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The Case of the Mythical Monkeys (A Perry Mason Mystery) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: A Perry Mason Mystery
  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Bentley Pub (June 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0837603986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0837603988
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,643,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

LETHAL CABIN FEVER

Gladys Doyle's luxurious ski weekend, courtesy of her employer, takes a sharp turn for the worse when she heads home on Sunday. Heavy storms force her to seek shelter with a surly stranger in a lonely mountain cabin. Next morning there's a dead man in the bedroom, the mysterious host has disappeared, and poor Gladys's fingerprints are all over the murder weapon.

Her desperate plight sends Perry Mason ice-fishing in dangerous waters--for a catch that includes a silk scarf curiously decorated with monkeys, a pristine tea kettle, a bodyguard who takes care of his clients permanently, and a viscious bottom feeder hungry for prey . . . .

THE ORIGINAL COURTROOM NOVELS --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

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 surprises, these are whodunits that have delighted mystery aficionados for more than sixty years.


From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on March 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I can't say it better than Acute Observer, an earlier reviewer, for he has put togethet a list of all the highlights of THE CASE OF THE MYTHICAL MONKEYS. One might wish that the famous monkeys (who say see no evil, speak no evil, etc) had more to do with the actual case they figure in, and yet Perry fails to make much of a connection. Is Mauvis wearing a scarf with the monkey print on the jacket of her new novel CHOP THE MAN DOWN as a subtle hint that she is not telling everything she knows? Millions have lapped up her tawdry expose precisely because she has braved the waters of "kiss and tell" deeper than any other previous woman writer.

I suppose CHOP THE MAN DOWN was inspired by Gardner's reading of, or about, the notorious bestseller PEYTON PLACE, with maybe a little of THE BEST OF EVERYTHING thrown in. To me, Mauvis Niles Meade (what a name! Is it an anagram for something else one wonders?) sounds like a hack and more of a tease than a sexually frank woman. Anyway, when she starts telling her secretary, Gladys Doyle, that she wants her to go to a ski lodge and that she must proceed on the way back home to LA, down a winding and nearly impassible mountain road in the middle of a blizzard, I got suspicious of her. It seemed like she was leading Gladys into a trap. In fact I'm surprised Gladys didn't die during her rugged journey.

All of this happens before a corpse is discovered and Perry, Della and Paul enter the case. The first forty pages of any Perry Mason (and the last 15) are always the best parts of any of Erle Stanley Gardner's books, but it is really true here, and Gladys' dangerous drive down icy mountain roads will have you on the edge of your seat. The rest, not so much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judith A. Dennis on June 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I purchased this item for my husband who collects Perry Mason books. He has most of them, but it was nice to find this one on the Amazon website. We will be looking for more again sometime!
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By Acute Observer on November 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Case of the Mythical Monkeys (1959)

The 'Foreword' is dedicated to Dr. Joseph A. Jachimczyk, Forensic Pathologist and Medical Examiner of Harris County at Houston Texas; he has a law degree as well. In one case a seeming natural death was found to be murder; the murderer admitted to a dozen other deaths! In another case a presumed heart attack was found to be an ice-pick murder; the murderess admitted to two other such killings. An adequate post-mortem can disclose an overlooked murder, or confirm a natural death.

Gladys Doyle started work as a secretary and personal assistant for Mauvis Niles Meade, a successful novelist. Mauvis sends Gladys to a mountain resort on business. Mauvis tells her of a back road to take on the return trip. Gladys returns on schedule, but makes a wrong turn on a narrow road. The snow and rain create mud that traps her car. Gladys continues on foot, and finds a small cabin off the road. The lone male occupant lets her in to dry off and spend the night in one of the small bedrooms. The next morning Gladys awakes to find that man gone. But when she looks for him she found a dead man in the other bedroom! She finds her car outside and returns to Los Angeles and visits Perry Mason for legal help. Gladys also found her apartment burglarized, and calls the police. Lt. Tragg is notified about the burglary and connects it to the murder in Pine Glen Canyon (Chapter 5). Perry calls Paul Drake to find out about this murder. Could Gladys have been picked as a patsy?

Perry goes to interview Mauvis Niles Meade, but is interrupted when Lt. Tragg shows up to question Mauvis. Lt Tragg retrieves Gladys' notebook. Paul Drake finds the name of the person that stayed at that cabin , so Perry goes to question this witness. He talks to Mrs.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By APRICOT on September 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The title means a scarf printed with three monkeys, "see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil". It may not be a great Mason story, but a good, enjoyable Mason story. A very complicated story, involved with a organized crime and a secret investigation. Mason and a reader can't see what is all about until the near end. When Mason catches a glimpse of Lady Luck, he quickly grabs her hair to turn to him. I admire his vitality.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B.C. Scribe on November 3, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a new reader to the Perry Mason series do not make this your starting point. I haven't read a Perry Mason mystery in more years than I care to count but I am still familiar with them. Looking for a good Mason case to read I was intrigued by the description provided for the book here. Don't be fooled! This is one of the most annoying books I have suffered through in some time. The plot begins well but too soon the characters all become sources of painful irritation. The normally lively banter between Mason and Tragg seems draggy and lifeless; the mystery is incredibly contrived and has too many plot conveniences; an ever astute Perry makes a simply unbelievable sighting of a key witness. Then, near the end of the book, two of the characters exhibit exasperating behavior that Gardner seems to believe adds to the readers enjoyment. It doesn't - it aggravates all the more! And finally the payoff isn't at all acceptable. I may return here to buy another Perry Mason book sometime in the future, but I won't be holding my breath until then.
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