Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Irate Inventor 

Inventor James Frazer thinks his wife Thelma is having an affair, so he leaves for three months to work on his anti-collision device. James returns home to find his locked workshop in flames and Thelma dead inside of a gunshot.


Gerald Mayer


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Marianne Mosner | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
Thomas Coley Thomas Coley ... James Frazer (as Tom Coley)
Kasey Rogers ... Lois Langley
Ken Lynch ... Robert Hayden
Manning Ross Manning Ross ... Calvin Boone
Cece Whitney Cece Whitney ... Thelma Frazer (as Ce Ce Whitney)
Douglas Odney Douglas Odney ... Arthur Hayden (as Doug Odney)
Barry Cahill Barry Cahill ... Sgt. M. Quimby
Kenneth MacDonald ... Judge (as Kenneth R. MacDonald)
Gertrude Flynn ... Mrs. Nicholas
Arthur Peterson ... Sorrell


After inventor James Frazer tells his wife Thelma who is visiting his lab he knows she is cheating, he disappears for nearly three months. Thelma asks her friend Lois Langley to join her on a day out but first stops at her husband's business to visit some co-workers which Lois notices through the windows. James' business partners, Robert and Arthur Hayden, decide to exercise a buyout clause in their business agreement so Thelma Frazer, who has had no contact with her husband, consults Perry Mason. As it happens, James returns only to find his workshop ablaze and Thelma's dead body inside. He's charged with murder and Perry takes on his defense. James was working on an aircraft anti-collision device and had gone away so as to complete his work. It had also become obvious to him that someone had access to his workshop and suspected that someone was stealing his ideas. Not surprisingly Thelma's lover, Calvin Boone, had also produced an anti-collision device that is virtually identical to... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery



Did You Know?


This episode marked the return of William Talman in the role of Mason's nemesis D.A. Hamilton Burger - he had been fired from the series following his arrest on a morals charge. Both Raymond Burr and the series' executive producer Gail Patrick Jackson had intervened with CBS, which produced Perry Mason, to argue for Talman's return. See more »


During the initial courtroom scene at about 33:26 Della is wearing one outfit with a brooch on her left shoulder. At about 34:50, during the same courtroom scene, she's wearing a completely different outfit minus the brooch. Her hair also appears straighter/less curly than it was with the first outfit. Later, at about 35:16 (again same courtroom scene), she's back in the original dress shown at the beginning of the scene with the brooch on the left shoulder and the curlier hair. See more »


[first lines]
Thelma Frazer: You're home early.
Thelma Frazer: Where are you going?
James Frazer: Where have you been all afternoon, Thelma?
Thelma Frazer: I had lunch with Lois. I told you.
James Frazer: You didn't have lunch with her.
See more »

User Reviews

Legal Dexterity
10 October 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Thomas Coley plays the title character in this Perry Mason episode, a man who is guarding his invention rather closely though a pair of brothers he's in partnership with. It's his wife CeCe Whitney is the one who winds up dead, her body found in a burning house. Then it's Coley who needs Raymond Burr to defend him against a murder charge.

This is an episode where Perry Mason shows his legal dexterity in more than just criminal law. To protect Coley's invention he has him sell his rights for the sum of $1.00 to another party, that being one Della Street. Those two brothers were not happy with having Barbara Hale as a partner.

One of the best Mason episodes, don't miss it if you're a fan or not.

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Release Date:

28 May 1960 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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