More simplistic than the usual Perry Mason mystery. It’s not bad but not a must read in the series.
Joan Kirby calls Perry. She wants to hire him to cross examine her husband John. The night before he says he picked up a female carrying a gas can to her car. The car can’t be found so he registers them at a motel as husband and wife. A few minutes later John left for home. Now the woman has disappeared. Perry gets the story from him and hires Paul Drake to investigate.
Della Street makes a connection with a woman heard screaming in the office of Dr.Babb out in the suburbs. He’s in the black market baby racket and has a notebook listing all the babies he arranged adoptions for. A neighbor saw a young woman running from the scene and the description fits the woman Kirby was with. There’s also the name Kirby in the doctor’s appointment book.
Someone hit Babb over the head. He died later in the hospital. Even though Perry caught Kirby in a number of lies he defends him on a murder charge. D.A.Hamilton Burger comes off more as a buffoon in this rather than the usual angry adversary who has some brains. As usual thinks he finally has a way to get Perry disbarred.
There’s no Lt.Tragg here or any real police investigation although Perry does get his licks in with a cop on the witness stand. There is a brief scene where he tells Della how much he appreciates her and how he can’t really do without her.