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Mystery Monday – The Case of the Nervous Accomplice

The Case of the Nervous Accomplice by Erle Stanley Gardner


Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

Mrs. Sybil Harlan asks Perry Mason to help her spoil a real estate deal and thus win back her wandering husband Enright a.k.a Enny. Her vision has Perry buying stock in a real-estate investment company and making a nuisance of himself at a director’s meeting.

This disruption of a big deal will bring out the worst in her hubby’s GF, the tempting redhead Roxy Claffin. Once Enny sees Roxy in her acquisitive glory, he will fly back to the loving arms of his wife to celebrate their upcoming fifth anniversary. On the adulterous liaison, her advice, I think would make a daring date question: “Agree or disagree ‘A woman should never forgive a man for infidelities. She should remain in complete ignorance.’”

Unfortunately a bad guy gets wind of her hiring Mason. A murder takes place. The killing of crabby millionaire George C. “Daddy” Lutts in a deserted house on company land overshadows the domestic drama and lands Sybil in the dock accused of murder.

The time to read a whodunit is whenever a reader wants to escape drudgery but still wants the comfort of familiar elements. Perry’s client lies to him in order to motivate him to work harder. Perry makes a witness look silly on the stand. Perry courts disbarment proceedings. Perry’s antagonist DA Burger gets a come-uppance. Della personifies devotion, Paul a Doubting Thomas.

Different yet the same: fine, if that’s what’s we need on a rainy Saturday afternoon….




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