The Case of the Careless Kitten

Perry Mason books are pure plot, and yet somehow the characters in this one seemed a little more real–perhaps because the focus was more on Helen Kendal’s heart than her legs.

You can really tell that The Case of the Careless Kitten was written in 1942 during the war, and not necessarily in a good way.  Everyone is convinced that the houseboy Komo looks Japanese, even though he insists he is Korean.  Also, Helen’s boyfriend Jerry is in the army and faces the uncertainty of going overseas.

I don’t want to give too much away, but basically Helen’s kitten is poisoned, and later that day she gets a call from her uncle and guardian, who disappeared without a word ten years ago. The rest is a tangle of alibis and lies, so that it’s almost hard to tell what crimes are actually committed. In fact, the book’s only trial is Della Street herself, for secreting away a witness. I’ve always secretly rooted for a Della/Perry romance, however unprofessional it may be, and there were definitely hints here as he comes to her defense.

Those little old ladies on the jury deserve a lot more credit than they’re given, however. I’ve been a cat owner for years and I still couldn’t get at what Perry was going for by talking about the significance of various warm beds!

I don’t want to give too much away, but basically Helen’s kitten is poisonedI don’t want to give too much away, but basically Helen’s kitten is poisoned
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Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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