FFB: The Case of the Perjured Parrot by Erle Stanley Gardner

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 Case of the Perjured ParrotMason is approached by the son of a very wealthy man, Fremont C. Sabin, who has been murdered in his mountain cabin, on the first day of the fishing season.

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

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in books, Friday Forgotten Book, Review and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to FFB: The Case of the Perjured Parrot by Erle Stanley Gardner

  1. I prefer the early Perry Masons like this one. I’ll have to look up that episode of PERRY MASON, I have them on DVD.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I remember the parrot one more than most of the others from that era for some reason.

  3. John says:

    A parrot squawking out a mysterious phrase occurs much more frequently in mystery fiction than I eer would’ve imagined. There’s Death in Swaythling Court, Murder on Wheels, The Chinese Parrot, and this one. I’m sure there are more. Still doesn’t beat knife throwing though.

  4. Richard says:

    John, it would be interesting to search out more. I sense a post on that, to see what others people might find.

  5. Mike says:

    Nice review, Richard. I read this one many, many year ago. It’s been almost that long since I ready any of the PM books; I should revisit them. The popularity of the TV series, I think, tends to obscure the fact that the books themselves (those from the Thirties and Forties, anyway) stand up well as Golden Age mystery novels.

  6. Richard says:

    Mike, you’re right. I did one for the FFB a week or two ago as well.

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