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The Case of the Nervous Accomplice

(Perry Mason #48)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  361 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Sybil Harlan is aware of her husband’s dalliance with an alluring business associate. Sybil asks Perry Mason to help her sour the real estate deal and win back her errant spouse. Unfortunately a blackmailer gets wind of the scheme and murder takes place.
Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 24th 2010 by House of Stratus (first published July 1st 1955)
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Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sybil Harlan realized a simple truth: if you (her in this case) attracted your future husband using only great looks and if your (her again in this case) husband is the one who can be attracted by great looks only, after a while the marriage would be in trouble because somebody more younger and by definition more beautiful will come along. Sybil's husband was in real estate business; one of his new clients happened to be a young beautiful gold-digger who was never shy about meeting her broker ne ...more
Full review to come.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting case. This case was enjoyable also for the competent way the prosecution laid down its side. Usually, it is a one-sided affair with Mason being the amicable, sauve, polished lawyer, out to show the truth and nothing but that, with Burger over reacting and throwing his weight at everybody. Here, Burger is given a much better and believable stand.
Another good thing is the case itself. Plus the bonus of a complete court procedure from prelimenary to the final jury trial.
Les Anderson
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Again, just an excellent story. Perry Mason uses the law to get the guilty person to reveal themselves. Of course, he can't do that without some idea of what happened, although I have no idea how he figured it out. ...more
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, legal
#48 in the Perry Mason series. Gardner's foreword dedicates the book to Joseph Worcester Spelman, M.D., the State Pathologist of Vermont, in recognition of advances he and his colleagues have made in forensic medicine. Determine of time of death through examination of stomach contents and typical patterns of powder residue in gunshot wounds then feature prominently in the story. A lively read and the circumstances surrounding the shooting seem to inescapably make Mason's client the shooter. The ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My first Perry Mason novel.This is the book that got me hooked on to the series.
Bailey Marissa
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read as it has more information in the episode that makes the already close call bigger, and there is a Perry x Della moment so I enjoyed it even though I knew what was going to happen due to how faithful the episode was.

Recommended 14+ for affairs, murders, language, and dangerous situations.
Stephen Osborne
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perry Mason was never above doing some near-shady things to confuse the issue. Here, when the testimony of a cab driver is crucial to the case, he gets his client and a friend to take the same cab later and to make sure the fare is exactly the same as when his client had taken the cab earlier. (Not really a spoiler, this happens early in the book). This slight of hand nearly blows up in the lawyer's face, but it does prove that Mason will do nearly ANYTHING to defend his client. Here we also get ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This case is famous because Perry's client gets picked up by a taxi while fleeing the murder scene. In order to confuse the driver's identification of his client, he has her and a friend catch a ride with the same driver later in the day, making sure to take a ride with the same fare as the first. This ploy works, but all it really does it force Burger to call a grand jury to get an indictment since his key eyewitness blows up at the hearing thanks to Mason's hi-jinks. The real turn in the plot ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gardner-read
The case of nervous accomplice
Mrs. Harlan calls on Mason to talk about certain domestic difficulties. She is certain that her husband is cheating on her and is about to divorce her, but naturally, Mason doesn't deal with divorce cases. She manages to arouse his and Della Street's interests by presenting a complex intrigue in with she need the lawyer's help. Everything seems to go smooth until someone gets murdered, and it's not someone I'd have guessed. The book has a little different order tha
Aug 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Fairly entertaining.
Ashwin Dongre
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant plan of a wife to keep her husband, and brilliant plan of Mason's to keep her from being identified as fleeing from the scene of crime!

Great courtroom drama, A must read!
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perry Mason. Amazing as always!
Rob Smith, Jr.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Another Mason tale of half mystery and half courtroom drama. The mystery is a bit contrived and there is lots of shuffling and Mason games all leading to a conclusion that is, also, contrived. This one written for the readers more than making a ton of sense.

The courtroom back and forth is the most fun, nearly giving Ham Burger a heart attack. The written dialogue in that part makes it all worthwhile. The Mason games are too obvious.

Note about the cover of the edition I have: I could scan and ad
Kieran McAndrew
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wife keen to get her husband back from the arms of another woman hires Perry Mason to buy into a company as a front for her, believing that Mason's involvement with company will put pressure on her love rival.

However, when the former owner of the company is discovered murdered, Sybil Harlan finds herself in the frame and Perry must defend her.

Gardner's famous attorney leaps off the page in another vibrant mystery which is coherently written and populated with believable characters.
Mark Isaak
Dec 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A creative mystery, in particular how it was arranged that the defendant's gun was the murder weapon (apparently). But the case-breaking clue came out of nowhere at the last minute, giving a deus-ex-machina feeling to the plot. The courtroom scenes get repetitious as the witnesses repeat what we have heard them say before. And the characters are very much a product of 1955 and don't translate so well to today. ...more
Christopher Rowland
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A perfect beach read or junk food for the brain.
Danny Reid
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: perry-mason
That's one hell of a client you've got there, Perry. One of the better setups but less plausible resolutions. ...more
Jeff J.
Oct 08, 2020 rated it liked it
#48 in the Perry Mason series. Too often the character’s actions in support of his clients are a bit dubious, but as always the ends justify the means.
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
The mystery was fun but there were some really concerning misogynistic views expressed in this book. For instance, the wife accepts her husband is having an affair but states over and over again the best course of action is to pretend like it never happened even though she wants it to stop. Her husband does not redeem himself in any way during the course of the story, but even in the end she loves him dearly. It was concerning to say the least.
Book collector
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Sujani S
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perry Mason is a criminal defence lawyer with a penchant for solving murders and proving the innocence of wrongly accused , along with his trusted secretary Della Street and private detective Paul Drake. In this book, when a wealthy woman approaches Mason to buy stock in a company where her husband has interests, to kick a young gold-digging mistress out of the picture and save her marriage, he agrees. But the client ends up with a murder charge instead of her husband and Mason races against tim ...more
The usual. Fighting over business dealings, in this case construction and stocks. Of course there is a wicked curvy dame and an innocent--or is she? The one thing that makes this Mason book stand out above others is that Hamilton Burger, the District Attorney, says, "incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial," so many times I lost count in the courtroom scene. At least twice, he says it three times on one page. I had to start laughing. In the end, it was probably at least twenty times. I think Gard ...more
Doug Dams
Oct 17, 2011 rated it liked it
The story starts with a woman seeking Perry's help in dealing with a golddigger that's trying to steal her husband. The woman than becomes a suspect in a murder. The story centers around a shady real estate deal and the people trying to make a fast buck. One of them resorts to murder and Perry has to find out the who and why. Good suspense and the courtroom action is always good. ...more
Nick Duretta
May 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Though the resolution of the murder gets a bit convoluted in the end, Perry Mason comes through (as always) by outwitting everyone with often-irritating infallability. What's great about this book is its slightly idealized depiction of L.A. in the 1950s, a world in which vainglorious, arrogant men ostensibly ruled the city, but were easily tools at the hands of scheming, seductive women. ...more
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: perry-mason
This is my first Perry Mason book. I took this book because a friend suggested this. I have seen some episodes of Perry mason's cases in TV. For those who like mystery, whodunnit kind of genres and a very light reading fiction, this is the book I would suggest. Good one. ...more
James Vest
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
An outrageous storyline was a fun read, but featured enough evidence to have Perry Mason disbarred long before the magic murder was put away. Multiple times were I couldn't suspend my disbelief of the waffling of the DA, the judge, and the ending's surreal reveal. ...more
Jun 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My wife and I picked this one to read while travelling. I remember seeing the TV episode, but couldn't remember "whodunit," so that was no problem. A good diversion. ...more
Dec 07, 2010 rated it liked it
perry mason is still one the the great detectives! and street! and drake! and even burger!
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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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