Read The Case Of The Stepdaughter's Secret by Erle Stanley Gardner Free Online
Book Title: The Case Of The Stepdaughter's Secret|
Date of issue: September 24th 2010
ISBN 13: 9781842320952
The author of the book: Erle Stanley Gardner
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 336 KB
Edition: House of Stratus
Read full description of the books The Case Of The Stepdaughter's Secret: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 the last ones, written in 1963. The plot is interesting and creative. But like many late books, written after the TV series became a huge hit, there isn't much in the way of embellishment or descriptive detail.
Harlan Bancroft is a wealthy man who comes to Perry Mason because he thinks his family is being blackmailed. A blackmail note was sent to his stepdaughter, who is about to marry a socially prominent young man. Bancroft has read it and is sure that the secret threatened to be revealed is the fact that as a youth he was wild and went to prison for a year. The prison chaplain turned him around, and he later became hard working and wealthy. Should this be revealed now before the wedding, his beloved stepdaughter's future would be destroyed.
Mason reads the note and gets an idea of how to put the blackmailers on the defensive. It involves Paul Drake boating on a lake with some "bathing beauty" waterskiers to intercept the blackmail payoff. It works. One of the beautiful skiers, Eve Amory, is an aspiring actress who turns the money over to the police, saying that they just happened to find it while waterskiing. She gets a big writeup in the papers, valuable publicity for her.
But soon the plot thickens and rethickens as first the stepdaughter, then Bancroft's wife, and then Eve Amory all report that they have been contacted by blackmailers or shady characters. Was Harlan Bancroft's early life really what this is all about? Hmm. Several other people have secrets. And what about that gun that has suddenly disappeared?
Mason confronts a blackmailer in a tense scene reminiscent of the 1930s hard-boiled Perry Mason. A murder occurs on Bancroft's yacht moored in a harbor, and Mrs. Bancroft is arrested. Mason has an ingenious idea to trap the real perpetrator.
Good use of Paul Drake. No Lt. Tragg or Hamilton Burger.
Recurring theme: action aboard a yacht moored in a harbor also happens in the Case of the Crooked Candle.
The basic plot is tight and holds together well. Unfortunately there aren't too many real suspects.
Still, one of the better late novels, and definitely recommended.
Read information about the authorErle 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. In his spare time, he began to write for pulp magazines, which also fostered the early careers of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. He created many different series characters for the pulps, including the ingenious Lester Leith, a "gentleman thief" in the tradition of Raffles, and Ken Corning, a crusading lawyer who was the archetype of his most successful creation, the fictional lawyer and crime-solver Perry Mason, about whom he wrote more than eighty novels. With the success of Perry Mason, he gradually reduced his contributions to the pulp magazines, eventually withdrawing from the medium entirely, except for non-fiction articles on travel, Western history, and forensic science.
See more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erle_Sta...
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