In three cases--a millionaire who writes his own death warrant, a dog who becomes a killer's worst enemy, and an answering service which refuses to talk about a murder--three witnesses hold the solution for detective Rex Stout. Reissue.
"A Window for Death" - a.k.a. "Nero Wolfe and the Vanishing Clue". No relation to "Door to Death". Two members of the Fyfe family, father and son Bertram, 20 years apart, died of pneumonia - but it seems to have been murder in both cases, since a window was deliberately left open each time to sabotage the patient's recovery. But Bertram Fyfe died with a half-share in a big uranium strike - which now reverts to his young partner Johnny Arrow rather than his family. Arrow, his executor as well as his friend, says that Fyfe had returned to New York because something was eating him from his past, andnot just a desire to reconcile with the relatives who nearly pinned his father's murder on him. The family wants Fyfe's death investigated, some with an eye on the lion's share that went to Arrow, but Arrow has an ironclad alibi. The 'vanishing clue' mentioned in the alternate title is the key to discovering what really happened, if the reader can deduce its existence. Wolfe handles the final confrontation by dictating a letter to Cramer in front of the suspects - Cramer himself doesn't appear.
"Immune to Murder" - Adapted for A&E's 2nd Nero Wolfe season. Ambassador Kelefy, whose country is being courted for favors by the U.S., has eaten Wolfe's recipes at restaurants all over the world, and Asst. Secretary of State David Leeson has persuaded Wolfe (against Archie's counter-efforts, who has to put up with Wolfe grousing about imaginary lumbago after the long drive) to visit O.V. Bragan's fishing lodge in River Bend and cook brook trout for his country. When Archie joins in the trout-fishing efforts, he hooks not only a granddaddy fish, but the body of David Leeson.Read more ›
"The Next Witness" - (Adapted for _Nero Wolfe_'s 2nd season.) Wolfe makes a point of never leaving home on business, but alas, subpoenas are an occupational hazard for private investigators, and even Wolfe can't always shuffle them off onto Archie, even when the defendant never made it to the status of client.
Wolfe didn't deliver Leonard Ashe to the law; he rejected Ashe as a client because he won't touch marital squabbles. Ashe is being tried for the murder of one of the operators of his telephone answering service, apparently after a failed attempt to bribe her to tap his wife's calls. Wolfe, after hearing the testimony of preceding witnesses, skips out on the subpoena, taking Archie along, having become convinced that Ashe is innocent, though he doesn't at first explain why. See if you can deduce his reasons before the grand finale.
When Wolfe finally does take the stand quite a while later (now, of course, facing contempt of court), he has a diabolically clever plan to get his new evidence before the jury. Enjoy.
When a Man Murders... - Sydney Karnow had wealth, a sardonic sense of humor, a nice wife, and a pack of sponging relatives. A year after his marriage, he volunteered for army service in the Korean War, and was reported dead within a year, leaving his fortune divided between his wife (50%) and the spongers (50% divided 3 ways), so all were well provided for if not filthy rich.
Now, 3 years later, he's come back *alive* - two years after Caroline's remarriage to Paul Aubry.Read more ›