Life has been unkind to Carla Chaney, in part because of her own poor choices. So when she's charged with murder, it surprises no one. And when she drives three lawyers away, a judge asks Perry to help her. He agrees, but the case will tax his skill, for Carla trusts no one and her claim that someone else, someone with a shrill and sinister laugh, was also present is thin - and gets thinner when she identifies the person.
On a lark, businesswoman Pat Kean goes to see a psychic, and amazingly, the psychic's predictions come to pass. Ignoring the seer's cryptic assertion that she would "wear white and then black" Pat marries her boss Max Armstead. But then Max dies, poisoned by digitalis, and with his dying words assures Lieutenant Drumm and Perry that Pat was his murderer. Charged with first degree murder, Pat now depends on Perry to restore her freedom.
Claire Armstrong has a booming candy business but life is not sweet. Her boyfriend Mark has stolen her candy recipe and the sinister Harry Arnold is blackmailing her! When Harry turns up dead, Claire's cousin Wanda, who wants to get her sticky fingers into Claire's candy empire, frames Claire for the crime!
In the midst of a celebration, Van Fowler murders Stuart Logan, a professor at Perry's alma mater. Perry doesn't think the case is as cut-and-dried as the police do, and defends Fowler.
Perry rescues the beautiful Diana Carter from a watery grave, so who does she turn to when first charged with grand larceny, and then with murdering Addison Powell? Perry and Paul both have their work cut out for them, for Davy Jones holds the key to this one.
Safeline Insurance, noting an increase in heart attacks among its insured, hired Perry to look into the matter. Perry sends Paul Drake in undercover. But after Perry badgers a man into a fatal heart attack, the attorney himself comes under suspicion. Perry must prove the man was poisoned.
After a computer dating service matches Lucas Tolliver with Millie Barton, Lucas comes to California as a penniless hick. But rich Millie agrees to marry him anyway. Perry smells a rat and discovers, with Paul's help, that Lucas is very rich - and that he inherited money when his previous wife died after eating a poisonous plant. So when Millie dies after drinking poisonous lemonade that Lucas server her, the police come to the obvious conclusion. Fortunately for Lucas, Perry once again rejects the easy answer.
Burt Payne owns ten percent of the Wildcats, a professional football team. To raise cash, he tries to sell his share, but the majority owner, his wife Ellen, opposes the deal. She meets with one of the possible buyers, and shortly after that Burt dies in an explosion. Perry and Paul must literally chase down the facts to free their client Ellen.
Perry manages to earn an acquittal for Louise Selff for the murder of her husband, because the body disappeared! Then Louise begins to see her dead husband - at a seance, on the telephone... Soon enough the truth comes out - Jamison Selff faked his death! And then someone decides they liked him better dead, and Louise finds herself at the defendant's table a second time for the same crime!
Pappy Ryan builds race cars. When test driver Pete Griston wrecks one of Ryan's cars, Ryan works himself into a towering rage and accuses Griston and Harvey Rettig of causing the crash on purpose. Then Rettig dies and authorities discover a groggy Griston at the scene. Digging, they discover Griston signed for a large loan Rettig took out with a shark - according to Burger, motive enough to slam the cell door on Griston for good!
Sergeant Dave Wolfe warned Joe Oliver to steer clear of his sister. Someone beats up Susan and shoots Joe - and it looks like Dave Wolfe is that man. All he can manage is the "mysterious man defense" - someone hit him over the head and used his gun on Joe. Perry discovers six people heard Susan's cries and none of them tried to help. He'll have to figure out why to clear his client.
Soviet agents contact physicist Hans Ritter and offer him his six-year-old granddaughter, currently living in an East German orphanage. If Ritter comes to work for him, the Soviets will release little Elke to Ritter's wife Emma. Perry agrees to negotiate the deal, but Ritter jumps the gun, forcing Perry, Della, and Paul to follow him behind the Iron Curtain and right into a murder trial: East German police accuse Emma of murdering a man named Franz Hoffer. Perry must defend her in a court where the usual rules of fairness don't apply!
Tryon Laboratories hires Paul Drake to protect its discoveries, but an industrial spy still manages to pierce their security. So Drake is very relieved when Tryon employee Horace Leigh calls claiming to know the identity of the spy. And then Drake is very unhappy, for when he arrives at Tryon he discovers Leigh dead and floating. Did Dr. Meade kill him, as the police think? Or someone else? One thing Drake is sure of: Perry Mason will get to the bottom of it.
Victor Montalvo owns the Golden Bear Club. One night, he gives a young woman named Debbie Conrad a ride, only to be surprised to later see her working as one his sexy waitresses! The surprises build when Debbie tries to blackmail her boss, who reluctantly decides to pay her off. But then Vic's partner Stacey Garnett dies and the police like Victor for it. To secure an acquittal, Perry will have to extract testimony from Debbie Conrad...
Tony Polk lands a television job on the "Bad Buccaneer" show despite his criminal past. Part of that job involves taking gifts to the homes of viewers. Tony trades lists with another actor and the trouble begins. A woman dies, killed by the hook that's part of Tony's costume, and a witness claims he fought with the woman. Add in his criminal past and the case seems open and shut. But nothing around Perry Mason is ever open and shut.
Barney Austin burns up the airwaves. One night, he gets a message to call his boss Kevin Steele. While they speak on the air, the audience hears Kevin argue with someone, and then hears two gunshots. Someone has murdered Steele on live radio, and the prosecution believes it is Holly Andrews, and plans to prove it with Perry's help.
Dr. Stacey Fielding must travel to Salt Lake City on business. He flies himself, but the plane crashes and tests of the body confirm barbiturate poisoning. The police arrest Miriam Fielding, since the last thing her husband drank was whiskey from a flask she provided. But Perry earns an acquittal. And then authorities learn the body recovered from the wreckage is actually that of Al Dolby, the plane's mechanic, raising the question of what, exactly, happened to the doctor...
Chick Farley, local golf pro, mixes his days between giving lessons and living off his rich wife's past glories. For variety, he mixes in a little blackmail. Then he discovers someone has been stealing from the club's pro shop. Fortunately, he knows a club member - Hamilton Burger - who is an officer of the court. Unfortunately, someone else knows how to use a golf club for more than hitting golf balls. The police think Chick Farley's assistant Jim Farrell arranged the meeting between golf club and pro's head, but Perry disagrees.
Francis Clune can't catch a break. Forgers replace the art pieces en route to his gallery. His girlfriend Bobbi is kidnapped and then struck by a car. And THEN the police arrest them both on a pair of murder charges. It will take the skills of Perry and Paul Drake both to unknot this one, and even these seasoned pros will come up against the unexpected.
Musician Donald Hobert enjoys the largess of Elaine Baylor, wife of Richard Bayler. A blackmailer wants $10,000 or he'll tell the work Elaine's doing more than just supporting the arts financially. When she and Donald drive to a remote place to deliver the money, someone shoots her in cold blood! First the sheriff arrests Donald, and then his girlfriend Cynthia.
Thieves strip Perry's car to the frame. It seems that a modern day Fagin runs a gang of teenagers who strip cars. But Perry might have a lever, if he can convince Lennie Beale, who wants out of the gang, to testify against them. Then Lennie's boss shoots Lennie's girlfriend and Lennie, apparently in retaliation, stabs the man. Before he can do anything else, Perry will have to win the young hoodlum an acquittal.
Clete Hawley brings Sandy Chester over from England with an eye towards making another British megastar. Trouble is, Sandy's just not that talented. Worse, when someone kills Clete, the police think Sandy's their man, and unless Perry can prove otherwise, Sandy won't be going home for a long time to come...
Gerald van Ness is shocked when a tiara worth three quarters of a million dollars, and thought lost, surfaces in his possession. But his surprises are just beginning: someone delivers a truck to Perry and Della, and it contains the body of Nils Dorow, top tier jewel thief. Perhaps its natural that the police assume van Ness killed Dorow, but Perry intends to prove otherwise...
Bruce Strickland leaves Ethel Andrews at the altar and arranges for her to take the fall for a $50,000 securities theft. She flees town and runs into - almost literally - Peggy Sutton who is in trouble herself. They switch identities and then Peggy dies and Ethel finds $50,000 in the truck of the car. She goes to Perry for help, and then someone kills Bruce Strickland. Poor Ethel - even Perry will have to work hard to unknot this one.
When someone murders Jerome Klee, there's no shortage of suspects, because Klee had a knack for making enemies. But the police settle on Allen Winford, his foreman, with whom he'd recently argued. To clear Winford, Perry will have to identify the murderer from among a rich array of candidates.
Perry loses a civil case when the opposing counsel successfully suggests that Perry paid off a witness! But who? Before Otis Swanson can benefit from his victory, someone murders him, and the police suspect Perry's client Barbara Kramer.
Model Sharon Carmody very much wants to be the "White Snow Queen" who will pitch the product. Alas, she is not as pure as white snow, and someone knows it. It seems fortunate for her when someone kills the blackmailer - until her boyfriend confesses to Perry that he struck the fatal blow. The police arrest a vagrant, and torn by conscience, Perry wins him an acquittal. But the question remains: just what did happen that night, and how did the blackmailer die?
In a corrupt town, Roger Brandon intends change: he will accept a position at the head of an anti-crime commission to shut down the rackets. Racketeer George Emory has other ideas. He claims possession of evidence against Brandon's wife that he will use to smear her name unless Brandon refuses the appointment. Brandon calls the crime boss's bluff. Then someone murders Emory and builds a nice frame around Brandon into the bargain. Or is it a frame? The police certainly don't think so...
Danny Shine ruins lives for a living. As a gossip columnist, that's his job, or so he thinks. The person who puts a bullet in him evidently holds a different opinion. The police like Greg Stanley, Shine's assistant, for this murder. Stanley might have an alibi, but it's a man with a secret that will close his lips, even on the witness stand.
Barry Conrad, a nasty individual whose personality has richly endowed him with enemies, finally meets his end. Mason manages to see Jackson Sidemark acquitted - and then Sidemark dies. Did Winnifred Glover kill him? Both of them? Or was it someone else entirely?