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The Case of the Stuttering Bishop [Mass Market Paperback]

Erle Stanley Gardner
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Nov. 13 1988 Perry Mason Mysteries (Fawcett Books)
When a stuttering bishop comes to Perry Mason's office for help, Mason becomes involved in a battle of wills with a woman and the long-lost daughter she believes to be a fraud. The key to the puzzle lies in the bishop--who, unfortunately, has disappeared. Reissue.

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From the Publisher

Okay, Perry Mason, Della Street and Paul Drake. You think of them in black and white and let's be honest, a tad stiff. That's the TV show. In the books this threesome is pretty hot. So, Perry still always wins, but it's how he does it that will make you read more and more of these titles. He's smart, Paul is cool, and Della does a lot more than just hand Perry his files.

Amelia Zalcman, Director, Contracts Administration

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2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of Perry Mason Nov. 16 1998
By P. Mann
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The title character of Erle Stanley Gardner's "The Case of the Stuttering Bishop" enters Perry Mason's office one day and presents an enigmatic story about the granddaughter of a wealthy man. The girl's mother gave up the child for adoption long before, but now the granddaughter is coming forward to claim a share of her grandfather's estate. At the same time, an imposter has come forward--or so says the stuttering bishop. But is he for real, or is he merely an imposter, too?
Before Mason can determine the answer to that question, the bishop is attacked in his hotel room and then disappears, apparently into thin air, while boarding a ship. At the same time, Mason is trying to track down the various parties and to determine who's who. When the wealthy grandfather is murdered, though, it appears that Mason has his first guilty client.
Unlike many Perry Mason novels, "The Case of the Stuttering Bishop" does not end up in a dramatic court confrontation, and it therefore deviates somewhat from form. The case here is also significantly more convoluted than that in many of the Perry Mason novels. Because of this change of form, I found the novel less satisfying than the other Perry Mason novels I've read. The name Perry Mason, after all, connotes brilliant lawyering, and the emphasis on the detective work here left me disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamilton Burger is depicted as a reasonably intelligent man, which was a refreshing change Aug. 8 2008
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This story opens with a man claiming to be an Australian bishop walking into Mason's office and asking for Mason's help in a legal matter against a millionaire. However, the man stutters terribly and after he leaves neither Mason or Della Street can believe that he is actually a bishop. After the man is hit on the head, the story takes on many convolutions, in my opinion it is close to the most complex case that Mason has taken on. Gardner introduces many options, develops them slowly and then suddenly the "truth" comes out in a few pages.
There are many possible suspects and near the end, Mason says that he has come up with an explanation that is a wild one, yet it is the only one that fits the facts. There are impersonations, ruthless con men and other lesser characters that distract you from the search for the real killers.
The best part of the book is the scene where Mason is in the office of Hamilton Burger, his courtroom opponent. Unlike many of the other Perry Mason books, Burger is depicted as a man who respects and even likes Perry Mason and not as a bumbling fool with simplistic tunnel vision. This in combination with the complexity of the plot makes this one of the best Perry Mason stories.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Complex and Intriguing Case June 7 2006
By Acute Observer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Case of the Stuttering Bishop

Bishop William Mallory of Sydney, Australia visits Perry Mason about a manslaughter case. Could a sudden emotional shock cause stuttering? Perry calls Paul Drake to see if the bishop is genuine (Chapter I). They find where Mallory is staying, but there is a mysterious attack on Mallory in his hotel room. An ambulance came for him, then another ambulance came for him! They track down the woman who visited him (Chapter II). Her story about a personal ad checks out (Chapter III). But the bishop got on a ship bound for Australia (Chapter IV). Julia Branner, formerly Mrs. Oscar Brownley, visits Perry and tells of her past life and what she wants (Chapter V). Perry visits Renwold C. Brownley and they discuss the case (Chapter VI). An early morning phone call wakes Perry with the message that a woman has shot and killed Renwold C. Brownley (Chapter VII)!

Perry finds that Julia Branner had gone to the waterfront, and saw another woman shoot Brownley. Perry tells her to not answer questions and he'll try to help her (Chapter VIII). Julia Branner was arrested for murder, Mallory disappeared from his ship (Chapter IX). Della's impersonation of Janice Seaton draws out two private investigators (Chapter X). Perry meets the granddaughter of Brownley, and finds Victor Stockton, one of the two private investigators, with a scheme that will trap Perry in a crime! Perry meets Philip Brownley, the grandson, who tells what he knows (this substantiates what a witness saw). When Perry interviews Julia Branner in jail he gets an unpleasant surprise. Paul Drake found a yachtsman who visited Mallory (Chapter XII).

Perry visits Hamilton Burger to explain his actions. Burger gives Perry little time to justify his story. It doesn't look good for Perry and his client (Chapter XIII). The preliminary examination of Julia Branner begins in Chapter XIV, this reviews the known facts about the shooting. Perry notes the strange facts: if the shooter ran away, and Brownley was dead, who drove the car off the wharf? Perry is in an impossible situation. If Brownley drove off the wharf, he was not shot dead by Julia Branner (Chapter XV). A chance remark by Della Street puts a new light on one person's activities the night of the murder. Perry plays this hand and it pays off (Chapter XVI). They find out what happened to Bishop Mallory (Chapter XVII). Perry explained what happened, and why Julia Branner refused to talk (Chapter XVIII). The next chapter concludes this case.
In this story Perry was very close to jail and disbarment. He was involved in more action than in other stories. This 1936 novel reflects the outlook of its day.
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtroom and Mystery Adventure Abounds with Perry Mason July 27 2014
By D. A. Donahue - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ohh yeah yet another Perry Mason novel that I have hungered for and read. I do not care I will never get tired of reading these novels even if you as the reader can predict the outcome of the case. Mr. Gardner developed a good grouping of characters for the Perry Mason novels and this is again another where you get a chance to read a well written novel dealing with mystery and court room drama.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great port to ebook July 7 2014
By Kniffin - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Earl Stanley Gardner writes a great story every time. For those who have not tried it yet, I highly recommended the entire Perry Mason series. This ebook port was very well done and I noticed no grammatical or spelling transfer errors.
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good "who-done-it" by Erle Stanley Gardner Oct. 8 2013
By Lynn Kelly - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot, and the escape into another time. This book was written in 1936.
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