A symphony is playing on our local APR station. Sounds like Beethoven. My mistake. It's Brahms Symphony Number Four performed here by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by George Solti. Ah, that brings back the memories. When I was a graduate student at Roosevelt University, I would buy canceled tickets to see performances at Orchestra Hall (now the Chicago Symphony Center) an hour or two before a performance. It was great; the tickets were for ten dollars back then and sometimes I got a front row center seat, like the time I got to hear Radu Lupu perform Liszt's Symphonic Variations (it's not Radu Lupu on this link; I couldn't find a recording of him performing them). Other times I got a seat behind a pole, so it was luck of the draw, although usually I could move after intermission.
I've opened the windows of my house because, even though it is slightly chilly and wet outside, the breeze is freshening up my house and keeping it pleasantly cool. I put my guinea pigs outside just to give them some air. Even though the ground is a little wet, the clover is green and they enjoy nibbling on it. They need a bath anyway.
The Case of the Empty Tin by Erle Stanley Gardner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The perfect book for a rainy day weekend, which this last weekend was. I curled up in my favorite chair next to the French Doors with a perfect view of the rain coming down in the backyard, making the lawn green.
Florence Gentrie is a loving, doting mother and a conscientious manager of household affairs. In the middle of the night she hears a shot. Worried, she investigates. She looks in the cellar and around the house but sees nothing amiss. Well, one thing is amiss and it really bothers her (anything not in order really bothers her). Among her rows of canned preserves is a tin that doesn't belong there. She picks it up and is surprised to find it is empty, even though it is sealed. Puzzled, she leaves the tin and moves on.
She checks on her son, Junior, who should be back from work, but when she gets to his bedroom, he's not there. Troubled, she goes back to bed.
Perry Mason is pouring over legal books preparing for a case when his secretary, Della Street, tells him a young man wants him to come with him, because his rich uncle wants to talk with him over an incident.
The old man, Elston A. Kaar, is wheelchair bound. He tells Perry that he heard a shot in the apartment below and he doesn't know what happened. He isn't concerned about what happened, he just wants the whole thing to be kept quiet because he is keeping a low profile and doesn't want the publicity.
Incidentally, Kaar lives next door to Mrs. Gentrie.
The man, a Mr. Hocksley, who lives beneath Kaar has subsequently disappeared.
What has this got to do with the empty tin? Has Hocksley been murdered? Has he murdered someone? Why does Kaar wish to avoid publicity? Is there a connection between Kaar, Hocksley, and the Gentrie household?
I'm not going to tell you because I don't want to ruin the story.
This so far is my favorite Mason novel. The facts of the case are measured out spoonful by spoonful. Just enough to give you a good appetite for what is happening. The story builds up nicely, keeping the reader's curiosity whetted leading into a satisfactory conclusion.
I recommend it as a good, cozy read.
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Question for you: what did you read this past week that you really enjoyed?