This newly reissued novel is nearly 80 years old and inevitably dated in places ... Still, Gardner has a way of moving the story forward that is almost a lost art: great stretches of dialogue alternate with lively chunks of exposition, and the two work together perfectly, without sacrificing momentum. And the expanded courtroom scene at the end, with Mason’s bravura methods on full display, cleverly rehashes the novel’s plot and makes it easy to follow. Oh, and don’t worry (sorry for the spoiler, but this is important): The kitten survives and even helps solve the case.
Races along at breakneck speed ... Gardner provides eccentric characters, complex motives, and—as always—a delicately nuanced presentation of the special relationship between Perry and his faithful secretary, Della Street. Notwithstanding a few references to 'Japs,' this reissue in the American Mystery Classics series will appeal to a new generation of readers.
No one has ever matched Gardner for swift, sure exposition, and this vintage case shows America’s lawyer taking on a delightfully unexpected role. There's strong supporting work by the eponymous kitten, to boot.