Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Lavender Lipstick 

At Caress Cosmetics, Max Pompey fires Karen Lewis for allegedly selling new formulas to competitor Gabe Rawson. Karen goes missing and her boyfriend, Peter Nichols, consults Perry Mason. She may be hiding something from her childhood.


James Sheldon


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Jonathan Latimer

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
Joe Maross ... A.D.A. Ernest Helming
Patricia Breslin ... Karen Lewis (as Pat Breslin)
John Lupton ... Peter Nichols
Rita Lynn Rita Lynn ... Myra Heston
Dabbs Greer ... Charles Knudsen
Whit Bissell ... Max Pompey
James Bell ... Silas Vance
Walter Coy ... Gabe Rawson
Nelson Leigh ... Judge John Davis
Betty Farrington Betty Farrington ... Woman
George E. Stone ... Court Clerk


Karen Lewis is fired by her boss Max Pompey at Caress Cosmetics for selling company secrets to a rival cosmetics firm headed by Gabe Rawson. Pompey found copies of several of the company's formulas in her desk along with a bank book showing two recent and very large deposits to her bank account. After Karen rejects his advances, she leaves and disappears. Her boyfriend who also works at Caress, contacts Perry Mason to help find her letting Mason know that she seems to be hiding something from her childhood. When Caress president Silas Vance hears of the firing, he overrules Pompey and tells Karen to return to her position in the lab. When she does, she finds the night watchman, Charles Knudsen, unconscious and Vance shot dead in his office. More ominously, they also find a partial note written by Vance that seems to point to Karen as the killer. Many of those involved have secrets they would prefer not to reveal and Perry Mason agrees to defend Karen against a charge of murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

15 October 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The car registration for Karen Lewis gives her address as 1040 N. Las Palmas, which was the address of Hollywood General Studios, where the show was then filmed. See more »


The murderer's shadow falls on a pane of frosted glass just before he commits the murder at his own workplace. The murderer is not wearing a hat that's a normal part of his working attire; this appears to be a deliberate and unfair attempt to keep the audience from guessing the murderer's identity. See more »


[first lines]
Peter Nichols: Formula 331. It's about time we had a little luck.
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User Reviews

Never lived up to its potential
18 June 2012 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

After watching the first few episodes of season four, this one came with high expectations. Even though the acting was excellent and the plot was one of interest, it had so many unusual coincidence that the writers had to quickly explain them during the very end of the show.

Karen Lewis is working for Caress Cosmetics when some secret formulas are leaked to the rival competition owned by Gabe Rawson. When Max Pampey, Caress's superintendent, discovers evidence leading to Karen's guilt, it sets off a series of events that someone is trying to frame Karen for the thefts.

When the owner of Caress, Silas Vance, is found murdered- even more evidence is found linking Karen to the theft and also the murder. This is where Perry takes the case and will defend Karen in court for the charge of murder.

This begins the odd coincidences, as it seems that everyone at Caress Cosmetics has some type of relationship with the rival owner Gabe Rawson. Some employees of Caress worked, dated or even steamed with the arch rival Mr Rawson. -- And even more bizarre is that we are taken back many years to a death in a New York prison to explain why Karen will now become the heiress to the entire Caress Cosmetic Company- if Perry can get her off the murder charge.

This really was not a poor episode but the potential that this story had- left much to be desired when the credits began to roll. This also goes to prove that a great guest cast can sometimes lead to a middle-of-the-pack show.

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