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The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll (Perry Mason Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – August 12, 1986


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Product Details

  • Series: Perry Mason Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345336364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345336361
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,621,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) is a prolific American author best known for his works centered on the lawyer-detective Perry Mason. At the time of his death in March of 1970, in Ventura, California, Gardner was "the most widely read of all American writers" and "the most widely translated author in the world," according to social historian Russell Nye. The first Perry Mason novel, The Case of The Velvet Claws, published in 1933, had sold twenty-eight million copies in its first fifteen years. In the mid-1950s, the Perry Mason novels were selling at the rate of twenty thousand copies a day. There have been six motion pictures based on his work and the hugely popular Perry Mason television series starring Raymond Burr, which aired for nine years and 271 episodes.

As author William F. Nolan notes, "Gardner, more than any other writer, popularized the law profession for a mass-market audience, melding fact and fiction to achieve a unique blend; no one ever handled courtroom drama better than he did."

Richard Senate further sums up the significance of Gardner?s contribution: "Although the character of Perry Mason is not unique as a 'lawyer-sleuth,' he is the first to come to anyone's mind when it comes to sheer brilliance in solving courtroom-detective cases by rather unconventional means. Besides 'Tarzan,' 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Superman' ? 'Perry Mason' qualifies as an American icon of popular culture in the twentieth century."

Gardner's writing has touched a lot of people including a number of high profile figures. Brian Kelleher and Diana Merrill say in their 1987 book, The Perry Mason TV Show Book that Harry S. Truman was a fan and that it is rumored that when Einstein died, a Perry Mason book was at his bedside. They further describe that when Raymond Burr met Pope John XXIII, the actor reported that the pontiff "seemed to know all about Perry Mason." Federal judge Sonya Sotomayor frequently mentions how Perry Mason was one of her earliest influences.

Starting with his first book, Gardner had a very definite vision of the shape the Perry Mason character would take:

"I want to make my hero a fighter," he wrote to his publisher, "not by having him be ruthless to women and underlings, but by creating a character who, with infinite patience jockeys his enemies into a position where he can deliver one good knockout punch."

Author Photo: Courtesy of Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth R Taylor on September 1, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my favorite Perry Mason Mystery. It has the feel of an Alfred Hitchcock mystery. A woman who is running away from life is in a one car accident in which her passenger, a hitchhiker, is killed and mutilated beyond recognition. So she begins a new life, assuming the identity of the hitchhiker. All goes well until an insurance adjuster figures out her secret and tries to blackmail her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 21, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) wrote more than one hundred novels over the course of his long career. A trial lawyer himself, Gardner's best known creation was Perry Mason, a flamboyant criminal defense attorney who earns his large fees by virtue of a remarkable talent for using the law to uncover the truth on the witness stand.

Although Gardner's Perry Mason novels were formula, Gardner was at the peak of his powers during the 1950s--and at his best he was able to combine a twisty plot, impressive courtroom scenes, and his tendency to staccato dialogue to tremendous effect. Written in 1958, THE CASE OF THE FOOT-LOOSE DOLL offers Gardner at his best.

An attractive secretary in Oceanside, California, Mildred Crest is looking forward to her marriage to the town's most eligible bachelor--but is stunned when he abandons her under highly dubious circumstances. Dazed and distraught, she gets in her car and simply goes as far and as fast as she can... until an unforeseen accident offers her the opportunity to escape the past once and for all.

Or so it seems. But the past has a way of catching up with you--and in Mildred's case it isn't just her own past that she has to worry about. Before too long the question of murder arises, and Mildred finds herself in desperate need of legendary Los Angeles attorney Perry Mason.

Law, police procedure, and science has changed quite a bit since Gardner wrote this book, but that is part of the fun. And in this instance Gardner anticipates the modern phenomena of identity theft in a most unexpected way. Fans will enjoy it and newcomers will find it a delight. Recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow! What's not to like about Perry Mason books? I admit to being a Perry Mason television show fan (yes, from way back in the 50's and 60's) and have luckily found them being aired on television again. So, I decided to try some of Erle Stanley Gardner's books. Way Cool! I think Perry pushes the legal envelope in the books even more than on TV. Come on, fellow Baby Boomers, reacquaint yourself with Perry Mason in the written word! For younger people, it's a great lesson in literature and dialog of the time they were written. I highly recommend you read just one and I think you'll be hooked. It will show you a different time, different dialog and some darn interesting who done it. At least it's complicated enough with enough characters to make it very interesting. I have honestly never known who the murderer was until the end of the book or the end of the TV show. That is an indication of very good writing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this book after interval of 40 years and was still as fresh as morning dew; although the social values and feminine perceptions have changed. Enough twists and turns. Finished in a single sitting.
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