This edition now boasts "As Seen on TV!" on its cover, alluding to the fact that 1 (so far) of the 4 short stories herein has been adapted by A&E. Since 3 of the 4 are set during major holidays, Jane Haddam (author of the Gregor Demarkian holiday mysteries) was selected to write the forward. Apart from her forward and the afterward, the book is pure Stout, set after both _Black Orchids_ and _The Black Mountain_.
All four are murder investigations. The Ingram editorial review incorrectly implies that the killings were committed by 1 person - they're not. The cases are unrelated, and are only grouped in one volume because of a common holiday theme.
"Christmas Party" - The A&E adaptation is faithful to the story. Archie, having arranged for a day off, receives brusque instructions to cancel his plans and drive Wolfe out to Mr. Hewitt's for a special orchid powwow. He whips out a marriage license (!), with the news that he must attend his fiancee's office Christmas party that day. You've _got_ to read this one, if only for Wolfe's reaction to this. :)
"Easter Parade" - Rumor (via his gardener) has it that Millard Bynoe has bred a pink Vanda, but he refuses to admit it or display it before his wife wears a blossom for the Easter parade. Wolfe, giving in to acute orchid envy, has Archie arrange for a petty thief to steal it under cover of parade photographers. Unfortunately, that's the day that someone poisons Mrs. Bynoe, apparently with a dart shot from a fake camera.
When originally published in a magazine, the photos referred to in the text were provided in color as clues. The old hardcover edition of the book provided them in B&W; this edition omits them altogether. It's a pity, but does not detract from the story.
"Fourth of July Picnic" - Wolfe never leaves the brownstone on business; his friend Marko Vukcic (and by extension, his restaurant, Rusterman's) is associated with most of the things that can get him out. He has agreed to give a speech at the annual picnic of the Restaurant Workers of America, if they'll stop harassing Fritz to join their union.
"Murder is No Joke" - A different version of this story appears in _Death Times Three_.