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The gun was fired close to Charles Childress’s head, and his were the only fingerprints on it, forcing the police to conclude that the author committed suicide. But his friends know this is impossible, because Childress loved himself far too much. He had just begun attracting fame, writing new mysteries starring the iconic Sergeant Barnstable, and he had bright hopes for the future. His publisher hires corpulent genius Nero Wolfe to determine who cut Childress’s career short, and the detective finds no dearth of suspects.
It wasn’t Nero Wolfe’s idea for Orrie Cather to kill himself, but the great detective gave his blessing to his longtime associate’s plan. Cather had killed three people, and it was only fair to pay the price. Though Wolfe reacted to Cather’s death with his characteristic calmness, prize assistant Archie Goodwin could see the rotund genius of West 35th Street was shaken to his well-fed core. Wolfe decided his sleuthing days were finished. The detective’s retirement lasts until the day Maria Radovich walks through his door.
Staten Island would be forgettable were it not for the gleaming Tabernacle of the Silver Spire, where thousands of congregants come every Sunday to hear the sermons of Barnabas Bay. Millions more tune in on television, giving the good Reverend international fame, and a chance to spread the gospel from New York City’s harbor all the way to South Korea. But threatening notes have been appearing in the collection bag, suggesting that one of the faithful has decided it’s time this good shepherd get the hook.
To save his favorite newspaper, Wolfe steps into the crossfire of a tabloid war. Scottish newspaper magnate Ian MacLaren plans to gut the paper and turn it into a sex-filled conservative rag. Standing in his way is the company’s chief shareholder, Gazette heir Harriet Haverhill. But when the aged Ms. Haverhill dies in an apparent suicide, no one remains to resist the Scot’s advances except Wolfe. MacLaren may be fierce, but when the cause is just, Nero Wolfe knows how to play dirty, too.
"Superb job! Nero and Archie are back!"
A conservative academic, so far to the right that he thought Ronald Reagan was a pinko, Hale Markham rules Prescott University like an intellectual tyrant - right up until the morning he is found dead at the bottom of one of Prescott’s famously beautiful ravines. Every liberal on campus hated the crotchety old crank, but which one is responsible for giving Markham his final push to the right?
When Lily Rowan doesn’t laugh at his jokes, Archie Goodwin knows something is wrong. Her niece Noreen has been running around with Sparky Linville, a club-hopping bad boy who is the terror of Manhattan nightlife. And the last time she went out with him, Noreen wasn’t herself when she came home. All she would tell her aunt was that she had been assaulted. Springing into action, Goodwin waits for Linville outside of Morgana’s, a chrome-and-glass palace that sits like a wart on Second Avenue. They nearly come to blows, but Linville’s bodyguard intervenes, and Goodwin retreats to plan his next move. In the morning Linville is dead, and Goodwin is the chief suspect.
Wolfe investigates a sticky matter of Cola Wars espionage. For the men of Madison Avenue, the battle between soft drink giants Cherr-o-key and AmeriCherry seems heaven-sent. For years now, the firm of Mills/Lake/Ryman has fought to help Cherr-o-key become the nation’s favorite fizzy cherry soda, but each time they come up with a new slogan, mascot, or jingle, AmeriCherry has beaten them to it. There is a mole inside the agency, and only Nero Wolfe can ferret him out. Although he is as round as a cherry, Wolfe has no taste for soft drinks. But the question of industrial espionage is too sweet for him to resist, and so with assistant Archie Goodwin at his side, he sets out to end this vicious corporate feud. Only when the first adman dies, however, does he realize that a marketing war can be just as dangerous as the real thing.
"Rex Stout was a genius"
Based on the famous detective created by Rex Stout, "The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe" stars Sydney Greenstreet as "the balkiest, bulkiest, smartest, and most unpredictable detective in the world... that brilliant eccentric private detective, orchid fancier and gargantuan gourmet." Nero Wolfe, armchair detective in the classic tradition, and Archie Goodwin, wisecracking hard-boiled investigator, shine in eight radio tales from this classic detective series first broadcast in 1950-1951.
"The original was better"
When someone makes a present of a fer-de-lance - the dreaded snake - to Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin knows he's close to solving two apparently unrelated murders. As for Wolfe, he's playing snake charmer in a case more deadly than a cobra and whistling a seductive tune he hopes will catch a killer with poison in his heart.
"One of the best crime series of all time."
When evil strikes a loved one, it can make us crazy. We can't think rationally enough to get revenge ourselves, so we shouldn't. But Nero Wolfe ignores reason when someone guns down a close friend in cold blood. He vows to collar the killer personally, and it thrusts him into the gravest danger of his career.
"Not a representative Nero Wolfe"
World War II has arrived, and U.S. Army intelligence wants Nero Wolfe urgently. But the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth refuses the call to duty. It takes his perambulatory, confidential assistant, Archie Goodwin, to titillate Wolfe's taste for crime with two malevolent morsels: a corpse that won't rest in peace and a sinister "accident" involving national security. So as Goodwin lays the bait on the wrong side of the law, Wolfe sets the traps to catch a pair of wily killers.
The mountain couldn't come to Wolfe, so the great detective went to the mountain - to Lame Horse, Montana, to be exact. Here a city slicker got a country girl pregnant and then took a bullet in the back. Wolfe's job is to get an innocent man exonerated of the crime and catch a killer in the process. But when he packs his silk pajamas and heads west, he finds himself embroiled in a case rife with local cynicism, slipshod police work, and unpleasant political ramifications.
"Wolf and Archie in the Wild West"
There's no one or no thing the great detective Nero Wolfe won't take on if the price is right. That's something wealthy society widow Rachel Bruner is counting on when she writes him a check for a whopping one hundred grand. The oversize genius and his able assistant, Archie Goodwin, soon find out why the prize is so generous as they lock horns with the FBI. The highly trained G-men have a way with threats, tails, and bugs that could give even sedentary sleuth Nero Wolfe a run for his money.
"The best of the Nero Wolfe series? Perhaps."
It's a noble idea: James Herold, a wealthy businessman, gave his son a very raw deal 11 years ago; now he wants to make amends. But the son is long-gone, and he wants to stay that way. Herold hires Nero Wolfe to track him down. It turns out the son is bad company, on trial for a cold-blooded murder. Wolfe gets caught in a web of lies, and it could cost him dearly.
"A Classic Nero Wolfe"
Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin star in these four gems. In "The Christmas Party", Wolfe condescends to uncharacteristic theatrics, which aren't enough to clear him from suspicion of murder. The "Easter Parade" tempts Wolfe to commit larceny for an orchid. "A Fourth of July Picnic" has Wolfe scheduled for to appear as an orator. But his day in the sun is rained out by murder. The last selection, "Murder Is No Joke", is a whodunit in a couturier's salon, where a murderer is dressed to kill and kill again.
Leonard Dyke's writing style didn't offend. But all of his work featured unhappy endings: murders. When four people die, including the author, police finally call on Nero Wolfe. Wolfe baits a trap, and when it springs shut, he finds that truth is stranger (and bloodier) than fiction.
You wouldn't expect a very public murder in a very private chess club. But that's what happens when someone stirs up an arsenic cocktail for one of the members. The police have a suspect, but his daughter knows he's a pawn. She calls on Nero Wolfe, who checkmates the cops as well as the killer.
"Another great Nero Wolfe story"
With Nero Wolfe on the job, you'd think murderers would take caution. But even the master detective can't stop a killing, especially if it's an inside job, right under the roof of his client, millionaire Otis Jarrell. What's more, it's Jarrell's own missing revolver that the killer uses. Wolfe must find the truth behind the scandals in Jarrell's ill-behaved family. One of its members sleeps the fitful sleep of the guilty, and Wolfe's getting dead-tired of murder.
Pretty Amy Denovo wants to find the father she has never seen, but she can't afford Nero Wolfe's outlandish fees...or can she? Suddenly, she's knocking on the detective's door with a parcel full of bills in hand - and a quarter of a million hidden in her closet. It's all part of a nest egg left by her unknown father. But when Wolfe and his able assistant, Archie Goodwin, begin to trace the money to the man, they make a startling discovery: Amy's father murdered her mother, and now he may be after her.
"Great Wolfe but not the very best story"
Blackmail is such an ugly word. But then again, so is murder. Unfortunately, both terms have been laid at the feet of one of Nero Wolfe's oldest acquaintances, a fellow P.I. with a knack for finding trouble, and stepping straight into it. He's been accused of murdering a kept woman, and now Nero's on the case.
"One of the best of a great series"