The Case of the Stuttering Bishop by Erle Stanley Gardner

A new case walks into renowned criminal lawyer, Perry Mason’s office in the form of Bishop Mallory- who stutters. But, bishops don’t stutter. From there begins the chase into a case that takes on a new challenge with every turn it takes and puts Mason in the cross hairs where he’s putting his very career on line.

So, I know that the summary could be about any Perry Mason novel and it would fit, but that’s exactly the point I want to make.

They all follow a pattern. Mason gets an intriguing case that drags him out of the office and into the thick of it. Then, his own client will lie to him or hide integral evidence from him which he’ll ferret out anyway with the help of awesome-detective-Paul Drake and faithful-secretary-Della Street. And all of this while battling it out in the court with belligerent-Hamilton Burger, the district attorney and his various minions.

Now, it might sound like I’m mocking the series and their formulaic processes. But, to be honest, I’m a fan! I’m one of the biggest fans of the Perry Mason series despite their overt sexism and obvious theatrics.

I love Mason and his sharp mind and his cool image. I love Della Street and her work ethic. I love Paul Drake with his droll sense of self and pessimism.

Most of all though, I love the court sequences. That’s where Gardner shines. You can tell he used to be a lawyer and that he knows what he’s talking about. He explains the legalities, but doesn’t explain so much that it becomes long-drawn. He takes you through the court proceedings in a way that makes you feel like you’re there and you root for Mason and his team in the most passionate way possible.

In this installment too, he doesn’t disappoint. All the components that make Perry Mason, Perry Mason are there. And they tickle my fancy a lot. I enjoyed the read as much as I knew I would. These are my comfort reads and Perry Mason did comfort during every meal time in a public space.

BOTTOMLINE: Go on, give it a read. Take yourself back to an era where women are stylish and delicate and men are suave and efficient. Take yourself to a courtroom which will satisfy your hero worship and your craving for justice. It’s a peaceful read. You know where it’s going and that’s where it’ll go. So, go on, give it a read. You might just find your new comfort series.

Happy reading!

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