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The Case of the Careless Cupid

(Perry Mason #79)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  41 reviews
There's no love lost between Delane Arlington's fiancee and his frosty family. The wealthy widower's heirs are extremely eager to keep their lovestruck uncle from tying the knot--thus cutting off their route to easy street. That's what brings Selma Anson, Arlington's beleaguered bride-to-be, to Perry Mason. HC: Morrow.
Mass Market Paperback, 180 pages
Published June 27th 1995 by Fawcett (first published January 1st 1968)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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A widow Selma Anson noticed she was being followed. She came face-to-face with her tail
and told the guy next time she sees him she would slap him. The guy suggested her to lawyer up as he would sue her if she ever does. Departing on such friendly terms Selma realized having a lawyer might not be such a bad idea after all, so a short time later Mason got himself a client asking him how could she slap a guy without any legal repercussions.

Obviously the story was much deeper than this. Selma fell
Newly Wardell
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I freaking love Perry Mason novels. At some point we will acknowledge that every fictional defense attorney willing to go above and beyond to prove their clients innocence is a shadow of Perry Mason. I'm looking at you Jake Brigance to Phoenix Wright all of them. Boy were the decks ever stacked against him in this one. I was hooked from the end of the first chapter. No one creates characters like Erle Stanley Gardner. No one! Chapter 1 A woman finishes her breakfast and an unassuming guy finishe ...more
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Another great Perry Mason. I gobble these up so rapidly it's a wonder I don't get heartburn. Luckily, books don't give you heartburn and Mason novels aren't Jane Austin to be savored and contemplated. They are that bowl of Hershey chocolates that you really shouldn't be scarfing down but can't stop, which is why I was able to run through this story in one sitting.

The plot: A distressed woman comes to Mason (aren't they always distressed woman?) because of a complicated situation. She is in love
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one. Really liked it, even though the trial part wasn't much. This one had a nice long explanation provided about the polygraph test. One of my reasons for getting hooked to this series was the way Gardner educates or informs about legal practice and terminology in a nice, easy to understand, tale narrative. He makes it really simple for lay people and also legal professionals, to understand quite a few technicalities. Some of the books in the series are whodunnits simpliciter, but ...more
It was nice that in this one the murderers were kind of obvious right from the beginning. There is actually no mystery about who were the killers, or why they did it but how it happened. Selma Anson was accused of murdered her husband. Delane Arlington's nephews and nieces were expecting to inherit his money, but he fell in love with Selma. So of course one of them wanted to incriminate her. I read this one faster than the previous one.

Read in Spanish.
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Perry Mason story and this one was quite good. I love the feel of older novels that give a glimpse into how things were back in the day, and the speed of this one keeps the action moving as you might not expect a lawyer story to be. I am definitely looking forward to the other stories I have by this author and recommend to anyone who enjoys a good crime or mystery novel.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was good, but I was able to guess the mystery pretty early. Still love these mysteries though because you can read them in an afternoon and they are not violent or have a ton of sex. I like those novels too but it is nice to take a break.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal, mystery
#79 in the Perry Mason series. Widow Selma is afraid to wed rich widower, Delane Arlington , because of the enmity of his nieces and nephews. Selma is accused of insurance fraud in the case of her husband's death and the fiancé of on e of Delane's nieces scares her into fleeing the state. Perry catches on and, beating Lt. Tragg to El Paso, manages to turn her trip from a flight to a publicized trip for philanthropic purposes. She still winds up being prosecuted for premeditated murder. But in po ...more
Oct 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erle Stanley Gardner is one of my favorite mystery writers. He is so clever when it comes to writing a unique mystery tale. In this one, a woman whose husband dies as a result of tainted crab salad is accused of poisoning her him with arsenic. She was a bird watcher who had progressed to trapping, killing and mounting species - a hobby she developed to fill her time because her husband was gone so often. The product she use was called Featherfirm and was loaded with arsenic. To complicate matter ...more
"It was a sorry day for law enforcement when Perry Mason was admitted to the bar." Indeed it was. When a wealthy widow Selma Anson spots the same man everywhere she goes, she decides to confront him. She doesn't end up going to Mason's office because of accidental killing of the "detective," but to make sure she in the clear if she should punch him in the face anytime in the future.
I really enjoyed reading it, even though I've just discovered I'd already read it few years ago. Perry is on top o
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I am a big fan of Perry Mason, the original in print and Raymond Burr from the TV series.

This case involves a widow and the suspicion that she poisoned her husband over a year ago to get the payout on his life insurance.

Who started this rumour? Is it true? Why was it started?

Selma Anson hires Perry Mason to help solve these questions and more. Along with his secretary, Della Street, and P.I. Paul Drake, Mason comes through in true style.
Bailey Marissa
An intriguing story that is not only complicated but also involves Perry pulling some stunts with human psychology and a polygraph test.

Recommended 13+ for murder, language, poisoning, and mild romance from secondary characters.
Robert A Keene
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This 1968 late Erle Stanley Gardner was far better than I anticipated. I do like the earlier Perry Mason books better, but this held my interest to the end, mostly trying to figure out how he would get this woman off when so much evidence was against her.
Karan Shah
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erle Stanley Gardner is my favorite mystery murder writer.
His books are very fast paced and witty. This book is one of his best
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Perry Mason at his theatrical best. Gets into a bit of lecture mode in the middle, but all ingredients of Perry Mason.
Simple, non complicated read.
Interesting comfortable read
James Vest
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid entry into the Perry Mason cannon, but ultimately, a pretty straightforward dash to the truth.
Shalini M
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marina Gerrard
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a kind of mystery that, as I say goes, in one eye and out the other. No disrespect meant. I love them. They're very easy on the eye ;-) The good thing is because I never remember who dunnit, I can read them again and again.
I'm sure I've read every single one of ESG's books in the past. Now I'm ready to go over them again one by one. I recently started with The Case of the Careless Cupid. Boy, did I enjoy it! I'm sure at some point the rest will follow!
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect cozy read for me. I love figuring things out with Mason. This is one where I did have it figured out before the end but I still enjoyed it!
Iris van Meer
Oh my. Not my type of book. Only has one scene (the lawyers office) and it's just dialogue after dialogue. Didn't like it at all.
Walt Carlson
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty much exactly what you want out of a Perry Mason mystery.
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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. 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 to be stiff and mechanical. Nonetheless, I still love the general setting: the characters of Perry, Della, Paul, Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Berger. That, and the ingenious plots, are w
Christopher Taylor
A later, but pretty solid addition to the vast Perry Mason collection. Something I really appreciate about these books is that the trial scenes are so careful and specific, they lack most of the usual dramatic tricks and violations of actual courtroom rules and behavior that most courtroom fiction suffers from. In some ways its almost clinical how they courtroom is portrayed, except for Perry's more dramatic tricks.

In this book, a woman is being followed by someone, and turns to Perry for legal
Les Anderson
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This felt like one of the shortest of the Perry Mason mysteries. If you have been reading the others, you will see some familiar elements here, which is something that ESG does regularly.


When Mason first finds the planted evidence, it is so obvious that it can be proven to be planted due to the testimony of the manufacturer that their product had changed recently. When Mason suggests that a man can't testify against his wife, I was scratching my head wondering what happe
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mysteries and crime fiction
This is book #79 in the Perry Mason series. I've already read a few of these stories, but I've skipped around quite a bit. I enjoy reading these classic tales and I base my selection more on what's available at my local library than anything else..

For as old as they are, they are entertaining, fast reads. They have an old-fashioned charm to them; Mr. Mason is able to operate with such an anonymity and recklessness that would be more difficult in today's age. I love the way that Mr. Mason protec
Aug 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute book, from the later years of Perry Mason. It's a bit unique in that the main investigation is into a murder that happened quite a while ago. It's less interesting in that (I found) the mystery lacking and the killer obvious. I kind of feel like Perry shouldn't charge a fee here, because he did not really do anything extraordinary to bring the killer to justice. It probably would have all worked out okay without him.
Renu Sirohi
Picked it up as I wanted to read something but at the same time did not want it to be some heavy duty stuff. predictable got over quickly. my observations...1>very simple language as I guess to cater to large mass audience 2>No meandring of plot or subplots, written in a way as if there is some urgency to finish the story, narrative going in a straight line and that too super fast ...more
Aug 31, 2012 rated it liked it
my first perry mason. Good, entertaining read, if a little ridiculous. This is a later book so I'm not aware of how these work, but its a little far fetched how everyone is in awe of Perry Mason. Enjoyable,
Selma Anders is in a pickle. She's in love with a man but his family is not love with her. Now, it's possible they're setting her up to be framed for murder. What can she do except go to Perry Mason for help?
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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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