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The Case of the Worried Waitress

(Perry Mason #77)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  416 ratings  ·  43 reviews
A Perry Mason Mystery.(1966)

A pretty waitress is accused of stealing $100 from her wealthy aunt's hatbox, and a blind pencil-seller earns enough to come to work in a taxicab.

Erle Stanley Gardner is the King of American mystery fiction. A criminal lawyer, he filled his mystery masterpieces with intricate, fascinating, ever-twisting plots. Challenging, clever, and full of su
Mass Market Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published March 1st 1966)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perry Mason and Della Street were minding their own business having lunch in a restaurant. They noticed that their waitress expressed great interest in them.
Suspecting that she wanted to consult him, Mason left her $11 tip with a note stating that initial consultation with him costs $10. Sure enough several hours later he waitress named Kit Ellis showed up in the lawyer's office.

Having lost her parents in an accident she accepted her aunt's invitation to live with her. To call her aunt eccentr
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
This is for now my favorite Perry Mason. A young waitress comes to the attorney because she is worried something strange is happening in her aunt's house.

Orphaned and penniless, Katherine Ellis comes to live with her Aunt Sophia. Sophia had been married to a wealthy man and, being also wealthy, handed all of her assets over to her husband. After he died suddenly, Sophia discovered that she was not actually married because he husband had failed to divorce the first wife, an honest mistake because
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of the quarantine experience is rearranging my bookshelves. I have all of the Perry Masons, and picked this one up for a quick reread (I do Masons in one sitting, which is by no means a knock.) The Case of the Worried Waitress was obviously written during the run of the Burr series, but like all of Gardner's books seems to take place in the 1948-1953 period. This one was published in 1966, but there is no mention of social unrest, changing roles of women, hippies, nothing to put the story i ...more
The other John
Not much to say about this one. It's a Perry Mason mystery, in which Mason encounters a waitress who's in need of help. She's a young woman who was recently orphaned and has moved in with her aunt. She has cause to suspect that her aunt is involved with some shady dealings and is looking for some legal advice. Since she's seeking it from Perry Mason, more crime happens and she finds herself in legal trouble. The book is fun, readable waiting room material. I enjoy Perry Mason books as they take ...more
Victoria Mixon
Jul 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gardner was a serious pro, and his legal expertise is always that extra technical layer that turns a regular whodunnit into a truly satisfying mystery. I'm giving this one a whole extra star because it has not one but TWO pencil-sellers in it. That's right. Apparently in 1966 it was still possible to buy pencils from a blind woman sitting on the sidewalk in front of your place of business.

I miss America.
Bailey Marissa
A lower-paced mystery but still has a great plot. This is also one of the books that shows Hamilton Burger isn't a bad person when it comes to justice, it's that he's just really annoyed that Perry always wins in court against him.

Recommended 12+ for language, violence, and murder.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books off and on for many years. Those who are used to really fine mystery writers (in the literary sense) may find the writing style here a bit dry and stilted. Nonetheless, I still love the general setting: the fast pace, the characters of Perry, Della, Paul, Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Berger. That, and the ingenious plots, are why I read Perry Mason.

On the whole, the ones written by about 1953 are the best. This is one of the last ones, written in 1966. Th
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history-era
Katherine "Kit" Ellis lived back East with her parents. Her father made good money and was footing the bills for her education, clothes and other expenses. When both parents were killed in a car accident, Katherine decided to accept an invitation from her Aunt Sophia and come to L.A. to live with her aunt in hopes of completing her education. Katherine had been writing to her aunt and was under the impression the woman had money and could help Kit with her education.

When Kit arrived she found a
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes it's nice to return to those thrilling days of yesterday! Once again, I picked up a copy of Perry Mason for a change ~ and it was one of the better ones I have read. Having grown up in the 50's, I found myself reliving those wonderful hours I had spent in front of the TV set watching Raymond Burr as Perry Mason ~ and I am sure like many others, I see the old TV actors as I read.

“The Case of the Worried Waitress” was one of the later ones written in 1966. The story has all the characte
Dean Anderson
This one was written in 1966 and it reminds one that some things have gotten better. Lawyer Perry Mason asks the waitress of the title about her job and she responds: "the headwaiter who runs the dining room is all right. I have a horrible feeling that sooner or later he's going to make a pass and that my job depends on things I don't like to think about, but right now everything's okay. " "Those are occupational hazards," Mason said.
And later: Perry is talking to Madison, the restaurant manage
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

When young Kim Ellis is forced to relocate to LA after the tragic death of her parents, she moves in with her elder aunt. Even though they've never met before, her strange behavior makes her contact the famous lawyer. It's not Gardner's best. I think he didn't spend much time on it, but rather dictate it and never double checked it. There are few repetitions of info, poor trial (starts at 76%), nothing really spectacular or surprising. Nevertheless, it's a pleasant read as any Mason novel.
Rupesh Goenka
Katherine Ellis comes to live with her Aunt in L.A. hoping to complete her education after her parents are killed in a tragic car accident. Katherine finds her aunt behaving in an odd manner. She is compelled to take up a job as a waitress to cover her expenses. She is blamed of stealing $100 from her wealthy aunt's hatbox. Later on she is taken into custody when Aunt Sophia is assaulted in her home. Perry Mason fights her case. The plot is without any murder and lacks the usual flair and drama. ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Undoubtedly the best Perry Mason. I have to say one case on a ship was very interesting mainly because I'm a sucker for Della/ Perry romance but this was a classic Gardner. It had everything - detective work from both the police - who are usually shown up by Mason but in this case Tragg did ok - and Mason, a happy reunion at the end and a nice suspense in between. And while I do enjoy Mason's cross examination it helped that this didn't have too much of a courtroom battle either ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erle Stanley Gardner and Agatha Christie got me started reading mysteries. I think I read almost all the Perry Mason stories. So, when I went to the library sale and in the old book section they had a few RSG books I had to have them. They are full of fun characters and clever courtroom twists.
Walt Carlson
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining, though simple, Perry Mason case.
Published in 1966, TCOT Worried Waitress reads like a novelization of the TV show, and not a very effective one.
If you're tired of traditional mysteries, try one of Gardner's Perry Mason stories: part mystery, part courtroom drama. This one was good. ...more
विकास नैनवाल
The case of worried waitress was a good yarn for me which kept me hooked till the end. I enjoyed reading it and the twist was something that i could not have guessed. If you are into mystery you'd enjoy it.
You can read my views in detail by clicking on the following link:
The case of worried waitress
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
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal, mystery
#77 in the Perry Mason series. I have read the 82 Perry Mason novels mostly in order, but this one was delayed and so it is my last in the series. That is fitting because it is a landmark novel in two ways. Perry's client is being tried for assault (although the DA states that if the victim dies he will withdraw the charge and charge Kit Ellis with murder), the only Perry Mason novel I can recall without a homicide. And, as the trial draws to a close the DA tells Mason "Perry if you're right on ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin2013
I believe this is only the second Perry Mason mystery I've read. I did enjoy this one more. I really loved it. In this mystery, Perry Mason takes pity on his 'worried waitress' and leaves her a good enough tip so that she can come consult with him at his office. (He also leaves his card.) Kit Ellis, the waitress, has newly moved across the country to live with her aunt, her only remaining relative. So why is she so worried? Well, it seems that her aunt is poor--she is always bargain shopping for ...more
Les Anderson
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first Mason novel where Hamilton Burger is not a jerk but, somehow, Lt. Tragg reverts a little to the less friendly type he was at one time. These last few in the Mason series have taken on a totally different style. For quite a while, Perry Mason went into court about halfway through the novel and somehow solved the case with courtroom tactics. In this novel and the one before it, there is a greater emphasis on character development. Mason doesn't even get into court until the last 1/4 of t ...more
Hugh Atkins
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the characters from the television show are here: Perry Mason, Della Street, Paul Drake, ("Got to love the Drake"), Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Burger. The books have more of an edge than the 1960s television show could portray. This book has a good plot and some well-developed secondary characters. These books are good, quick reads that I pick up between longer books. They are good for bus riders. ...more
Doug Dams
A waitress asks Perry for advice, and he tries to help her but then she's charged with murder and may also be involved in a criminal ring. Perry has to go undercover to find the head of the ring and find a way to clear his client. A good story. Shorter than other Mason stories, so it's a quick read. ...more
Elizabeth S
Dec 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-mystery
Pretty good Perry Mason. Really 3 1/2 stars. Not so much of the evil-police stuff, but also not as interesting court/legal stuff as usual. So good, but not great.
Moonyeen Whitaker
Fun old fastioned mystery!
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The writing style wasn't great but the story line kept me reading. It's a quick read with clever plot and likable characters. ...more
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A guilty pleasure-- circa 1960s mysteries. No matter how much expertise a character has on a given subject, Perry Mason always knows more.
Jeffrey Marks
A rather muddled case involving a blind woman, her double, and some corporate espionage.
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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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