The Case of the Backward Mule

The Case of the Backward Mule

by Erle Stanley Gardner

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Erle Stanley Gardner - The Case of the Backward Mule (1946), a Terry Clane mystery.

Note: this edition is very slightly bowdlerized, but the character of the story remains as it was in 1946.

Killer or not -- she had it coming!
Terry Clane and Cynthia Renton went to the warehouse that night because of an urgent call from Edward Harold. They found a man lying on the floor, a bullet through his head.
The police were already looking for Cynthia so Terry got her out before reporting the murder. And when Inspector Malloy arrived and questioned him, Terry insisted that he had come alone, by taxi.
"Sure you didn't carry anything with you that belonged to a woman?"
"Certainly not."
One of Malloy's men handed him a black handbag. It was Cynthia's.
"Now Clane," Inspector Malloy said, "the driving license in here is in the name of Cynthia Renton. And there's $2500 in bills. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"

Cynthia Renton's fiancé Edward has temporarily escaped his fate in the gas chamber, a fate handed down for the murder of one Horace Farnsworth. Cynthia also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Terry Clane, which is a very good thing. Terry is convinced that Edward is innocent of the crime, and with the help of several Chinese friends, evades the police while conducting his own investigation into the murder.

"The master has done it again! A plot that never lets down from beginning to end, human and fascinating characters, a story told with authentic punch. Terry Clane, a quiet fellow, just back from China where he has been working on a secret government mission, runs into murder when he walks into San Francisco. Whisked straight to the police, he puts to use the result of his experiences in the Orient in order to beat the lie detector. It's certainly excellent mystery fare."—Montreal Gazette

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014868327
Publisher: Arsenical
Publication date: 08/12/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 438,900
File size: 979 KB

About the Author

After more than forty years since his passing, Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) remains one of the most respected and best-loved authors of mystery and detective fiction. Of his 82 novels, he wrote the majority for his two primary series, Perry Mason and Cool and Lam. In 1963 he received the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America for lifetime achievement in the genre.

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The Case of the Backward Mule 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
studio139 More than 1 year ago
This is actually quite well written, surprisingly so for Erle Stanley Gardner,  which is not meant as a criticism exactly, but normally his dialog and plots are the strong point of his books and his prose style is typically a bit stilted.  However this is a taut, well paced story with good characters (Not a Perry Mason story), good dialog and interesting locations.  It gave me new respect for the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago