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The Case Of The Stepdaughter's Secret

(Perry Mason #70)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  392 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Harlow Bissenger Bancroft is head of a corporate empire and happily married. None of his lawyers can help him however when a blackmailer threatens his family’s future. After he calls upon Perry Mason for help, the blackmailer is found dead.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 24th 2010 by House of Stratus (first published December 31st 1963)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rich people cry too, but it is much better to do the crying in a limo than in a public bus.

It seems Della Street had a thing for very rich people. She was literally melting admitting Harlow Bissenger Bancroft to the appointment with her boss. The latter was curious why would a guy with his own army of corporate lawyers need services of a criminal one.
It turned out Bancroft's stepdaughter was blackmailed and the guy wanted Mason do discreetly deal with the situation without the stepdaughter know
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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), such as Ross Macdonald, may find the writing style here a bit dry. Sometiems it's stiff and mechanical. Nonetheless, I still love the general setting: 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
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stven by: Ron Carlberg
This little caper is from 1963, very late in Perry Mason's career. We don't get as much about our favorite characters' personal lives as we might like, but we do get a clever case that gets moving right from page one and takes some nice little zigs and zags along the way. It's crisp, rapid-fire, fun, and all over too quickly. ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. The methods were... different. It really got me wondering! Kind of like chess, making moves anticipating, in fact, almost driving certain counter moves.
Dec 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Read this as an example of how using cliched expressions typical of the day, slang that sounds oh so cool at the time but then it goes out of style and leaves the reader laughing, when it's not supposed to be a funny story. Still, I enjoyed the story, the mystery, the courtroom scenes, and even the slang. I'll read a few more of the Perry Mason series and see how far it goes before predictability and boredom sets in. ...more
Doug Dams
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
This was an average Perry Mason story. He was defending a millionaires wife and had unlimited resources, so it was just a matter of how he put together the events of the murder. That's the fun part of the book. Plus there's a blackmail plot involved and everyone in the family thought they were the target of the blackmail. A family with a lot of secrets. There are better books in the Perry Mason series. I'd say this one was average. ...more
Bailey Marissa
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, read-in-2k17
This mystery involves a family that doesn't communicate, so that's fun. *Sarcasm* Even though this story is a little more routine, it still has the Mason flair.

Recommended 12+ for murder, violence, blackmail, and language.
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
I quite enjoyed this one. Knew mid way who the killer was but hadn't figured out how he did it. ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great who dunnit Perry Mason these quick, fun to read stories!
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Gardner always works well when I'm in the mood for some light reading. The mysteries are usually not overly involved, after all, it is usually about Mason outguessing either the prosecution or some other bad guys. This one is no different. Mostly about the massive maneuvers Mason goes to in order to get the drop on a blackmailer AND keep his client from being convicted of a crime. The story mostly unfolds in dialogue and therefore makes for short reading.

A good pulpy read without being too ridi
Kieran McAndrew
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blackmail turns to murder when a plan to trap the blackmailers created by Perry Mason is ignored by his clients.

Gardner's fast pace and style helps sweep the readers through this excellent scheme as the courtroom stands centre stage for this cunning plot.
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Almost 5 star. Clever and twists. Not as intense as some of his other stories ultimately, so I'll leave a 4 on here. The only side character that was fleshed out was the husband Harlowe, and he was my favorite of the family that refuses to talk to each other. ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Accumulating cheap used books over the years, I ended up with 6 Perry Mason books. When I finally got around to reading our Erle Stanley Gardner books last year, I was pleasantly surprised at how great they are. I have now read all 6 that we own and they are all equally enjoyable. As with many great things, I am unable to fully pinpoint what makes Gardner's writing so great. Everything just comes together perfectly - plot, pacing, settings, economy of verbiage.

From this Webpage, I see that is P
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, mystery
#70 in the Perry Mason series. Perry's client has found a blackmail note in his stepdaughter's room and is convinced she has somehow discovered his secret and will pay blackmail to keep it. Perry's advise to go to the police is ignored so he comes up with a scheme to intercept the blackmail money and confuse the blackmailer. Complex - scheme, plot, characters - but enjoyable.

#70 Perry Mason series - Harlow Bissenger Bancroft is head of a corporate empire and happily married. None of his lawyers
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a time when people hid their family's dirty laundry, blackmail was easy. In this story, it seems like everyone has something to hide and they are all doing it to protect the rest of their family. Since it is a Perry Mason novel, there is a court room scene but much of the action takes place before they enter court. Of course, as Perry always does, the real truth comes out in a startling way at the very end. I think what I liked most about this one was the clever ways that the blackmailers beh ...more
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This one had a few more twists, but still was good. There were enough clues to come up with a possible solution, but there was still some doubt. Of course there was the dramatic courtroom scene with Perry taking control.

I enjoyed the mention of some of the areas that really do exist and the references to places that do exist but are given different names. Local colour.

Perry Mason is a favourite of mine and a good escape and quick read. Old friends.
Vincent Darlage
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not the best Perry Mason novel, but not too bad. He pulled a neat trick to expose the murderer. The premise was nice, but somehow I just didn't care much about the characters. This is one of the weaker books. It didn't have the usual passion in it that many of the others have. ...more
Rupesh Goenka
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
An average-merit Perry Mason murder mystery. The defense attorney whose methods of saving his clients are both daring & unconventional, but eventually they pay off.
Perry Mason dialogue - ''If you want a lawyer who doesn't take chances, get someone else...''
Athul Raj
Jul 08, 2011 rated it liked it
An average thriller/ mystery. Not as exciting as Chase novels.
Les Anderson
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great story. Mason's legal maneuvers, even before the murder, are good and quick. I'm not sure how Mason knew the truth though. ...more
The mystery was three stars and add one more for the inside scoop on blackmail.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
When a serious businessman, Harlow Bamcroft, who has bunch of his own lawyer on standby, telephones in to get the first possible appointment with the criminal lawyer, even Della Street can't focus on work. Mason finds himself explaining the four ways to deal with a blackmail. Since simply paying off, going to the police or murdering the blackmailer won't work, there is only one possible solution. The businessman had a double life when he was young which could turn out to be very problematic for ...more
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Eh, this was not my favorite Perry Mason book. The setup felt pretty contrived; a lot could've been addressed had the Bancroft family just bothered to speak to one another.

Parts felt repetitive, which really stands out because the book is so thin. At the same time, there's a lot that feels missing. Some characters appear and disappear, with just the thinnest of reasons for their presence. Everything was wrapped up just a little too neatly by the end. And worst of all--no Hamilton!!

Inês Brito
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Sandy Chris
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always, brilliant.
May 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gardner's characters are interesting and memorable. ...more
Mize Reviews
Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun mystery, fiction novel.
Jun 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The events are described in such a way that you feel as if you were watching a movie, sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see what will happen in a moment.
Paul Hunter
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Good Perry Mason mystery. Earlier ones are the best!
Book collector
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
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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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