Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) wrote more than one hundred novels over the course of his long career. A trial lawyer himself, Gardner's best known creation was Perry Mason, a flamboyant criminal defense attorney who earns his large fees by virtue of a remarkable talent for using the law to uncover the truth on the witness stand.
Although Gardner's Perry Mason novels were formula, Gardner was at the peak of his powers during the 1950s--and at his best he was able to combine a twisty plot, impressive courtroom scenes, and his tendency to staccato dialogue to tremendous effect. Written in 1958, THE CASE OF THE FOOT-LOOSE DOLL offers Gardner at his best.
An attractive secretary in Oceanside, California, Mildred Crest is looking forward to her marriage to the town's most eligible bachelor--but is stunned when he abandons her under highly dubious circumstances. Dazed and distraught, she gets in her car and simply goes as far and as fast as she can... until an unforeseen accident offers her the opportunity to escape the past once and for all.
Or so it seems. But the past has a way of catching up with you--and in Mildred's case it isn't just her own past that she has to worry about. Before too long the question of murder arises, and Mildred finds herself in desperate need of legendary Los Angeles attorney Perry Mason.
Law, police procedure, and science has changed quite a bit since Gardner wrote this book, but that is part of the fun. And in this instance Gardner anticipates the modern phenomena of identity theft in a most unexpected way. Fans will enjoy it and newcomers will find it a delight. Recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer