"Kill Now, Pay Later" - Pete Vassos, roving shoeshine guy, regularly visits the brownstone. On this occasion, he left the offices of Mercer's Bobbins early, since Dennis Ashby (one of his regular customers) had just fallen to his death from a window. After a brief interlude as a suspect (Ashby was attempting to seduce Pete's daughter Elma, a stenographer with the company), Pete is found murdered, and Elma hires Wolfe to investigate. The fee is low, but the Vassos family hero-worships him.
The title quote is a comment made by Joan Ashby in the style of her late husband's favorite advertisements; he was a womanizer and deep in debt, although he'd saved the company from disintegration. Some of Wolfe's ploys include having his client as a guest in the South Room, and arranging for her to sue several suspects plus Cramer (!) for defamation.
"Murder Is Corny"- Adapted for A&E's 2nd Nero Wolfe season. Wolfe starts this case in a bad mood - farmer Duncan McLeod's specially picked guaranteed fresh corn-on-the-cob shipment (one every Tuesday in season) didn't show up in time for dinner. When Cramer appears at the door later that evening with the missing crate, they learn that Ken Faber has been found murdered in the alley behind Rusterman's while delivering their corn (Wolfe's still trustee). Naturally, they unloaded the corn before calling the cops. Cramer leaves with Archie in custody as a material witness - Faber had been spreading rumors about Susan's chastity, and Archie's now implicated in the murder by various lies told to the cops.Read more ›