- Summaries (3)
When a Matisse painting is stolen from a museum, the finger is pointed at an assistant in the museum whose boyfriend is an artist as well as his estranged wife. The wife tries to blackmail the museum owner but is murdered after a fight.
At the Harkens Gallery, Sylvester Robey wishes to see Richard Harkens about a Matisse hanging in the gallery. Amelia Harkens, Richard's mother who owns the gallery, is incensed to see that the painting is a forgery and blames Richard's assistant, June Sinclair, and master copyist David Lambert of collusion. June and David are in love and ask Perry Mason to intercede with Amelia. David quarrels with his wife Liza, who paints cherubs, over their impending divorce and whether he should also paint commercially viable cherubs. Liza tries to extort money from Amelia in return for the genuine Matisse. Later, June confronts Liza and they struggle until Liza pulls a gun and forces June to retreat. As she leaves, June hears Liza scream and shots fired. She finds Liza dead, calls Perry Mason and flees the scene. Perry discovers Liza's body, the police arrive, and Perry clams up until he can talk to his client. June is arrested and Perry has to go to work.
Perry Mason delves into the world of art forgery when he represents June Sinclair who is accused of murdering Liza Carson Lambert. June worked at a museum as assistant to the director, Richard Harkens. They've only just been informed by art gallery owner Sylvester Robey that their recently acquired Matisse painting is a forgery. Harkens' domineering mother Amelia - the real power behind the museum - is convinced the real Matisse was stolen by June and her boyfriend, artist David Lambert, who were in the gallery late the previous evening. David and Liza were in the process of getting a divorce and when she learns about the Matisse, Liza approaches Mrs. Harkens offering to arrange for the painting's return. When she is found dead, June finds herself in jail. Perry soon figures out what is going on and attends an art auction to acquire the evidence that will set his client free.
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