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The Case of the Howling Dog by Erle Stanley…
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The Case of the Howling Dog (1934)

by Erle Stanley Gardner

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210586,041 (3.66)10
Criminal lawyer and bestselling mystery author Erle Stanley Gardner wrote nearly 150 novels that have sold 300 million copies worldwide. Now, the American Bar Association is bringing back his most famous and enduring novels--featuring criminal defense lawyer and sleuth Perry Mason--in striking trade paperback editions. Arthur Cartwright insists on seeing Perry Mason about his neighbor's constantly howling dog. When Mason gets a district attorney to issue a warning to the neighbor, Clinton Foley, Foley claims that Cartwright is insane. Mason nearly starts to believe him when Cartwright draws up a will leaving everything to Foley's wife. That's why he pays a visit to Clinton Foley's house, where he finds a missing wife, a poisoned dog, and a corpse.… (more)

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Showing 4 of 4
Perry Mason is starting to get a reputation for his courtroom behavior so when a new client called Arthur Cartright shows up complaining about a howling dog and asking advice about a will, he is a bit surprised. But he is also intrigued - so he decides to check the case. Complications show up almost immediately - noone else seems to have heard the howling, a will shows up that contradicts what the client had asked about and the client cannot be found by anyone. Add a new building, a Chinese cook who is shipped home, two marriages that seem to be more complicated than they should. And all that before bodies started to drop. And Mason ended with more than one customer.

Paul Drake and Della Street are getting more defined (although Drake seems to be a bit too cocky although Mason is even worse) and the easy camaraderie between them is adding a lot more enjoyment in the story.

I was surprised that Perry did not see where the bodies were earlier but then he did not grow up watching CSI and Law and Order. It was a bit predictable because it is a classic way to handle the story but considering when this one was written, it probably was a lot more surprising. And the end was perfect - it was a lot more a crime story than a courtroom drama and it is stronger for it.

And unlike the usual cases when Perry needs to scramble for a way out of a problem, in this case he has so many proofs and ways to prove his case that he does not even to disclose all of them. It was an interesting twist.

Another enjoyable entry in the series (although you need to ignore the racism and outdated views in places). And I seem to enjoy these old stories a lot more than I expected. ( )
1 vote AnnieMod | Apr 26, 2016 |
Interestingly, the modern paperback edits out the last few paragraphs of the novel from the text found in the older hardcover - the paragraphs that introduce the next novel, the Case of the Curious Bride. ( )
  VincentDarlage | Jan 30, 2015 |
Vintage ESG. The story itself wasn't that compelling, but the dialogue, the rhythm of the patter, of this 1934 potboiler is quite enjoyable. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 19, 2014 |
A lengthy murder case. Wrinkles are added where the predicited twist and turns occur. ( )
  seki | Jan 1, 2009 |
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Della Street held open the door to the inner office, and spoke in the tone which a woman instinctively uses in speaking to a child or a very sick man.
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Serialized in Liberty Magazine January 13, 1934 to March 17, 1934.

Compared to a juicy murder trial, a case of feuding neighbors isn't exactly Perry Mason’s cup of tea. But Arthur Cartright insists that Mason is the only one who can muzzle the howling hound that’s driving Cartright crazy. But Perry doesn't realize just how crazy until he meets his client’s neighbor. Clinton Foley says Cartright is barking up the wrong tree with his canine companion—and swears that the man is dangerously insane to boot.

Mason’s not the type to cop out on a client—but when Cartwright draws up a will that leaves everything to his neighbor’s wife, even Perry has to wonder if the man has slipped from anger into madness. That’s why he pays a personal visit to Clinton Foley’s house, where he finds one missing wife, one poisoned dog, and one corpse...
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