Brand : Erle Stanley Gardner

The Case of the Screaming Woman, a Perry Mason Mystery



James dainis |

Good courtroom action

A man arrives home late one night and tells his wife a strange story about picking up a stranded woman. his wife suspects the story is false and asks him to tell the story to perry mason. perry soon realizes the story is false and he decides to investigate to find the truth of the matter. soon perry finds himself defending the man against a charge of accessory to murder or even murder itself. in trying to protect the interests of his client, perry soon finds himself in hot water, with da hamilton burger ready to file charges of misconduct and theft against him. this is another good perry mason novel with interesting characters and a good plot line. the courtroom scene is very well done with some legal aspects of law pointed out. one thing did bother me though. perry mason keeps thwarting hamilton burger's attempts to have him produce evidence that he accuses perry of having stolen. the judge keeps siding with perry that he doesn't have to produce the evidence. i would think that in the cause of justice the judge would want to see all the evidence that could be available. that just rang a bit false with me. the explanation of how the murder was committed and by whom also seemed very contrived. i really couldn't see a murderer suddenly coming up with such a spur of the moment convoluted plan. still, it was an enjoyable story and i will continue to read more perry mason novels.

Acute observer |

Another complex puzzle solved

The case of the screaming woman perry mason gets a very unusual call: a woman wants him to cross-examine her husband to determine if his story will stand up. john kirby shows up to say he was at a sales meeting that lasted to 11 pm at night. on the way home he saw a young woman carrying a one gallon gasoline can. he gave her a lift, but her car had disappeared. so he took her to a motel, registered as man and wife, then drove home. kirby told his wife this story, and she insisted they drive to the motel to help the young woman; but she had disappeared. and the one gallon can was no longer in kirby's car. after kirby leaves, della street now connects this to an attack on a doctor babb who lives in the suburbs. a young woman was seen running from the doctor's house, and she fits the description of kirby's rider. the name "kirby" was found on the doctor's appointment book. paul drake is called to investigate. this is another story with numerous suspects. perry mason soon finds kirby's story had left out quite a few details. before the doctor died he mentioned his attacker: "john kirby", but witnesses say john kirby did not leave his car. the name of the young woman was also in the doctor's appointment book! john kirby is arrested, and perry defends him at the preliminary hearing. doctor babb had been running a baby mill. young women would give up their babies so a married woman could present an heir. [the implications about society are not discussed.] the records of these adoptions could provide a blackmailer with lucrative opportunities. one unasked question: could a person taking a shower in his house hear a woman scream from the next house?

Acute observer |

Another complex puzzle solved

The case of the screaming woman perry mason gets a very unusual call: a woman wants him to cross-examine her husband to determine if his story will stand up. john kirby shows up to say he was at a sales meeting that lasted to 11 pm at night. on the way home he saw a young woman carrying a one gallon gasoline can. he gave her a lift, but her car had disappeared. so he took her to a motel, registered as man and wife, then drove home. kirby told his wife this story, and she insisted they drive to the motel to help the young woman; but she had disappeared. and the one gallon can was no longer in kirby's car. after kirby leaves, della street now connects this to an attack on a doctor babb who lives in the suburbs. a young woman was seen running from the doctor's house, and she fits the description of kirby's rider. the name "kirby" was found on the doctor's appointment book. paul drake is called to investigate. this is another story with numerous suspects. perry mason soon finds kirby's story had left out quite a few details. before the doctor died he mentioned his attacker: "john kirby", but witnesses say john kirby did not leave his car. the name of the young woman was also in the doctor's appointment book! john kirby is arrested, and perry defends him at the preliminary hearing. doctor babb had been running a baby mill. young women would give up their babies so a married woman could present an heir. [the implications about society are not discussed.] the records of these adoptions could provide a blackmailer with lucrative opportunities. one unasked question: could a person taking a shower in his house hear a woman scream from the next house?