Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Case of the Runaway Corpse (Perry Mason, #44)” as Want to Read:
The Case of the Runaway Corpse (Perry Mason, #44)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Case of the Runaway Corpse

(Perry Mason #44)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,214 ratings  ·  54 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 paper. Then

Mass Market Paperback, 210 pages
Published March 13th 1990 by Fawcett (first published March 13th 1954)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Case of the Runaway Corpse, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Case of the Runaway Corpse

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,214 ratings  ·  54 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Case of the Runaway Corpse (Perry Mason, #44)
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. ...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 settings are also
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)

Recommended 12/13+ for murder, lawyer ta
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 ...more
Oct 06, 2012 rated it liked it
One of my earliest Perry Mason stories...read 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!!!
Lelyana's Reviews
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.
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.
B.R. Stateham
Nov 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Give credit where credit is due. Gardner sometimes came up with complex murder cases for his legal-eagle, Perry Mason, to solve. And Mason, the ever-imaginative trial lawyer, basically figures it out in the middle of a trial defending the accused murderer.

And I have to say something about Della Street. Mason's His-Girl-Friday private secretary. She's one cool cookie who willing walks into situations Mason puts her in without batting an eye or hesitating in any way. Frankly, she'd make a hell of
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
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!
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." ...more
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.
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. ...more
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 ...more
Michele bookloverforever
Perry Mason does it again. good characters, good plot. 1 corpse...how many poisons?
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved Perry Mason's character and would definitely read more of this series! ...more
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.
Danny Reid
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: perry-mason
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. ...more
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. ...more
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.
Ann Mclellan
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a keeper.
Em Witteveen
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Lot of legal jargon in this one. Not too much action. Definitely liked TV's version of this one better. ...more
Shashwat Roy
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

I like it when Perry Main is set in deep problem where he has to think on his feet to get out of it.

Fast paced mystery with the usual blend of the Perry Main style.
AJ Wright
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gardner constructs one of his trademark complicated, fast-moving cases for Mason, Della & Drake. All the Mason novels I've read whether from early, middle or late periods have been worth the time. ...more
Jeff J.
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it
#44 in the Perry Mason series. Mason defends a woman accused of murdering her husband. I enjoyed this, despite the ridiculous ending.
Kevin Rush
Jul 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Quick, light read. An intriguing puzzle.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Top of The Heap (Cool and Lam #13)
  • The Girls in the Snow (Nikki Hunt, #1)
  • Sweetwater & the Witch (Ghost Hunters, #15)
  • Sherlock Holmes & the Christmas Demon
  • The Count of 9
  • No Strangers Here (County Kerry Mystery, #1)
  • Desert Eagle (A Sinatra Thriller, #5)
  • The Savannah Madam
  • Savannah Road Kill (Savannah Sleuth Sisters Murder Mysteries Book 2)
  • Dying for a Cocktail (Savannah Sleuth Sisters Murder Mysteries Book 3)
  • The Roman Hat Mystery (Ellery Queen Detective, #1)
  • Den som dödade helvetets änglar
  • Silver Spire (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries #6)
  • The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse #6)
  • Whisper of the Heart
  • A Fatal Truth (Ryder & Loveday Mystery, #5)
  • Find the Lady (Yorkshire Murder Mysteries #10)
  • The Burglar Who Met Fredric Brown (Bernie Rhodenbarr #12)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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)

Related Articles

Here at Goodreads World Headquarters, we like to encourage an informal, lateral-thinking approach to reading. If you’ve never tried it, themed...
139 likes · 21 comments