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Black Orchids by Rex Stout

Black Orchids (original 1941; edition 1977)

by Rex Stout

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8481010,600 (3.94)55
Title:Black Orchids
Authors:Rex Stout
Info:Pyramid (1977), Mass Market Paperback, 190 pages
Collections:Your library

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Black Orchids by Rex Stout (1941)

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
typical Nero Wolfe. I love Michael Prichard's reading of these. Two stories connected by the black orchids. ( )
  njcur | Dec 9, 2014 |
This is a two story book. The first story is about how Wolfe acquired black orchids and the second is about a client to whom he sent black orchids.

The first one, in particular, is wonderful. It's Archie at his best. He has breezily decided he is in love with one of the models at a flower show. And his descriptions and behavior are quintessential. Also, the moment he gives her up and his reasons for it are so Archie. ( )
  blatherlikeme | Sep 28, 2014 |
In two separate mysteries, Nero Wolfe first acquires black orchids, then gives away a few blooms in a way that mystifies Archie. Wolfe is not a great fixer-upper like Poirot or a tortured moralist like Wimsey, but seems to stand rather apart from the mysteries he solves. ( )
  jholcomb | May 17, 2011 |
Black Orchids is a collection of two novelettes; Black Orchids and Cordially Invited to Meet Death. I found both to be below Stout's standard. Archie states that the only thing these two cases have in common is the black orchids that appear in both. He is wrong for they have another commonality. In both cases Wolfe is disinterested in the murders. In BO he gets involved only to get three rare orchids in return for shielding their original owner from negative entanglements with the murder. In the latter case it is unclear why Wolfe ever gets involved. Archie himself does not make a good case for Wolfe's motivations. Indeed, 'Cordially' at times reads less like a minor Wolfe and more like a piece of fan fiction with every regular character acting 'like themselves only more' and two kitchen escapades that seem Mary Sue-ish. ( )
  mmyoung | May 26, 2010 |
Though Black Orchids is the ninth book that was published in the Nero Wolfe series it is the first of the short story/novella books that Rex Stout released about Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. It has the two novellas, Black Orchids and Cordially Invited to Meet Death, in this one. Both novellas are excellent, especially the first one Black Orchids. Though my favorite character and favorite quote are from the second novella.

Archie goes to visit the client at her home and encounters her chimpanzee whose name is Mister. Mister insists on playing tag and making a complete nuisance of himself , not just with Archie, but with everyone in the whole household. He torments the owner of the home by tickling her and then upsets the butler's tray of drinks that he is bringing for everyone. After cleaning up the mess the butler returns with a new tray of drinks and Archie observes,

".........and eventually we got back to normal, everybody with a drink, including Mister, only his was nonalcoholic, or I wouldn't have stayed. What that bird would have done with a couple of Martinis under his fur would have been something to watch from an airplane." ( )
  markatread | Apr 16, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rex Stoutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Block, LawrenceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallman, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I don't know how many guesses there have been in the past year; around bars and dinner tables, as to how Nero Wolfe got hold of the black orchids.
Monday at the Flower Show, Tuesday at the Flower Show, Wednesday at the Flower Show. ("Black Orchids")
That wasn't the first time I ever saw Bess Huddleston. ("Cordially Invited to Meet Death")
"Contact is not a verb under this roof."
I do not deny that flowers are pretty, but a million flowers are not a million times prettier than one flower. Oysters are good to eat, but who wants to eat a carload?
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Book description
Wolfe sends Archie to the flower show for several days to observe and report on the rare black orchid. Archie falls for a pretty girl at the garden exhibit; she is picnicing with a man when he gets shot. Wolfe gets the guilty man over to his garden room and traps him in the orchid room. The second story named "Cordially Invited to Meet Death." Chimpanzee helps solve this case.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553257196, Mass Market Paperback)

Not much can get Wolfe to leave his comfortable brownstone, but the showing of a rare black orchid lures him to a flower show. Unfortunately, the much-anticipated event is soon overshadowed by a murder as daring as it is sudden. It’s a case of weeding out a cunning killer who can turn up anywhere—and Wolfe must do it quickly. Because a second case awaits his urgent attention: a society widow on a mailing list of poison-pen letters leading to a plot as dark as any orchid Wolfe has ever encountered.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:21 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The private detective, Nero Wolfe, with the aid of his assistant, Archie Goodwin, investigates a killing at a flower show and a series of poison-pen letters that result in murder.

(summary from another edition)

Legacy Library: Rex Stout

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