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The Case of the Runaway Corpse

(Perry Mason #44)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,018 ratings  ·  40 reviews


Her husband was stealing her money, while accusing her of a plot to poison him -- or so claims the frightened young Mrs. Myrna Davenport. She wants Perry Mason to find the incriminating note her husband left for the authorities accusing her of murder -- especially now that Davenport is dying.

Perry finds the envelope, but it's filled with blank

Mass Market Paperback, 210 pages
Published March 13th 1990 by Fawcett (first published March 13th 1954)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  1,018 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young woman (described as "mousy") accompanied by her aunt (described as "catty") came to Parry Mason for help.
Cat and Mouse
It seems her husband accused her of trying to murder him. To safeguard himself he wrote a letter with proof of this to be delivered to authorities in case of his death. Mason's client asked the lawyer to get hold of the letter saying that it is all lies meant to destroy her reputation.

Shortly after Mason agreed to represent her the aunt called saying the husband died. Mason rushed t
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a long time, a truly confusing mystery. I admit I Did Not see the end.. not even a vague idea about it. It hooked me proper. Worth a read.
Jeff Dickison
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
A routine Perry Mason mystery. Man is traveling, gets sick, checks into motel, calls doctor, dies in front of doctor. Doctor locks room, calls police, no body in room. Man's wife is arrested for murder. Perry saves her behind. Recommended only to Perry Mason fans.
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE PERRY MASON BOOKS! I found my dads collection when I was 12, and I read every one I could get my hands on. Its great if you want to step back into a time when girls were "dames" and the craziest schemes were the perfect way to win court cases and solve crimes. Think Casablanca meets Nancy Drew
Jun 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This one was a good one. I was able to get pretty far into this one before figuring out the mystery. These still crack me up with the male/female dynamic.
Read it 20 years ago, before Goodreads, so, marked.
I read this book when I still loved detective stories back then. Still am, but I need a bit or more romance in my books that is.
Oct 06, 2012 rated it liked it
One of my earliest Perry Mason it as a teenager in Karachi and was hooked to legal fiction!!! No way near Scott Turow of course but what a help he was in my spoken fencing skills!!!
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Case of the Runaway Corpse is my first Perry Mason novel, and I was definitely happy with it! In this detective novel, Perry Mason is hired by an unhappily married woman with a dying husband. The husband has been talking badly about her, telling others that his wife is trying to kill him, hinting that his wife has killed before. His wife, Myrna Davenport, knows that her husband has allegedly written a letter that will be delivered to the authorities if/when he dies. A letter that supposedly ...more
Rob Smith, Jr.
This Mason novel is steeped in the typical rushed antics as other Mason books as though Mason has no other case going on. One thing different are the couple dozen pages of legal back and forth. The first set is overly lengthy for reasons given in the book. But would have been best to edit a page or two. Editing that and needless repetition of many story points.

Otherwise this is a solid murder mystery that makes little sense until the end. Also included are solid characters. The setti
Bailey Marissa
The book and the TV show are pretty much the same, so if you're like me and happened to see the TV show first, it's nice because the book plot tends to get a little more complicated.

The funny Paul/Della scene is all TV and there's a lot more technical law terms and scenes in the book, but it's still a good story.

There's some hinted Perry and Della flirting which is the best, and I'm not going to lie - that's mostly why I read these books. (My ultimate OTP)

Doug Dams
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This starts out with a client afraid he will be murdered by his wife. But when his murder is reported the corpse can not be found. Mason locates it in a motel room, but it disappears from there before he can report it to police. Mason of course has a client accused of the murder and he has to solve the crime and why someone keeps moving the corpse. A pretty good mystery.
Carissa Norris
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good mystery. I stopped to think about the solution several times and got one part of it right, but not the details. Laughed at some fun banter between Perry and Della. I really liked the DA in this one. I would have liked to have seen less courtroom, more action, but still a good story nonetheless.
One of the most fast-paced murder mysteries I have ever read. Perry Mason is quick, witty, charming, and outright brilliant. The ending was a bit of a wet mop on the whole pace of the book but I really don't see how else it could have gone. It did keep me guessing until almost the end though.

A quick and easy read, try it!
Rakesh Ramakrishnan
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
My rating is 3.5 (goodreads doesnt allow)
This did not involve much courtroom drama. Some parts felt repetitive. Not too thick a plot. There were so many constraints in the story that only a few outcomes were possible. So the reveal was not very surprising.
James Vest
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A great mystery, lots of twists, the biggest one being the DA and Mason's mutual cooperation to see the right person behind bars. The courtroom revelation is electric, easing into a nice toast, "To crime."
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved Perry Mason's character and would definitely read more of this series!
Michele bookloverforever
Perry Mason does it again. good characters, good plot. 1 many poisons?
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, usa
An excellent book! The one I desperately wanted to be the murderer wasn't the murderer, so a little disappointed. But that's hardly the author's fault. :D
Michael P.
May 17, 2009 rated it liked it
I've probably read about 10 Perry Mason books over the years, and they run from "really fun" to "crappy." This is pretty good, the best of it being the intelligence displayed by the characters.
Victoria Grusing
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
The personalities of Perry and Della come out funnier in the book than in the old TV series. It was fun reading.
Kieran McAndrew
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perry Mason is retained to protect the interests of Myra Davenport in a suspicious death case. The suspicious death of her husband.

A husband who died from poisoning but was subsequently seen climbing from a motel window in his night wear.

Gardner's plotting is tight and, as ever, hides the guilty party in plain sight throughout the novel and the clues are always there in twenty twenty hindsight.
Tonya Fowlkes
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been a Perry Mason fan for years and I couldn't help reading the book using the voices of the actors in the TV show. The book was just as wonderful as the TV show. I look forward to reading as many as I can get my hands on.
Danny Reid
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the snappier entries that is awash in red herrings and confounding clues. One of the rare ones where Mason gets things figured out pretty far in advance and doesn't spend the last act sweating it, too.
Ann Mclellan
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a keeper.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Ashish Ahsan
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My first Perry Mason book. And I'm hooked to the series ever since. Reading and rereading.
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, legal
#44 in the Perry Mason series. Perry gains an introverted client with an extroverted aunt. The client is accused of murdering her husband and the aunt wants to dominate the case. Perry is kept hopping trying to determine when and if the husband was murdered, what was the murder weapon and how was the murder done, oh! and who did it. Good fun.

Perry Mason series - Her husband was stealing her money, while accusing her of a plot to poison him -- or so claims the frightened young Mrs. My
I read the first edition of this, but it's not showing, and today isn't the day I feel like doing a separate entry with photographs, number of pages, etc. It was originally published in 1954. Family members squabble over money, a husband thinks his relatives will poison him, Perry, Paul and Della spend a lot of time in San Berdo and Fresno on this one. Lt. Tragg and Hamilton Burger never show their snouts. I'm not even sure, but this may be the first volume where you aren't told at length about ...more
Mukesh Kumar
Hmm,did I detect some chemistry between Mr Mason and Ms Street ? Very interesting and dare I say, charming, especially for characters that were supposed to be cardboard caricatures...
And the story...well another cold, brutally logical one, with such a sugary ending, that it should be repulsive, but I actually found it sweet...probably because of the general pleasant settings of the novel and the simpler times in which the story is set.
And the denouement was well worth the wait.
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
As brilliant a read as any other Perry Mason book.
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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 stra

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