The Case of the Hesitant Hostess by Erle Stanley Gardner: A review by Warren Bull
In the interest of full disclosure I hereby admit this is the first novel by Erle Stanley Gardner that I have ever read. I have, however, seen at least a dozen black and white television episodes of the series Perry Mason that starred Raymond Burr as the famous attorney.
The Case of the Hesitant Hostess was first published in 1953. From reading it I can understand why the author was so popular. He had honed his skills by writing for the pulps. He was successful at churning out and selling tales that made up in action for what they lacked in character development.
In the novel I read Perry Mason was as much hard-boiled investigator as he was an attorney. The plot zings along as the hero risks life and limb to defend an indigent client who was set up to take the rap for crimes he did not commit. I am certain the standards of practice of defense attorneys has changed from the time the novel was written. So perhaps back then there were fewer blatant violations that would result in a lawyer being disbarred than the half dozen or so that I noticed.
The author wrote to entertain and to make money. This is definitely entertaining. I started and finished reading in one day. I recommend it as entertainment.