I was keen to read this book because I have never read any Perry Mason books and the title just sounds so intriguing, and also it was a Penguin Classics book and the cover of these alone I find enticing! Perry Mason is asked, by Edna Hammer, the niece, to defend Peter Kent who is accused of murdering Philip Rease while sleepwalking, after the bloody knife is found under his pillow.

I enjoyed the book and the story, and especially liked Della Street, Mason’s assistant. I found it a bit brash and faster paced than other murder mystery books written at a similar time, in particular Agatha Christie, and was interested in whether this was because there was more of a marked difference between American and English authors than we find today. I think, on the whole, I prefer the gentler and more subtle story telling of Agatha Christie with the emphasis more on hints and clues, than the action of Perry Mason, and the refined gentility of Victorian life compared to the cut and thrust of American life. However, it was a very enjoyable read, and I am intrigued to read other Mason books with similarly enticing sounding titles.

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