Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Case of the Spurious Spinster” as Want to Read:
The Case of the Spurious Spinster
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Case of the Spurious Spinster

(Perry Mason #64)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  663 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A shoebox full of cash and an elderly mine owner who disappears, wheelchair and all, leave a secretary charged with murder.
Mass Market Paperback, 179 pages
Published July 12th 1988 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1961)
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 Spurious Spinster, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Case of the Spurious Spinster

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

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  663 ratings  ·  34 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Case of the Spurious Spinster
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Susan Fisher was working on a weekend because her boss asked her to (or told her to - this was not specified). To add to her problems the governess of the boss's son asked her to take care of her charge. This whole situation reminds me of a joke of a soldier mowing grass and officers coming up with ideas about more efficient utilization of the guy's work - simply by increasing his workload.

Accidentally this joke was implemented in real life by countless CEOs that finally realized that the best w
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good mystery. Though, Mr Gardner did not put up all the clues fairly. Only at the end were they logically given. Still, good whodunit.
I did not appreciate Paul Drake's attitude in this one.. Not of a good friend. Overly pessimistic. In contrast, was simply charmed by Della Street!
Newly Wardell
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so this mystery was a real head scratcher! So an out of town billionaire arrives two days early to investigate a problem in the Mojave Mine. She is wheel chair bound and losing her sight. She then disappears! The next day the same woman comes in a day early to investigate the same problem and she vanishes from the hotel. A secretary is setup to take the wrap for embezzlement and (dun dun dun) murder. Luckily she calls Perry Mason.
Kieran McAndrew
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A seven year old child with a shoebox full of hundred dollar bills leads to one of Perry Mason's most interesting cases and intrigue and murder are, as ever, not far behind.

Gardner's fine sense of plotting and characterisation pulls readers inexorably to a stunning conclusion.
I've been reading my way through Perry Mason books for the past two years. Some are incredibly hard to find, even using an interlibrary loan system. This book features the ever present curvy young innocent woman in trouble. She turns to Perry and it's off to the races. There is one character, the spinster and owner of a mine, that is wheelchair bound and wearing blue glasses for her blindness. For whatever reason my mind went this way, I thought about how this book was published in 1961 (I read ...more
R.W. Clark
Bust in the Dust

Played out mine. Cowboy willing to please. Owner home from Argentina. Young boy with thousands stuffed into a shoebox. Faithful governess and her nurse friend. Boorish boss.

And the dedicated secretary framed for murder, with Mason and Della standing over the corpse made ready for burning.

A rather ordinary story.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Perry Mason story really is about twice as good as the one I finished earlier this week, The Case of the Green-Eyed Sister. It hits the ground running and keeps us on our toes the whole way... which is probably a poor choice of figures of speech since a pivotal scene is about meeting a lady in a wheelchair at the airport... but I'll let it stand. (*groan*) ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a standout entry in the Perry Mason series. Impersonations, con games, and a slick frame-up are all features here, plus as I recall, this was one where Della got a chance to show how smart and effective she is (her characterization across the books is inconsistent, but my favorites are when she gets to be a badass).
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly love all Perry Mason novels by Erle Stanley Gardner. This is one of my particular favorites which I reread for fun. A glass of iced tea, some string cheese, and Perry and Della - my idea of a relaxing afternoon.
Les Anderson
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would never have figured this one out. Mason uses some clever tricks before the trial but it isn't until he determines who is lying on the stand that he is able to tie everything together. Possibly, one of the most devious murderers that Mason has ever caught. ...more
Linnja (Lynn)
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2011
Fun, Fun, Fun. I'd forgotten all about these mystery books. ...more
Jeffrey Marks
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good use of the impostor crime. I wasn't quite sure about the ending though... ...more
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable. I had forgotten how timeless and well written this author's works are. ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh the year is off to a good start with this one! I'm a fan of Perry Mason, so I thought a nice cozy way to begin 2020 would be with one of his books. ESG was on top of things with this one. Crafty adversaries and lots of twists and turns, with lots of folks looking guilty. I like it when Lt. Tragg and Perry work together (even with Tragg following along reluctantly the entire way).

The courtroom part doesn't happen until late in the story, and it's a hoot to see Burger all puffed up and convinc
Genevieve  Paquette
My first time reading a Perry Mason. I enjoyed it, despite the gentle sexism and the strange habit the author had of calling Della Street by her full name, every time. In the prose, that is. Like, never Della, never Street (as Perry Mason is almost always referred to as Mason), not even Miss Street. Strange.
The mystery was tight. I feel like I should have guessed the twist, and I sort of did, but I didn't trust my instincts and fell for it.
A quick, fun read that felt a little like a time capsu
Tony Piazza
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perry Mason Wins Again!

Excellent story with enough twists to keep you guessing. For Perry, this looks like one case he might lose, but in brilliant Mason fashion he... well, you have to read the book to find out the rest. Enjoyed the characters and the drama of the courtroom in this story. Definitely worth five stars!
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perry Mason programmer. Not the best of the series but a good quick read for a mental getaway.
Dheeraj Sankar
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Perry Mason thriller. Holds you tight in the seat until you finish the entire book. A great read!
Danny Reid
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Not one of the better Mason mysteries, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Jeff J.
Apr 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#64 in the Perry Mason series. Another impossible murder case which Perry solves at the last minute.
Book collector
There are too many books to do individual reviews for so this is an author overview really. The star rating will give an idea of my feelings on the individual books.

Erle Stanley gardner was one of my father's favourite writers. He had a virtually full collection of the books. I was aware of the books mainly through the TV series of Perry Mason but started to read the novels shortly before my father passed away. Since then I've read all of the books and enjoyed them. I can't say gardner is a favo
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Perry Mason novel I've read - I picked up a paperback copy at a rummage sale. The book was written in the early 1960s. A secretary is implicated in a murder and calls on PM to help her. The head of the company for which she works comes to town and gets the secretary's help to investigate possible embezzling involving a mine, then the company owner disappears. After another woman shows up claiming to be the president, and then a man is murdered, the secretary is blamed. A myste ...more
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't love a good mystery? If you do, then The Case of the Spurious Spinster is an excellent choice. As famous as the character of Perry Mason is, I can't say that I've read any of that series before now. But this book happened upon me (it's been on my shelf waiting to be read for years) so I took the opportunity to acquaint myself with him. I was delighted at what I found - which is quick wit, a thirst for the truth and justice, and not a little mystery surrounding the who-done-it part of ...more
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal, mystery
#64 in the Perry Mason series. Perry gets involved in the problem of a secretary who was storing a box received from her boss's son. The box was stuffed with $100 dollar bills. She can't reach her boss, the owner is coming to inspect the books, and it appears a money draining mine is not even active. The owner arrives early takes the books (and perhaps the box) and disappears. The boss arrives, denies there was a box of money and accuses the secretary of embezzlement. A second woman claiming to ...more
Doug Dams
In this case, Perry Mason's client is accused of the murder of a wealthy woman. But Perry finds an imposter posing as the wealthy woman, and the mystery deepens. Is she really dead? Whose body is in the morgue? Perry has to solve the case of identity and find a motive for the murder. It's a good story. ...more
Vincent Darlage
Not the best Perry Mason, but it had a satisfying conclusion. It had a great scene between Tragg and Mason, but other than that, it was pretty average. Also, I think I remembered too clearly the TV episode based on this novel.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent novel. The episode should have been filmed as the book was titled, not named something else.
Brandy B. Stark
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Though good, it is not on of my favorites. It is a bit slow but the twentieth st at the end was up yo par with Perry Mason!
What a story! Really enjoyed it. Perry was also so close to failing it till the last minute.
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another story of a devoted woman in despair. Susan Fisher, as any dedicated secretary portrayed by Gardner, agrees to spend her weekend off at work typing some reports needed by Monday due to a visit of the company's owner, Amelia Corning. Shortly after arriving, Susan is visited by her supervisor’s 8 year old son with whom she has good relations. His governess has some pending personal errands she wants to take care of and needs Susan to look after the child when she's gone; again. The boy carr ...more
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Listerdale Mystery And Eleven Other Stories
  • The Golden Spiders (Nero Wolfe, #22)
  • Cold Earth (Shetland Island, #7)
  • Thin Air (Shetland Island, #6)
  • Tower of Babylon
  • Dead Wake: : The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson | Summary & Analysis
  • The Sanctuary Sparrow (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #7)
  • The Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #6)
  • N or M? (Tommy & Tuppence, #3)
  • Unnatural Causes (Adam Dalgliesh #3)
  • Isen
  • How to Raise an Elephant (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #21)
  • Risti soldati mõistatus. Sagadi paruni mõrvalood
  • Death of a Macho Man (Hamish Macbeth, #12)
  • Yesterday's News
  • Try It Again, Charlie Brown (Peanuts Coronet, #39)
  • A Death Most Monumental (DCI Logan Crime Thrillers, #8)
  • Guiltless (Sandhamn #3)
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

If you've got an overflowing Want to Read shelf of books that you keep meaning to get to (one day!), you're in good company. Our company, that...
128 likes · 47 comments