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The Case of the Ice-Cold Hands

(Perry Mason #68)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  366 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Supposed You had Embezzeld Some Money -
and bet it on the nose on a long shot, at fifty to one. And the horse came in first. With your winnings you could easily replace the money you had embezzled and still have a big profit. But when you went to cash in your winning tickets, your employer was there with a cop to arrest you for embezzlement - and to take over your winnings
Mass Market Paperback, 179 pages
Published January 13th 1989 by Ballantine Books (first published July 1st 1962)
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Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books for many years. Those who are used to really fine mystery writers (in the literary sense) may find Gardner's writing style a bit dry, and the dialog a bit unrealistic. Nonetheless, I still love the ingenious plots and the general setting: the characters of Perry, Della, Paul, Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Berger.

On the whole, the ones written by about 1953 are the best. This is one of the last ones, published in 1968. It is indeed dryly written. It is a pr
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keeps you gripped till the very last page! Gardner, very ably and logically, provides the three solutions to the murder in this one. Enjoyed it.
Rob Smith, Jr.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
This volume of the law life of Perry Mason moves as fast as most others and then slows, as usual when the story lands in the courtroom. In this story the story really slows int he courtroom as an intricate set of legal moves sets up the conclusion. A bit tough to get through and I think it all could have been written more clearly.

This Gardner story is a bit more plodding in places and repetitious. This is a later Mason book and maybe that has something to do with it.

As usual, the main character
Tony Boskovich
So it is obvious that by the mid-60s Mr. Gardner was no longer paying much attention to the novels. They are several pages shorter than their predecessors, and what is lost is the careful set up of the solution. Here, as in the last several novels, there is a carefully paced run-up to the courtroom, and a deus ex machina, this time with virtually no explanation. There is absolutely no way Mason could have figured it out, the murder scene and explanation were as poor as it gets. Without his reput ...more
Elizabeth S
Dec 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-mystery
Definitely my favorite Perry Mason so far. At one point I had to laugh out loud at the legal twist. Pretty fun.
Vincent Darlage
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really enjoyed the bit of legal trickery employed here. This was a good mystery.
Rick Mills
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Major characters:
Nancy Banks, a.k.a. Audrey Bicknell
Rodney Banks, Nancy's brother, an embezzler
Lorraine Lawton, Nancy's neighbor
Marvin Fremont, Rodney's boss
Larsen E. Halstead, bookkeeper for Marvin Fremont
Perry Mason, attorney
Jarvis Nettle Gilmore, attorney

Locale: Los Angeles area

Synopsis: Rodney Banks has embezzled about $1000 from his employer, Marvin Fremont. Now Rodney needs to replace it before anyone notices - so he goes to the horse races and bets on a long shot horse. His horse wins, an
Rupesh Goenka
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Audrey Bicknell also known as Nancy Banks approaches Perry Mason to cash in her betting tickets which she had won at the horse race track. Her brother, Rodney Banks is accused by his employer, Marvin Fremont, a crooked businessman, of embezzling his money. He is arrested and sent to jail. The bail is set at five thousand dollars. Marvin asks Perry Mason to hand-over all the winnings for they belong to him as the bets have been placed through stealing of his money. On behalf of his client, Perry ...more
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Audrey Bicknell visits Perry Mason’s office to hire Perry to collect her winnings at the track on Dough Boy, a horse who is a long shot to win. She presents her case, leaves the tickets for her bets and leaves without any further information. Perry know there is more to the story, he just isn’t sure how much more.

Turns out there are embezzlement, murder, financial fiddling, and a lot of lies. The tangled web involves a brother, sister, crooked bookkeeping and dry ice.

This time out, Perry seems t
Jan 23, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Even though it's a thriller, too much of the suspense was stacked to the end, only to give a feeling that all of a sudden some magic was done leaving very little clue to conceive. Mr. Mason becomes the as usual demigod by pulling clever tricks - reverse playing the games of DA & making him the fool, also on Halstead. In the middle, the author tricks the avg. man (atleast I got) to assume that Lorraine was an accomplice in murder committed by Royden, deceiving with a spell of romance.
All in All,
Robert A Keene
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think this was about the best written Perry Mason of the 1960's. Nancy Banks, alias Audrey Bicknell hires Mason to collect her winnings at the horse racetrack, of course the money turns out to be embezzled but Perry accepts her as a client anyway. Shortly after she gets her money Marvin Fremont turns up dead in Nancy's motel room shower, she is charged with murder and Hamilton Burger, the DA see this as a slam dunk case, but Mason has other ideas. ...more
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
An entertaining mystery, with a few extra twists in the court room. Horse race betting with stolen and embezzled funds, sexual harassment at a time when women had few options, immunity from prosecution, murder, and Perry Mason's determination to get to the truth. The court room drama in this one was one of the best of the series. These books are a step back in time and well worth the read. ...more
Aug 01, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
It was nice to read an old book. I have heard a lot about Perry Mason books, got a chance to check this one for myself now. After reading the book, I only realize that over time many of the books and movies released later would have incorporated the court scenes in their creations. Maybe these were original during the time of the actual release of the book.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
#68 in the Perry Mason series.

Perry takes on a female client who lies to him and doesn’t follow his advice thus ends up on trial for murder. The case involves murder, possible embezzlement, horse racing, an unsavory employer and possible frame ups.
Rob Leininger
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A real blast from the past. Wonderful. A quick read. The courtroom scene(s) whipped right along, not like today's courtroom scenes which tend to plod, with boring narrative such as lawyers detailing the degrees, experience, and general expertise of expert witnesses. Written in 1962. ...more
James Vest
Feb 17, 2022 rated it liked it
Lying to Perry Mason isn’t the smartest thing a person can do, but so is murder. Perry Mason takes both in stride in steady turn that waits until the last four pages to tie everything up with a bow for the only briefly defeated district attorney.
Ashwin Dongre
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great mystery, awesome courtroom scenes. I specially like the scene of Rodney Banks' testimony. Hilarious! Best comic turn of event, it even tops all of Lester Leith pulls!

Most recommended!
Dr Hanif Hassan Barbhuiya
A good Perry Mason mystery
I remember taking a really fantastic photo of my hands holding this book.
Oct 03, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: perry-mason
It was okay.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I re-read this one in order to make a decent review of it. I still agree with my 2015 rating. This one is more fun on second read, I think. It never gets tiring to see District Attorney Hamilton Burger get surprised at the hearing with a turn of events that favors Mason.

The characters involved are a horrible boss, disgruntled employees and a trout farm. The main interests are a brother and sister, who both gamble against all odds and win at the horsetrack. The problem is that the crooked boss of
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was my first Perry Mason book, and I wasn't very impressed. There were some things that I liked, though. I liked it when the scene changed to the courtroom; I think that made this feel distinctive from so many contemporary crime stories. I kind of liked that Perry Mason was much cleverer than everyone else, and that he had his own Girl Friday that didn't appear to be a romantic interest. Actually, I liked that romance did not play a part at all with Perry. And it was a quick and easy read, ...more
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, mystery
#68 in the Perry Mason series. A brunette wanted to hire Perry to collect on 5 $100 pari-mutual tickets if the long shot wins. Perry is intrigued and agrees but he is sure she would not have left the track before the race was run and would not be paying him if the tickets were losers. It develops that her brother was arrested while cashing in a ticket on the same longshot and efforts are taken to confiscate the $14,000 Perry has collected. A fun prelude to a tale of embezzlement and murder.

Christopher Taylor
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although I usually prefer the earlier Perry Mason cases, this one is a bit different in that it has a lot of very interesting more modern policework detailed (particularly forensics) and that Perry Mason until very late in the trial is not sure what to do or how he'll succeed.

It starts out very intriguingly with a woman hiring Perry to pick up winnings from a horse race at a track, turns into an embezzlement case, and from there just gets more complicated. Unlike many Mason stories, he doesn't m
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Almost on a quest to complete all the Perry Mason titles (and not finding them), picked this one up just before boarding a train!

I must admit, found it a bit of let down considering it was too easy and too much of a long shot. Also a little less theatrical in general.

Some interesting legal aspects such as gambling wins from embezzled money and time of death monitoring were the plus.

Except for the fact it was a quick read, not a very convincing Mason novel.

PS: Picked up a Master Mind India edit
Feb 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Perry Mason, really? Yeah really. Go, law school library fiction stacks!

Funny book - exactly like everyone said the show was. Perry Mason WOWS the judge, jury, and opposing counsel with his LAST MINUTE REVELATION that SAVES the DAY and of course his client. Lots of misogyny and going out for early afternoon cocktails. Lots of lady-witnesses showing leg (but not too much leg) to get the jury to believe their sob-stories. Lots of "OBJECTION, Your Honor!!"
Doug Dams
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Perry is asked by a client to collect the winnings of a horse race by a beautiful brunette. When Perry collects the bet, he finds out the bet may have been made with embezzled money. the bet won $18,000. Perry starts out defending his client's racing bet but is soon defending her against a murder charge. Another good story in the series. ...more
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love these mysteries! The language takes you to the 1950s and previous.
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Interesting and fast-paced as usual!
Les Anderson
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was so funny to see Burger gets his comeuppance on something so obvious. As happens in so many Perry Mason mysteries around this time, Mason figures out clues at the last minute.
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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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