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The Case of the Howling Dog

(Perry Mason #4)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,612 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Compared to a juicy murder trial, a case of feuding neighbors isn't exactly Perry Mason's cup of tea. But Arthur Cartright insists that Mason is the only one who can muzzle the howling hound that's driving Cartright crazy. But Perry doesn't realize just how crazy until he meets his client's neighbor. Clinton Foley says Cartright is barking up the wrong tree with his canine ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 216 pages
Published September 12th 1984 by Fawcett (first published January 1st 1934)
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Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A man came to Perry Mason for a simple and innocent consultation on two trivial issues. He wanted to make a will and had some questions about it. He also complained about his neighbor's dog constantly howling and wanted to put a legal pressure on his owner to quiet the animal.
Let me state right here and now that I love dogs. I did however have a personal experience of listening to my neighbor's dog - a large breed - constantly barking at nights. To give you an idea on how bad it was, the rest o
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“We’re a dramatic people,” Perry Mason said slowly. “We’re not like the English. The English want dignity and order. We want the dramatic and the spectacular. It’s a national craving. We’re geared to a rapid rate of thought. We want to have things move in a spectacular manner.”

4.5 Stars

A little confusing at times, or else it would be in 5 star territory.

I read on a forum the other day that the early books are strong with Perry Mason doing a lot of investigating and even crossing into the ille
I have a stack of books/audiobooks on my desk all in the 800 plus pages/40 plus hours range. Before I started reading/listening I was looking for something a bit different to end the year with. I came across this radio dramatization of a Perry Mason Radio Show. I remember listening to Perry Mason on the radio when I was young. I thought this might be just the change I was seeking.

Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) was an attorney. He passed the Bar in 1911. He practiced in Southern California for
James Thane
Oct 30, 2010 rated it liked it
First published in 1934, The Case of the Howling Dog was the fourth entry in Erle Stanley Gardner's long-running series featuring Perry Mason.

At this point, Gardner was still in the process of establishing the formula that he would adhere to once the series hit its stride. Lieutenant Tragg, the intelligent and sympathetic homicide detective, and Hamilton Burger, the D.A. who would become Mason's principal adversary had not yet been introduced. The police department is still represented by the o
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Case of the Howling Dog by Erle Stanley Gardner is the 4th book in the Perry Mason Mystery series. Perry Mason is hired by a man being kept awake by a howling dog but soon finds that his client goes missing and the owner of the dog is found shot dead and Perry Mason finds himself in the middle of a murder case once again. A typical Perry Mason with plenty of twists and dubious antics. Fast paced and very entertaining.
Jan C
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2019, court
4th entry for Perry Mason. Gardner spends much of the time explaining what the trial lawyer's job is and isn't. And one phrase is echoed time and again: "I am not the judge and I am not the jury." But he is a lawyer who skates very close to the line.

A man comes in to his office and complains about the howling dog next door. Everyone else says I didn't hear any dog howling. The neighbor with the dog is wealthy and wants to counter-file. Says that Arthur (the first man) is always spying on him wit
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Perry finally gets into the courtroom in this one. There were no courtroom scenes in the previous (first)three although the lack of a courtroom didn't prevent Perry from cross examining everyone in site. Perry is still in tough guy mode but he's smoothing out a bit. Della is obviously smitten with her boss and Paul Drake is in character from the first book on.

I loved it! The howling dog fits nicely into the mystery and plays an unexpected part in the final twist, which tidily tops off a good mys
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
You know what you are going to get with a Perry Mason novel, a crime, an investigation and a trial. They are entertaining, easy to read and of the time. In this story, a man comes to Mason complaining about a howling dog, which in turn leads to murder!
Michael Brown
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: series-reading
Always fun to see how some of the shows were adapted from the books. Often two book plots could be two different shows.
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fourth book in the Perry Mason series, it was made into a film starring Warren William as Mason in 1934.

Decent mystery, but Gardner hadn't fully developed his characters as yet. Della Street and Paul drake doubt him more than once in the novel. He was just beginning to get his reputation as a master criminal lawyer.

Perry is hired by a man to handle his will - and do something about a howling dog at his neighbor's home!

Questioned extensively about preparing wills, the man wanted to leave his esta
Emilia Barnes
Apart from the casual racism/sexism (particularly the former) this was a really enjoyable read. It's very fast paced, so just the thing to take with you on a train or a plane: an intriguing set up, a clever mystery solver, and a dramatic denouement. Who could ask for more?
Oct 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
It would be difficult to call Erle Stanley Gardner a great writer. It is obvious that he dictated the books and didn't always scrupulously blend the successive dictated sesions. Often the Perry Mason mysteries turn on coincidence and convenience--but that said, nobody could set up a mystery better than Gardner, and the books are fun to read. Also, you can learn a fair amount about the law and legal strategy reading the Masons. The earlier ones (I belive "Howling Dog" was the first) don't quite j ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Edge of the seat stuff... keeps you guessing... you sometimes want to throttle Perry Mason for not sharing the secrets in his mind 😀 greatly enjoyable, though sometimes verbose. But then he's a lawyer first.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books off and on for decades. Many years ago, I was an intense fan of the series, and read them all at least once. Now, after a lot of water over the dam, I'm looking at them again.

Those who are used to really fine mystery writers (in the literary sense), such as Ross Macdonald, may find the writing style here to be stiff and mechanical. Nonetheless, I still love the general setting: the characters of Perry, Della, Paul, Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Berger. Tha
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The 4th novel down my "journey into time" (started in 2015) to discover old treasures like the Perry Mason Series, is, once again, a complete page-turner.

"The Case Of The Howling Dog" is yet another superb whodunnit which entertains to the hilt. Perry Mason, a character created in 1930s, can easily be a part of 2016 and the author would need to change NOTHING (not even a word) to adjust to the advanced world since 1930s. Now, THAT, for sure is what is evergreen. The story telling has the same in
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good mystery with lots of twists and turns. One small point is that a Chinese character is described, and referred to, an offensive manner; however, political correctness was not as much of an issue in 1934 as it is in 2020.
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This is a mystery filled with lots of plot twists and turns, and courtroom drama which is a great joy to read. Perry Mason is at his best engaged in lots of questionable activities designed to protect his client, who may or may not in fact be guilty of murder, and his character is well-developed in this fourth mystery in the series. Della Street is finally showing the spunk that delights readers of the books in the series written in the later part of the 1930s and 1940s when some of the best boo ...more
Carol Evans
First, an admission. I never watched the Perry Mason TV series. I know who he was and the general idea of the shows, but this book is my first true meeting with Perry Mason, and I have to say I'm impressed. As a lawyer, he's all for representing his client, even if his actions are sometimes skirting the edge of legal.

The story starts with a client coming to Perry Mason's office to discuss a will and a complaint about a howling dog, but a seemingly simple case leads to murder and it's up to Perry
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it
First, I would like to say this was an enjoyable book and I likely would have rated it higher except for a few reasons. One, it is the earliest Perry Mason novel I have read yet and the others have all been a good way into the series 50-70 range or so. Therefore I have a certain picture of the characters and their mannerisms that Gardner took years to refine and seeing this rough form where Mason is much more rugged and Drake just seemed to lack some of the air he has later on - not too mention ...more
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: private-eye
This is a major step forward in the series. While I doubt Gardner ever becomes a fine writer, this is the first book where the writing is not downright bad.

It's also a better plot. Sure, it's complicated, but I did not fine it hard to follow. I must admit I guessed the ending, but not the "why" for it which is a neat final plot twist.

There is still not much character development. Mason remains rather gruff and egocentric. It's hard to understand why Paul Drake and Della Reese find him so appea
William P.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcopy
This is my first Perry Mason novel, and I have to say I love it. It's got everything I enjoy about pulp mysteries and Gardner knew how to write this stuff. I have a sneaking hunch that you could probably pick up any one of the eighty-some-odd novels in this series and have a blast with it. Some of of the mystery is pretty obvious, some of the plot is nutty, but it's fun, it's fast, and it's a great read.
Feb 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another early Perry Mason. One of the plot clues I got, the rest left me baffled as usual. Would have given another star except for the degrading depiction of the Chinese cook. Probably acceptable for its day (1935), but outrageous now.
Rich Meyer
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Another good Perry Mason mystery, and Perry finally takes a case to trial in this one. Very dated, though, as the attorney refers to a psychiatrist as an alienist. Good mystery but the ending seemed a bit rushed considering the rest of the book.
Lynn Demsky
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the only Perry Mason books I've ever read and the ending just totally surprised me - he let a guilty person go free! Will look for more of these plus this was just a neighbor problem with a dog that wouldn't shut up --- interesting!
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
This was a rather interesting one. Mason pulls out a lot of aces from his sleeve through the story. Though the culprit is finally not named or punished. I'd have liked that.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Love this series, great mysteries and quick reads.
Kat Lebo
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Case of the Howling Dog, A Perry Mason Mystery
by Erle Stanley Gardner

It's been a long time since I've read any of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series. The language is a bit stiff but, then again, the copyright of this book is 1934, which is 13 years before I was even born and I'm old as dirt. Still Gardner knows how to sculpt a mystery that keeps the reader reading long after midnight.

I'm going to list some of the things I noticed about the style of writing -- none of which are really
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

1. The mystery moves along at a good clip, and I was never bored.

2. Holy CRAP is this book awash in racism. And not in a "the author has a point to make about how racism is bad" way--the author is racist and the characters are racist too. It's so horrendous it's breathtaking in the bad way.

3. I know macho detectives were big and getting bigger when this book was written (1934), and Perry Mason is one of the greats of this type, but parts of this
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
How avant garde this plot must have been for 1934! It's a soap opera and true crime fiction all rolled into one.

The man in Perry Mason's office has a strange situation about a will. His will. He wants to leave his estate to the wife of a neighbor. Who might not be his wife. He pays a hefty retainer to Mr. Mason.

It's hard to keep the characters straight. Someone's married. Someone else is married. Someone runs off with someone else's wife. Several someone's have a name change and are living a dua
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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)
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“We’re a dramatic people,” Perry Mason said slowly. “We’re not like the English. The English want dignity and order. We want the dramatic and the spectacular. It’s a national craving. We’re geared to a rapid rate of thought. We want to have things move in a spectacular manner.” 3 likes
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