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Trouble in triplicate, a Nero Wolfe…
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Trouble in triplicate, a Nero Wolfe threesome (edition 1974)

by Rex Stout

Series: Nero Wolfe (14)

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6781728,111 (3.83)28
They all thought they were about to die . . . and they were right. Dazy Perrit was an underworld kingpin until a hail of bullets sent him into early retirement. Ben Jensen was a well-connected publisher until a determined gunman severed all his connections. Eugene R. Poor made novelties like exploding cigars until one of them blew him to kingdom come. Only the gourmet sleuth, Nero Wolfe, and his sidekick, Archie Goodwin, can solve the deadly equation of murder times three.   Introduction by Randy Russell   "It is always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore."--The New York Times Book Review   A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America's greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. Together, Stout and Wolfe have entertained--and puzzled--millions of mystery fans around the world. Now, with his perambulatory man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth is back in the original seventy-three cases of crime and detection written by the inimitable master himself, Rex Stout.… (more)
Member:RexStout
Title:Trouble in triplicate, a Nero Wolfe threesome
Authors:Rex Stout
Info:New York: Bantam Books, 1974
Collections:Your library
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Trouble in Triplicate by Rex Stout

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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Trouble In Triplicate (1949) (Nero Wolfe #14) by Rex Stout. Here are three short stories of murder. Each is a gem in itself.
The first is Before I Die. This is a rather complicated matter of a major dealer in the blackmarket wanting to have a pesky blackmailer stopped. He can’t do it himself, or have it done for him because the blackmailer is his “daughter”. Afraid of having his real but estranged daughter being the victim of violence as a lever on him he went out west and found a woman near enough to his daughter’s age and set her up in his penthouse. She was being paid a hundred a month but got greedy. Then she got greedier until he couldn’t take it anymore, so he turned to Wolfe to fix the situation.
Wolfe gets the girl to come talk with him and he informs her that he is blackmailing her now. Pay up most of what you get from your “daddy” and Wolfe will stay mum. Don’t and he has no qualms about contacting the police out west and sending back to serve her due time. He gives her time to think it over and sends Archie to see her home.
She is gunned down by a passing car on her doorstep with Archie as witness.
After several hours with the cops he returns to the Wolfe’s brownstone only to be met by “daddy” and his heavy muscle. Those two are in turn mown down by bullets from a passing car, just missing Archie.
There is more but that’s enough of the puzzle for now. To find out more, read the book.
Next is Help Wanted. Male. A death threat is sent to a man Wolfe had been working with during the war and the man is soon thereafter murdered. The next day Wolfe receives the same threat. Archie has to go to Washington on military matters (he rose to the rank of Major during the war and they still insist they have control over his actions) and is gone a few days. When he returns he finds an imposter sitting in Wolfe’s chair.
The fill-n is part of Wolfe’s plan to lure the killer out and capturing him. All goes well until there is a pistol fired during a visit by the son of the other man who was killed, and a young woman who is involved in the situation. Seems the shot was fired from the front room, not in Wolfe’s office, and they were the only two possible as having fired the shot. Wolfe himself was busy getting set up to spy on the coming conference in the office and Archie had just left the pair in the front room and had only begun to speak with Wolfe. The sacrificial lamb had his eyes closed when the shot was fired, thus not seeing who did it. Blood on his ear and a hole in the headrest of his chair told the story of the angle of the shot, but not who pulled the trigger.
It is up to Wolfe to figure out exactly who tried to kill him.
The last is titled Instead of Evidence. Mr. and Mrs. Poor come to see Wolfe. He is the executive side of a two man partnership in the novelty gag business. He says his partner is going to kill him to gain complete control of the business. The partner has offered to buy him out at about 10% of what his half should be valued at and Mr. Poor said no. Reluctantly Wolfe takes the job of finding the killer and proving it in the off chance that Mr. Poor is killed within the year.
Later that day the police are all over the Poor’s apartment after the husband is found dead due to a trick exploding cigar.
This is a nice collection showing that Mr. Stout was just as adept in the short form as in the long. It makes for a nice day’s reading at the beach or on the train. Well worth finding in the used book aisles. ( )
  TomDonaghey | Jun 22, 2022 |
If you like Nero Wolfe stories (like I do), this is a solid set of three stories. ( )
  coprime | Apr 12, 2022 |
A collection of three novellas featuring rotund detecting genius Nero Wolfe and my literary boyfriend Archie Goodwin.

Before I Die — World War II is raging, and Archie is restless. He's enlisted and is a major in the U.S. Army, but he's been assigned to help Wolfe work on top-secret cases for the government instead of going off to fight Germans. Compounding the problem is a rationing crisis that has gourmand Wolfe desperate to get his hands and teeth on some real meat. When one of New York City's most notorious gangsters shows up at the door needing help with his daughter, the promise of black-market access in return makes Wolfe throw caution to the wind, leaving Archie to try to keep house, home, and body together long enough to solve the case.

Help Wanted, Male — The war is over and Archie is back in civvies, but one of the cases Wolfe solved for the U.S. Army comes back to haunt him. A publisher involved in that case is murdered, and the killer sends Wolfe a message saying he's next. Deciding he can't detect properly with his head on a swivel waiting for attack, he hires a lookalike to impersonate him and serve as bait. You can imagine how much fun Archie has with that.

Instead of Evidence — A man and his wife come to Wolfe, claiming his business partner is going to kill him. Oddly, the man doesn't want Wolfe to try to stop him; he just wants him to promise that after he's killed Wolfe will make sure his partner doesn't get away with the crime. Bonus points for a novel murder method.
  rosalita | Sep 3, 2018 |
I enjoyed each of the 3 novellas in this volume. Details to come... ( )
  leslie.98 | May 23, 2018 |
Three stories --Before I Die, I like very much. Amid a meat crisis, a gangster who is said to be "king of the black market" asks Wolfe for help -- an enemy is aware that he has a secret daughter; he hires another woman to impersonate the daughter, and that woman is blackmailing him. Then that woman is murdered in front of Archie Goodwin. Help Wanted Male, I dislike. Wolfe receives a death threat and hires a man to impersonate him.
The third story, Instead of Evidence, involves a man who comes to Wolfe and says that his enrmy is planning to kill him --he expects to be killed, but wants Wolfe to avenge him. ( )
  antiquary | Jul 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stout, Rexprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hallman, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russell, RandyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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That Monday afternoon in October, life indoors was getting to be more than I cared to take. ("Before I Die")
He paid us a visit the day he stopped the bullet. ("Help Wanted, Male")
Among the kinds of men I have a prejudice against are the ones named Eugene. ("Instead of Evidence")
Quotations
Lieutenant Rowcliff of Homicide was one of the reasons why I doubted if the world would ever reach the point of universal brotherhood. It didn't seem feasible as long as opinions were still loose like mine of Rowcliff.
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Wikipedia in English (4)

They all thought they were about to die . . . and they were right. Dazy Perrit was an underworld kingpin until a hail of bullets sent him into early retirement. Ben Jensen was a well-connected publisher until a determined gunman severed all his connections. Eugene R. Poor made novelties like exploding cigars until one of them blew him to kingdom come. Only the gourmet sleuth, Nero Wolfe, and his sidekick, Archie Goodwin, can solve the deadly equation of murder times three.   Introduction by Randy Russell   "It is always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore."--The New York Times Book Review   A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America's greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. Together, Stout and Wolfe have entertained--and puzzled--millions of mystery fans around the world. Now, with his perambulatory man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth is back in the original seventy-three cases of crime and detection written by the inimitable master himself, Rex Stout.

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