This leaves Perry Mason rather upset. He knows the woman is in some sort of serious trouble, and he decides he will help her—this decision is made when he finds out that the woman had left a $50 retainer with his secretary! Luckily, the damsel in distress forgot her purse behind in the office, and thus begins a trail as Perry Mason finds his client and then must help her when she gets involved in a murder!
This is an enjoyable enough story with some relatively hardboiled elements. Perry Mason finds all sorts of creative ways to throw obstacles in his opponents’ direction— and this opponent happens to be the prosecutor who presses charges against the lady (who will remain unnamed by me— finding out who she is is part of the fun of the book). Sometimes, his tactics seems puzzling at the time, but suddenly make complete sense when they pop up again.
Another fun aspect is the legal one—the scenes in court are considerably livened by author Erle Stanley Gardner’s own personal experiences as a lawyer. These scenes are given a ring of authenticity to them, and it is hard to duplicate or describe, exactly. But it feels very much like a dramatic trial, and some of Perry Mason’s tactics make you want to stand up and cheer when they finally pay off.
Finally, when Perry Mason pursues a line of questioning that seems immaterial, he is in reality constructing a solid case against the culprit. And apparently, if Wikipedia is to be trusted, this book figured in a real-life murder trial:
So if you want to find out what this line of questioning is, you might as well read The Case of the Curious Bride—although quite honestly, the conclusion that this questioning arrives to is not unexpected. The book is a relatively quick read and fun enough. Is there anything particularly brilliant about it? I wouldn’t say so. It’s just fun, and honestly, that sounds like a perfectly noble achievement in itself.