In The Case of the Curious Bride, awoman comes to Perry Mason for legal advice on behalf of “a friend” and aska a series questions. The questions revolve around the ins and outs of what happens when a husband is declared legally dead and the legality of a subsequent marriage if the presumed dead spouse returns.
Mason clearly sees that: 1) these are questions that can’t be answered with generalities and 2) that the woman calling on him is asking for herself. When Perry calls the woman on, she leaves the office. Perry feels almost instantaneous regret for pushing too hard and seeks to find out who the woman is and what her problem is.
After some investigating, Perry finds the truth: the woman was married, her husband presumed dead, but in reality, he’s alive and blackmailing her after her second marriage to a weakling son of a wealthy man. Perry gets her to promise to think things over and not do anything until talking to him in the morning.
However, Perry wakes up the next day to find her first husband has been murdered and its only a matter of time before the police put their finger on her. Perry has to clear his client and represent her interests against non only prosecutors but a resentful father-in-law.
In this installment in the Perry Mason series, Mason is less crime-solver than troubleshooter. His goal is not to catch the killer, but to get his client off, whatever it takes. In The Case of the Curious Bride, Mason is reminiscent of what Jim Rockford would be like had he ever been admitted to the bar than the 1950s respectable Perry Mason that had evolved from later books. Mason cons his way through his initial investigation and then tricks the prosecuting attorney into shooting himself in the foot. In addition, Mason makes a rare foray into family law to achieve justice for his client.
Colonial Radio Theater has really gotten into the rhythym of these early Mason stories and they once again have a great period feel to them, even working in a good vintage radio pun when Perry Mason is telling Paul Drake about someone who was following his client.
Mason: Then there’s this matter of the shadow.
Drake: Lamont Cranston?
Jerry Robbins turns an another dynamic performance as the fast-talking Perry Mason.
Overall, with great sound quality and dogged dedication to the original story, Perry Mason and the Curious Bride makes a great buy for fans of classic mysteries.
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Note: The Author of this piece received a review digital copy of this drama.
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I really like your review of this radio play. Personally, I prefer the original episodes from back in the days – the acting and writing is much more to my liking, although some jokes and old-school references are indeed charming.
My favorite actor in these new adaptations is actually fast-paced Perry Mason. Della Street, my favorite character, unfortunately doesn’t really work for me, at least not when I compare her with the actresses from the original program, not to mention Barbara Hale. And that’s a real pity because the scenes involving her (and Paul Drake) will always be my favorite.