Although I've been trying to read the Nero Wolfe novels in chronological order, there are a few that have been hard to come by; "And Be A Villain," published in 1948, is one that I've had to read out of sequence. Not that much changes in terms of the main characters from one book to another, but author Rex Stout occasionally mentions a previously-solved case in passing, so I try to be aware of all the books that have gone before, if I can. In any event, this one involves a star female radio talk show host who has the misfortune of having one of her guests die, poisoned, on-air, and worse, the poison was placed in a soft drink that is a major sponsor of her show! Nero Wolfe, always having his self-comfort foremost in his mind, offers to work on the case for a hefty fee (he's just paid his taxes, and is feeling financially woebegone), but he soon finds that everybody connected to the case is lying to him. When another, seemingly unrelated murder occurs, other secrets begin to pile up, including a breath-takingly clever blackmail scheme and episodes from various people's past....As always, I enjoyed this taste of Nero Wolfe, although I must admit that his inherent sexism is a bit more heavy-handed in this story than in most. Still, that's a product of the times in which it was written, and with that in mind, I still found it intriguing and engaging enough to recommend it to all.