Like any reader of mysteries with the sense Heaven gave a goose, Perry Mason does not believe that a shifty doctor-millionaire died in a plane crash. After dealing with the difficult widow, Perry figures that the good doctor faked his own death and ran off with a nurse.
The widow is charged with her husband’s murder. A typical pain of a client, she involves Perry up to his neck since she accuses him of making off with thousands in income that was undeclared by her husband. Gardner respected forensics because he assumed that scientific methods would balance the prejudiced inclinations of detectives, so the use of dental records in the identification of burned bodies provides some interesting tangents.
This is an okay Mason novel from 1954, when the books started to feel especially familiar and formulaic. Della Street has a lot to do, which will please fans of Della. Paul Drake is put upon in the tried and true manner. The story is complex without being convoluted to the point of bewildering. Gardner emphasizes how problematic clients can land lawyers in a peck of trouble.