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Banquets of the Black Widowers by Isaac…
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Banquets of the Black Widowers (1984)

by Isaac Asimov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Black Widowers Mysteries (4)

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English (3)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All (5)
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A collection of Isaac Asimov's mystery stories featuring the monthly banquets of the Black Widowers, a group of well-to-do intellectuals who invite a guest each month, and end up solving a bafflement plaguing the guest. The problems and solutions are drolly humorous and occasionally of a trivial nature, but the whole setup is so good-naturedly enjoyable that it doesn't matter. And Henry, the waiter who nearly always ends up the one who solves the puzzle, is one of Asimov's more intriguing creations. I picture him as the erudite and dignified old black butler who replaced Benson on "Soap". Each story comes with an afterword from Asimov, and I wish more authors would take up this practice. ( )
  burnit99 | Dec 22, 2011 |
Asimov's Black Widowers mystery stories are fun and logical. ( )
  bookcoll | May 27, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Juniper, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Since it was Thomas Trumbull who was going to act as host for the Black Widowers that month, he did not, as was his wont, arrive at the last minute, gasping for his preprandial drink.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The Black Widowers Club — there were six of them. Professional men and their waiter. They gather at the Milano Restaurant once a month for good food and good conversation. But lately the Black Widowers have added a new entertainment to their meetings. They have begun to solve mysteries, murders, and conspiracies of seemingly impossible dimensions.

With all the skill of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot combined, these six men and their ever-faithful waiter, Henry, take on challenging cases that will tease your deductive skills to the limit and keep you guessing to the very end.

The master chef of puzzlers spreads a feast in his fourth collection of the after-dinner adventures of the Black Widowers — a club of men, dedicated to solving mysteries. Rich in the incomparable imagination of their prolific author, these twelve tales are gourmet fare for the discriminating mystery lover as well as for the legions of Asimov fans.

Six distinguished gentlemen and one guest dine monthly at the elegant Milano restaurant, attended by that peerless waiter, Henry, also a member of the society. After the roast goose, the rack of lamb, the coupe aux marrons, the guest is subjected to a grilling and asked to justify his existence. The Black Widowers, men of many interests, have a talent for eliciting surprising revelations from a guest — an unsolved mystery, a problem that he may not realize is a problem. Then, with relish — and considerable erudition and intuition — the society tackles the puzzle.

But it is the quietest, most humble member of the group to whom the others invariably turn, stumped, and it is he who proposes the only possible solution. Be it a case of super-power skulduggery, a Gilbert and Sullivan tease, an inveterate doodler, or an embarrassed husband who's spent a night on the town, Asimov sprinkles clues as generously as he does wit, humor, and insight into human idiosyncrasies. "Ah, yes, of course," the perceptive reader will say on turning back pages to see how the answer has evaded him. And the very perceptive reader, perhaps, on a first perusal will keep up with — but never overtake — the master, as he moves the Black Widowers through his web.

Sixty Million Trillion Combinations (64 Million Trillion Combinations)
The Woman in the Bar (The Man Who Pretended to Like Baseball)
The Driver
The Good Samaritan
The Year of the Action (The Gilbert and Sullivan Mystery)
Can You Prove It?
The Phoenician Bauble
A Monday in April
Neither Brute Nor Human
The Redhead
The Wrong House
The Intrusion

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The Black Widowers, a men's club, solve a succession of mysteries.

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