Jun 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a plot that keeps one ooo-ing and ahh-ing over the twist, and an ending that surprises.

💥 Recommended.
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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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