The Case Of The Phantom Fortune-Erle Stanley Gardner (1964)

erle stanley gardner-the case of the phantom fortune

Perry Mason is back to his 30’s and 40’s tough guy persona as he threatens to kill a blackmailer and could end up in jail thanks to the efforts of his nemesis D.A. Hamilton Burger. This is one of the best of the 1960’s entries in the series.

Wealthy Horace Warren invites Perry and Della to a buffet with some of his rich friends. He wants Perry to find out who belongs to a fingerprint he has on a card. Perry enlists Paul Drake to get a van known as a fingerprint van to disguise itself as a catering business. That way prints can be taken off the dishes etc. Warren wants to know who is blackmailing his wife Lorna.

Warren’s business manager is supposed to say he met Della on a cruise as the reason for why she’s there. The prints are collected. They discover Collister Damon Gideon. It’s not his print on the card. He shows up at Perry’s office. He used to work with Lorna. He’s just out of the federal pen on fraud charges. There’s 47-thouand dollars missing. The government thinks he knows where it is. Warren thinks his wife has it.

Gideon tells Perry he’s going to keep coming back to his office. He’s being followed by government agents and he wants them suspicious that Perry knows something. Of course if Perry wants to contribute to his well being he’ll stay away. Perry tells him there are three ways to deal with a blackmailer. The third is to kill him. Later Gideon is found dead after Perry set up a meeting with him and then pulled a scam. Warren is arrested.

Rather than spoil the goings on I do have to mention that Hamilton Burger thinks he finally has Perry on charges of evidence tampering and starts an effort to send him to jail and have him disbarred.



About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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