this is the 105th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
The Case of the Perjured Parrot by Erle Stanley Gardner © date 1939, this edition: Pocket Books, Cardinal edition,1959 mass market paperback – mystery – Perry Mason 14th (by publication date) in series
The man chose, several years before, to step away from his business pursuits and building his already considerable fortune to enjoy a simple life, often under an assumed name. The son wants Mason to look into the murder as he has little faith in the local authories.
The case seemingly turns on two things: the parrot who repeats the phrase “Put down the gun, Helen… squawk! You’ve shot me!” over and over. The police assume it means the parrot has witnessed the murder, and that someone named Helen must be the murderer.
The second thing the case turns on is whether the wealthy Sabin did or did not divorce his wife before his untimely death. The answer may determine who the executor and beneficery of the estate will be, the wife or the son. Each has accused the other of destroying Sabin’s will and murdering Sabin. But with no document declaring who the affable eccentric intended to leave his fortune to, Perry Mason faces a particularly difficult puzzle. In addition to the usual twists and turns, there is one last one after the case seems to be solved. A pretty good Mason novel, though I wondered if that last twist might have been a little gimmicky.
This one was broadcast on the Perry Mason television show, season 2, episode 11.
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The rest of the Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Evan Lewis’ blog Davy Crockett’s Almanac