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The Case Of The Phantom Fortune

(Perry Mason #72)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  338 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Horace Warren pays five hundred dollars to have Perry Mason attend a buffet dinner to observe his guests. He also wants Mason to investigate a fingerprint and suspects his wife is being blackmailed. Mrs Warren's mysterious past may hold the clues
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by House of Stratus (first published March 4th 1964)
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Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wealth businessman Horace Warren hired Mason to attend his party in order to observe the guests. He also produced a lifted fingerprint asking the lawyer to check if it matches any of his guests or servants. His suspected that it was done by a person blackmailing his wife so he asked to protest her from whoever left that print.
Thanks to Paul Drake's interesting methods the fingerprints of every single person in the house were collected and (very unexpected) match was found.

In Mason's dealing
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another excellent Perry Mason in one engrossed and happy sitting.

I really enjoy the style of these stories - the cases are mostly communicated through dialogue which lends a certain insight into the characters.

Although Perry appears to act in a morally ambiguous manner at times his total respect,adherence to and knowledge of the law is profound.
I am always reminded that in order to truly follow the law you need to remove all emotion and opinion for justice to prevail.

This does no
COUNTDOWN: Mid-20th Century North American Crime
BOOK 188 (of 250)
Seldom has such a great cast appeared in a series.
HOOK= 2 stars: A businessman visits Perry Mason's office for help: he wants everyone at a dinner party to be fingerprinted. The reader isn't told why and neither is Mason. A slight variation from standard openers, but still a standard for the genre.
PACE=2: Typical Gardner: the novel leads, natch, up to the mandatory courtroom scene.
PLOT=3: I thought this plot one of the better ones
Doug Dams
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it
The reason I like Perry Mason stories is it all takes place before the DNA and forensic evidence dominates the solution of a crime. Perry Mason does explore how the examiner determines time of death and uses fingerprints, but for the most part he tries to establish a logical sequence of events that explains the murder. This story is about a successful businessman whose wife has a secret past and could be blackmailed. When a man out of her past is released from prison then found murdered, her hus ...more
Les Anderson
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The trick in Perry Mason novels is to figure out the real killer since Mason's client is never guilty. This was really difficult in this story because there were so many people guilty of so many smaller crimes. Mason figuring out the real killer in the courtroom at the last minute is pretty standard but never gets old. I did miss Hamilton Burger losing his cool though.
James Vest
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Classic Perry Mason. Lots of blackmail. In fact, this is the first book I've read where Perry is blackmailed, threatens to kill someone and almost gets disbarred. But the strange twists are masterfully done, making this one of the best in the series.
Apr 19, 2011 added it
I rather liked it. There are many mystery authors I have never read, but for some reason I never ventured much beyond Agatha Christie. I didn't know either that the TV show Perry Mason was based on a book series. Nor did I realize he's actually a lawyer; I thought he was a detective.
Maddie Cochere
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love a good Perry Mason mystery!
Juan Carlos Santillán
"El caso de la fortuna fantasma" (3/5)

El abogado Perry Mason es contratado por un millonario para averiguar quién chantajea a su esposa, labor que realiza con la ayuda de un amigo detective, aunque, en realidad el abogado se comporta todo el tiempo como si él fuese el detective y el otro un simple asiatente. Excepto al final, durante el juicio. Es la primera novela que leo del personaje. La narración es sencilla, entretenida, sin mucho vuelo.

Danny Reid
Great setup meets is undermined by a rather unlikely coincidence to tie things together.
Connie Hansmeyer
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Basic Perry Mason, who done it? A murder, a client, a court case and Mason wins out. These were my Mom's favorite and I inherited them. Decided I'd read through her collection, memories.
Monica Willyard Moen
This is a fun puzzle style mystery with a satisfactory ending.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, mystery
#73 in the Perry Mason series. This entry begins with secretary Della Street convincing Perry to take a case. The client wants Perry and a female companion to attend a fancy dinner and Della feels that an elegant dinner with champagne would suit her just fine. Eventually, of course, there is a murder and DA Hamilton Burger savagely attacks Mason for tampering with evidence. A credulity stretching request by Mason has a search made after the police have already searched and three separate crucial ...more
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardcover-g
Why I read this book: I hadn't planned to read this, but I glanced at it while putting The Case of the Fan-Dancer's Horse back on the shelf--and got hooked ;-).

It's very professionally told; there aren't any infelicities that knocked me out of the story. It's also very clever; I didn't see the last twist coming at all.

As far as I can tell, this was not made into an episode of the TV series. (At least, there aren't any episodes with "Phantom" in the title, and "Fortune" appears in two episodes wh
Rob Smith, Jr.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
Not one of the best of Gardner's books. The story is so-so to begin with. The problems lie in the story structure and, more specifically, the dialogue. It seems that at obvious points that separate paragraphs were constructed and pasted into the book. Considering how much one sentence dialogue is in this story, a large, descriptive diatribe about legal or investigative methodology doesn't read cohesively. There's a great story here, but the structure is off as the story slows and speeds at diffe ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
This was my first Perry Mason novel, grabbed on a lark as it was cheap, and... I didn't actually know he started as books! I had fond memories of watching the show when Mom had it on, though, so it seemed as good a reason as any to dive in.

It was fun watching as Perry tried to stay on top of everyone and everything going on around him in this case - protecting his clients and himself. I had a key chunk of the mystery pegged somewhere in the middle, but the reveal didn't come to the end, so ther
Robert A Keene
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this story to be rather boring. I am a huge Perry Mason reader, having read all his books up to 1960 and enjoyed virtually all. Phantom Fortune spends better than half the book shadowing a suspect, less than a quarter of the book involves court room drama. But Perry's skill as a lawyer is amazing as ever and the plot at the end was very good. This is the only story I can remember where his defendants actuating followed the lawyers command to say "no comment" Also this is one of only a fe ...more
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
Out of order as I missed this one in the series but I enjoyed it immensely. Maybe it's good that I finished with Perry Mason with this.
Lots of twists and action had me guessing through the book. It almost looked like Mason would finally get into trouble this time but as always he slips away clean.
I didn't guess the culprit at all and neither did I see the end coming. Good book!
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't say this is a great book - but it is a very fun book and was perfect for an airport stop over. It it well written.

The story is contrived and their nil character development, but the main point was to see Perry put it over Sgt Tragg and Hamilton Burger and come out on top again!

As I said, a lot of fun and I have bought another one to read.
Hugh Atkins
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've known of Erle Stanley Gardner and Perry Mason all my life, but this is the first one of these I've read. All the characters from the television show are here--Mason (of course), Della Street, Paul Drake ("Got to love the Drake"), Hamilton Burger, Lt. Tragg. The mystery is solid and Mason is masterful. I'll be reading some more of these.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It started well, was very interesting and intriguing. Only, how could the police, esp Lt.Tragg make such an elimentary mistake?! I couldn't swallow it. The second blunder was also very obvious. Too convenient.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 4-or-5-stars
Perry Mason gets blackmailed in this one. Fast paced, interesting setup. I have no problems with this one.
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nice comfortable read. Not dated outside my lifetime but the technology of the world fifty years ago might bother a few people who live on their cell phones. Interesting plot and smoothly paced.
Jason Lockwood
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fun romp of a mystery, one of many dozens Gardner wrote. Don't look for literary greatness, just enjoy the ride that's full of intrigue, blackmail, and yes, murder.
Vincent Darlage
Perry Mason gets blackmailed in this one, but the blackmailer is murdered before Perry can deal with him himself. Not the best Perry Mason, but it was enjoyable.
George Zotos
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Aug 09, 2013
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Feb 25, 2008
Amicus (David Barnett)
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Jul 15, 2017
Shirley Morrison
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May 18, 2015
Krishna Shah
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Oct 25, 2012
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Page Count - ISBN 9780143569848 2 19 Jan 23, 2014 12:49AM  

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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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