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Triple Jeopardy [Paperback]

Rex Stout
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 2 1995
Nero Wolfe applies his detection skills to crack the case of a poisoned health nut, the death of a policeman in a barber shop, and a comic killer who makes a joke out of murder. Reissue. NYT.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poison, stabbing, and shooting April 14 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The 3 short stories herein first appeared in 1951 - 1952. The Korean War was underway, and the worst congressional witch-hunts for communists were going strong, McCarthy's among them.
"Home to Roost" (a.k.a. "Nero Wolfe and the Communist Killer") - Mrs. and Mr. Benjamin Rackell (he's not a wimp, but she keeps interrupting and does most of the talking) want to hire Wolfe to investigate the poisoning of their nephew, Arthur. We get the background of the murder as they explain it to Wolfe before he accepts the case, along with an impression of both characters as they tell it. She annoys Wolfe, being an interrupter and a cliché-tosser.
Arthur appeared on the surface to be a communist, but defended himself to his aunt by claiming to be an undercover FBI agent. Did someone kill him because they thought he was a communist, or because he wasn't? And which was he, anyway?
"The Cop-Killer" - Adapted for A&E's 2nd Nero Wolfe season. Archie shot his mouth off about his skills as a detective once too often in the Goldenrod Barbershop that both he and Wolfe patronize. Carl and Tina Vardas (the hat-check guy and the manicurist), as illegal immigrants who escaped a Russian concentration camp, panicked and fled when a policeman came to the shop, and have come to Archie for help.
By the time Archie gets to the shop, Jake Wallen, who was chasing a lead on a hit-and-run driver, has been stabbed through the heart with a long pair of scissors in Tina's manicure booth, and Purley's on the scene. Wolfe and Archie have to open this one up fast, before Manhattan homicide finds out they've been shielding suspects in a cop-killing, or their professional lives are over.
"The Squirt and the Monkey" - Harry Koven, creator of the comic strip Dazzle Dan, wants to find out who stole his Marley .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Three Short-Form Nerro Wolfe Tales in One Volume April 26 2011
By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Another volume in the ongoing Nero Wolfe series, "Triple Jeopardy," by Rex Stout, is a collection of three novellas from 1951-1952. In "Home to Roost," the uncle and aunt of a murdered Communist asks Nero Wolfe to look into their nephew's death; the aunt is particularly troubled because her nephew had recently told her that, rather than being a true Communist, he was actually working for the FBI after infiltrating a local Communist cell. She worries that this fact is the cause of the murder, but there are only five possible suspects because of the circumstances of the death. Or perhaps there are more suspects than that.... "The Cop-Killer" features an Eastern European couple who are illegal aliens in the US and who are wanted by the police after another police officer was found murdered at the barber shop where they both worked; they come to Nero with an offer of $50 if he will only tell them how they might safely leave New York City and get to the country. Since Wolfe has fed the couple before learning that they might be murderers, his pride demands that he get to the truth of the matter, as he has never offered a meal to a murderer and doesn't intend to start now... And in "The Squirt and the Monkey," a rich and successful comic book writer asks Archie to visit his home in order to determine who in his group of artists, managers and relatives might have stolen his gun; Archie has the same make of gun and the idea is to jolt the truth from the company by displaying that gun in the accustomed place, because obviously one person knows that it cannot possibly be the same gun after all. Things go awry when one of the group turns up dead, and all signs point to Archie, and his gun, as the killer.... As always, a pleasure to read, although the first two are a bit thin, I thought. I thoroughly enjoyed the last story, however, particularly the idea that someone could have the audacity to try to frame Archie and get away with it, when Nero Wolfe is on the case! Recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poison, stabbing, and shooting April 14 2002
By Michele L. Worley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The 3 short stories herein first appeared in 1951 - 1952. The Korean War was underway, and the worst congressional witch-hunts for communists were going strong, McCarthy's among them.
"Home to Roost" (a.k.a. "Nero Wolfe and the Communist Killer") - Mrs. and Mr. Benjamin Rackell (he's not a wimp, but she keeps interrupting and does most of the talking) want to hire Wolfe to investigate the poisoning of their nephew, Arthur. We get the background of the murder as they explain it to Wolfe before he accepts the case, along with an impression of both characters as they tell it. She annoys Wolfe, being an interrupter and a cliché-tosser.
Arthur appeared on the surface to be a communist, but defended himself to his aunt by claiming to be an undercover FBI agent. Did someone kill him because they thought he was a communist, or because he wasn't? And which was he, anyway?
"The Cop-Killer" - Adapted for A&E's 2nd Nero Wolfe season. Archie shot his mouth off about his skills as a detective once too often in the Goldenrod Barbershop that both he and Wolfe patronize. Carl and Tina Vardas (the hat-check guy and the manicurist), as illegal immigrants who escaped a Russian concentration camp, panicked and fled when a policeman came to the shop, and have come to Archie for help.
By the time Archie gets to the shop, Jake Wallen, who was chasing a lead on a hit-and-run driver, has been stabbed through the heart with a long pair of scissors in Tina's manicure booth, and Purley's on the scene. Wolfe and Archie have to open this one up fast, before Manhattan homicide finds out they've been shielding suspects in a cop-killing, or their professional lives are over.
"The Squirt and the Monkey" - Harry Koven, creator of the comic strip Dazzle Dan, wants to find out who stole his Marley .32, but he doesn't want to hire Wolfe to do it; all he wants is to pay $100 for the loan of Archie's gun in a cockamamie scheme to find the thief himself. Naturally, somebody uses one of the guns to commit a murder at Koven's place: Adrian Getz, a.k.a. the Squirt, an annoying hanger-on who wielded an unexplained amount of influence over the strip. Worse, it's been made picturesque - the gun was left in the cage of Getz' pet monkey, who curled up around it to keep warm, and is now dying of exposure.
Wolfe's temper reaches epic levels in this one, as Archie becomes a suspect and their licenses are suspended. (Archie could say 'I told you so', but doesn't, which makes it worse). His leverage to get suspects to talk to him here is the threat of a sizable lawsuit to compensate for the loss of his living. There's an Ellery Queenesque feel to this one, especially in Wolfe's summation during the finale in the office, as he lists points of evidence and details how they promote or eliminate suspects.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mass Production Dec 14 2006
By John P Bernat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
These short stories are not among Stout's best, although they are eminently readable. Stout published these first in magazines, and then collected them into books like this one.

"Cop Killer," like "The Squirt and the Monkey," contains some really pulp-fiction cliches which were so widely read in the early 50s. These regreattably date the efforts without adding any asccertainable sharm.

However, "Home to Roost" is actually pretty good, managing to avoid the trap into which the other stories fell. So, instead of two stars, we average up to three...

Hopefully these will be released on CD or download soon; I'd love to hear Michael Prichard read them without paying fifty smackers for cassettes which have beomce increasingly unplayable...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Been reading Nero Wolfe,since Vietnam in 1970 Dec 2 2012
By Roger McGuyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Grown to loveall, the characters and their quirkiness. Stories,are mysteriously funny and dramatic at the same time. One of my all time,pieces of reading delight.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triple Jeopardy May 16 2012
By Shirley Cole - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's always good to visit with Archie and Nero! And now we can do it with Kindle! This is only one of many in the classic series detailing the explots of two of New Yorks most entertaining detectives. We don't read the books to see how the mystery is solved. We read them to spend some time with our old friend Archie and and our acquaintance Nero Wolfe.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad, But Not the Best April 27 2012
By Ohioan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Few of Stout's collection of his short stories are as good as his novels. It seems to me that there's always something artificial or forced in the plotting of the short stories: as if there's a word limit and the author just pushes the story along so it fits the limit. The one I liked the best was "The Cop-Killer," because I thought it it had the strongest plot, involving the barbershop that Archie and Nero frequent, two hit-and-run deaths, and the killing of a cop. This story had the strongest plot, and I enjoyed Nero's roundup of the suspects (in the barbershop, as he was being shaved).

The other two stories, "Home to Roost" and "The Squirt and the Monkey" are not bad: I would never call any Rex Stout story bad. These two stories are enjoyable only because they're about Nero and Archie, not because they're strong stories in and of themselves.
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