Demure Ellen Carter works at a relative's bookstore. When a book is found missing, he fires Ellen who is concerned she might be arrested. During a visit with him, Perry notices a first edition. When the owner is murdered, Ellen is charged.
Ellen Carter is fired by her employer, Joseph Kraft, when a rare book in the second hand book shop where she works goes missing. Although she is sure the book was marked at $8, Kraft blurts out that is was valued at $8000. Adding to her woes, her brother's gambling habit got him fired earlier plus he borrowed money from Ellen. Kraft is involved with Pearl Chute and others in a ring to steal expensive first editions. Pearl decides to bring her friend, Gene Torg, in to work with her. Along with her friend, Pete Norland, Ellen asks Perry Mason to look into the case for her as she is afraid Kraft may press charges. Perry visits the shop and recognizes the small-time con man Gene Torg in Kraft's office with the expensive first edition book that was missing. When Kraft is later found dead in an apparently locked room, Ellen is charged with his murder but Perry uncovers the theft of various precious first edition books from local libraries and believes Kraft may have been killed by someone ...Written by
The MacGuffin for this episode is a "First Edition" Tristram Shandy, by [ Laurence] Sterne. The interesting literary tidbit is that Tristram Shandy was published in nine volumes, over a number of years. The volume referred to is never mentioned. Either the author of the episode was only familiar with a modern reprint, or was enjoying a subtle joke at the audience's expense. See more »
Woodrow Parfey is listed as playing the character George Pickson. He introduces himself as Herbert Pickson, chief clerk. See more »
[to bookstore clerk]
Miss Carter, these I'm taking. Three twenty-fives, one fifty, and two one dollar ones. Even Einstein would have to admit that's three dollars and a quarter.
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To begin the sixth season, we have a classic Mason mystery that is interesting and entertaining. In this show we get a look at the art of used books and how people abuse the system for profit. Which is a different type of plot with different techniques used by Perry to defend his client.
Ellen Carter is working at a used book store that is owned by an task-master named Joseph Kraft. Mr Kraft has been taking later editions of books and then have people manipulate the books so that they can be offered as first editions. This is highly profitable since some books bring in thousands of dollars.
When one of the books that was going to be manipulated is stolen, Mr Kraft fires Ellen Carter. When the whereabouts of the book is found, Perry helps Ellen get her job back. But the next day Mr Kraft is killed and the only evidence points to Ellen as the murderer.
With a host of seedy characters and some nice detective work, Perry is able to cross-examine suspects until the true killer is found. Even though the killer may not be your first guess, by the end of the show all the questions will be answered.
Nice way to start season six.
NOTE- First episode to feature a different opening. Beginning with this episode, when the introductions are made Perry is along in the courtroom sitting at the desk. He then reads something in a folder and smiles. Then the introductions and cast members of the show begins.
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