Wednesday, the 12th of February–Shelf Control time once again! A weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, Shelf Control celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, what makes you want to read it, and such. Link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!

Writing my review/check-in of how I’ve been doing in Shelf Control posts so far (here) last week, I noticed that while I have featured mysteries quite a few times (as expected), it wasn’t as much as I’d thought. So here’s another one! 😀 This time a Perry Mason Mystery–The Case of the Careless Kitten by Erle Stanley Gardner.

First published in 1942, this is book 21 in the Perry Mason series. In this one, banker Franklin Shore disappeared ten years ago, leaving all his money behind. Now, his niece Helen Kendell mysteriously receives a phone call from Franklin urging her to contact Perry Mason. But before she knows it, she becomes a suspect in the murder of an unfamiliar man. Meanwhile, her kitten and her aunt have both survived attempts at poisoning. Her aunt, in fact, was one who maintained that Franklin was alive. The poisoning attempts, disappearance, and murder also seem to be connected to a long buried check-forging scheme. Franklin’s brother Gerald is a key suspect. This presents a highly complex puzzle even for the brilliant mind of Perry Mason, as always assisted by Della Street, and private detective Paul Drake. This one has been described as one of the ‘most highly praised cases’ and ‘one of the best Perry Mason tales’.

This was a book I picked up (second hand) a long time ago, and had in fact planned to read when I reading my animal and bird themed books (books which had animals or birds in their titles) a couple of years ago, but I ended up putting this in a shelf behind a whole row of books (pretty much all of my shelves have double rows) and couldn’t find it till I rearranged my shelf, and then didn’t get down to reading it since. But I certainly do want to pick it up soon now.

The author: Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) was an American lawyer, and author of among others the Perry Mason mysteries, as well as the Bertha Cool and Donald Lam stories, Doug Selby stories, and Gramps Wiggins stories. Gardner wrote under his own name as well as several pseudonyms including A.A. Fair, Charles M. Green, and Robert Parr. Besides full-length mystery novels, Gardner also wrote short stories as well as non-fiction, particularly travel writings, including on his trips to Baja and Mexico.

Have you read this one? How did you find it? Which series by Gardner do you like the most (I enjoy the Perry Mason books, but also love the ones with Gramps Wiggins a lot, though there only a couple). Any particular titles you’d recommend? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Info on the book is from the blurb at the back of my copy and Goodreads (here), and on Erle Stanley Gardner from Wikipedia (here); a full bibliography of his works is listed on Wikipedia (here)


2 thoughts on “Shelf Control #77: The Case of the Careless Kitten by Erle Stanley Gardner

  1. Yes, I have read it, but since I’ve read hundreds (excuse the exaggeration) of Perry Masons starting at age 11, I really don’t remember the story. Of course, the moment I start to re-read it will all come back. My first adult reading and still one of my favourite authors.

    Liked by 1 person

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