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The Case of the Sun Bather's Diary

(Perry Mason #46)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  641 ratings  ·  29 reviews
THE NAKED AND THE VERY DEAD

The blonde wandering nude at the Remuda Golf Club tells Perry Mason a strange story: While she peacefully sun-bathed near the course, someone made off with her Cadillac, her trailer, and all her belongings--including her precious diary.

The woman blames the police, who suspect her of having stashed away nearly half a millio
...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Fawcett Books (first published 1955)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  641 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Evgeny
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young woman called to Perry Mason's office asking for help. She had a very unusual problem: she was robbed out of everything. I mean everything including her cloth, money, and even house. How is it possible to steal a house?
House
Read and find out. The only piece of cloth she had was exactly what she was wearing: a skimpy bikini. Obviously Mason became very interested and agreed to meet her.

From this point on it became very complicated. The woman's father was in prison accused of a bank robbery.
Bank Robbery
The money
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Dave
Perry Mason is one of those the most well known and beloved characters of modern American fiction. Gardner's character, who is sort of a modern day Sherlock Holmes, has been featured in radio, television, and movies, and, of course, Erle Stanley Gardner's novels- 80 of them.

The Case of the Sun Bather's Diary was originally published in editions of the Saturday Evening Post in 1955. I've never read a Perry Mason novel before or seen any of the various media presentations of the charac
...more
Bob
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I've been reading Gardner's Perry Mason books for many years. I love the general setting: the characters of Perry, Della, Paul, Lt. Tragg, and Hamilton Burger. 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 from 1955. It was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, March 5 – April 23, 1955. It is one of the most intricate of the Perry Mason stories, with a significant and unusual amount of action taking pla
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Alonzo Church
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
They could call this one -- Mason vs Berger, this time it's personal. While the high concept beginning -- a pretty nudist having her clothes and car and camper stolen while she's out enjoying a sunbath in the woods -- is an enjoyable, almost paperback original worthy beginning, the meat of this story is that Berger, through the convolutions of the plot, finally thinks he has Mason exactly where he wants him. He's going to get him indicted for perjury. He's going to get him disbarred. He's actual ...more
Stven
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It might be fair to say this is just another Perry Mason potboiler, but then again it's hard to think of any writer who can keep the pot boiling and the plot rolling like Erle Stanley Gardner. This is a fast-moving case involving a house trailer, an old bank robbery, Perry Mason himself on the witness stand, and of course the tantalizing sun bather at the center of the whirlwind.
Tony Piazza
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read!

Perry Mason is such a classic. During my younger days, the tv show aired on CBS was a gigantic hit. It was so absorbing that a fellow mystery writer friend of mine was going into labor, but to her husband’s dismay wouldn’t leave for the hospital until the episode she was watching had end! Great cast on the show. Raymond Burr was the perfect Mason. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person. What a nice man. This book reflects all that was great in the Perry Mason stories. Wonderf
...more
Ed
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal, mystery
#47 in the Perry Mason series. This series entry is notable for two reasons. First, since we assume Perry's client is innocent and her currently imprisoned father must also be innocent because she vouches for him, who committed the crime and how was it accomplished. As the story unfolds, it becomes more definite that the father must be guilty because no one else could be. Second, DA Hamilton Burger has tried to catch Perry in a misdeed in the past, but in this case he accuses him of perjury in o ...more
Victoria Mixon
Sep 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Now, we will be open-minded about the idea that a young woman who grew up under the shadow of her father's mistaken conviction for bank fraud and current prison internment feels easy enough in her mind to enjoy nothing so much as a nice little stroll out in public in the altogether.

We will also not hold it against her that she insists on this relaxation technique even when she knows for a fact whoever framed her father is now trying to break into her home to ferret out the diary in w
...more
Dolly
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: 2011, mystery, other-usa, money
For some reason, I seem to be on a Perry Mason kick. I've read a couple of his stories recently and they are quick, entertaining reads. They speak to an older time, before cell phones and 24/7 news on television, where people could be more anonymous and less reachable.

This story is a bit goofy, but still rather fun to read. The ending was less of a surprise than I expected, but there was a twist I did
not anticipate. Great for a lazy Sunday, reading at home.

October 2015 update: I borrowed this from
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Jeffrey
Sep 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Having grown up with the television series, it was nice to come across two book club anthologies of the Perry Mason novels by Erle Stanley Gardner.

Eighty six Perry Mason books were published from 1933 to 1973, the last five after Gardner's death.

The Case of the Sunbather's Diary was published in 1955, and is a marvel of intricate plotting culminating in, as usual, a satisfying courtroom display.

Unlike the stalwart, upright character portrayed by Raymond Burr o
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Pamela
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perry, Della, and Paul. They eat huge steaks. They drink cocktails. And they smoke like chimneys. Ahhh....the 50s.
Jimbo
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been trying to read the series in order (at least as much as I can get from Kindle Unlimited, which I think is a pretty fair representation). It seems to me that about mid-series Gardner started phoning it in. The plots of the last few I've read have been formulaic (I know, they're all formulaic, but you can make a formula interesting with variations) and the revelations have been more or less bolted on in the last 20% or so of the book.

That said, the courtroom interaction between Mason an
...more
Susan M Brown
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but has typos

I love the Perry Mason books because of the TV show. The books do not detract from my memories so I eady imagine Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale in their respective roles. The quality of the writing is ok for the genre and the time. That said, there are phrases in the book that would be considered offensive on today's world. Aldi, there are typos thru out the book. They are so numerous to be annoying but it dies bring down the perceived quality.
Frank McAdam
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
This was the first Perry Mason mystery I can remember having read and I enjoyed it a great deal. Gardner may not have been a great prose stylist, but he certainly was adept at plotting a suspenseful mystery and at keeping the reader from guessing the solution. Even though the reader knows all along that the book will end in a courtroom scene in which Mason will embarrass the DA Hamilton Burger, it's still fun to watch exactly how he does it.
Kandice
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Perry Mason. Not only Raymond Burr's Mason, but Gardner's original. Of course I see Burr as I read, but I can hardly be blamed for that!

Even though I read all these books as a teen, I still love rereading. I never remember, at the beginning, what the details are, and then feel infinitely clever when I "notice" this that and the other.

The older I get, the more I think Gardner's Mason books were an attack on our justice system. It's a good system, but only as fair as
...more
David Rosner
Good Story, Bad Presentation

The story, as always, was good & had a strong plot. However, there were typos on nearly every page. Annoying. Either Amazon or their Kindle group should come up the books they sell - I've noticed this issue with other Kindle purchases (i.e., books by John D. MacDonald).
Serena
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.
Sandra
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting read, found several of these old books in my Dad's house when moving him. I remember the TV series quite well. So it was nice to read a couple of these years later.
Kevinjwoods
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
One of the strangest things about this book is the introduction which has no relationship to the rest of the novel but instead talks about the strangest series of deaths the author is heard of which involves a series of people having nightmares about something coming for them which causes them to die of terror in their sleep, sounds familiar, it should because this is the same thing that influenced the creation of Freddie Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street series but this was happening in t ...more
Kathy
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It might have been predictable in spots but the ending was a complete surprise to me, although I didn't quite trust her for the few minutes we see her. I did think it was briliant how Perry took Burger on in the courtroom and twisted things around to go his way, something he always excels at, but seemed to do better than usual this time around.

I do love the Perry Mason of the show, but I agree the one in the book is less afraid to make things go his way so to speak. I'm enj
...more
Les Anderson
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the shortest Perry Mason mysteries but one of the best. Gardner, unlike some of the other stories, takes only a few chapters to get into the courtroom. Fortunately, that is the best part. Reading how Mason is able to take an assumption and show how wrong we all were is pure brilliance. This story really gives me an appreciation for any lawyer or police officer that is able to analyze EVERY fact, including the facts we take for granted. I've also gotten used to the guilty party being someo ...more
False
A partially clad (almost nude!) woman in found in a local park in L.A. Who is she? Why can't she remember? You may as well forget about her, because her (the defendant's) story falls by the wayside when Perry does battle with the D.A. Hamilton Burger and a cast of others, all pointing fingers and accusations around town. You can see Gardner's own passion for trailers as he lovingly describes all that they can do for you (everything so compact and tidy!) in pursuing the nomadic life.
Frank Phillips
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mason is always a great read

Gardner's books, whether about Perry Mason or other characters, are fast moving and so well plotted I have never guessed the solution to the cases. I also enjoy the 1940s and '50s settings. No cell phones and L. A. is the glamorous place we wish it were today.
Richa
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good fast mystery. Even if it might seem like a sudden solution in the end, it was actually very logically and systematically got to. This is what I feel. I did anticipate at least part of the solution. Enjoyed the court scene too!
Eric
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another great who dunnit by Gardner...Not my any means predictable...a great read...a great classic 50's detective novel..
Dyah Subagyo
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Cannot say I like this book very much. The story is not too interesting, the plot is so-so, and the characters are hard to sympathize with, especially the protagonist.
A Michael
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book but was frustrated by the typographical errors in the Kindle edition.
Ravindranath
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good plot...addictive reading...

Completed reading in one go !. I am happy that this book was on kindle unlimited subscription. Thanks for providing it.
Vincent Darlage
Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I really wasn't sure how Perry was going to get out of this one.
Abhra
rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2019
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Read by Theme: The Case of the Sunbather's Diary 1 10 Jul 29, 2012 10:10PM  

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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
...more

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Perry Mason (1 - 10 of 85 books)
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  • The Case of the Sulky Girl (Perry Mason #2)
  • The Case of the Lucky Legs (Perry Mason #3)
  • The Case of the Howling Dog
  • The Case of the Curious Bride (Perry Mason Mystery)
  • The Case of the Counterfeit Eye (Perry Mason Mysteries)
  • The Case of the Caretaker's Cat  (A Perry Mason Mystery)
  • The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece (Perry Mason #8)
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  • The Case of the Dangerous Dowager