25 Following


Currently reading

The Dragon Never Sleeps
Glen Cook
Progress: 15 %
The Locked-room Mysteries
Otto Penzler
Progress: 23 %
A Night in the Lonesome October
Gahan Wilson, James Warhola, Roger Zelazny
Progress: 11 %

Trio for Blunt Instruments

Trio for Blunt Instruments - Rex Stout The anthology consists of three novellas:

Kill Now - Pay Later.
Nero Wolfe's favorite bootblack witnessed a crime and he hinted at it to the detective while working on his shoes, but he did not give any details. He was later killed, but the police decided it was a suicide, so it is up to Wolfe to prove it was a murder and find the culprit. I need to remind you at the time the book was written bootblacks were a big deal: just take a look at the picture above for the proof. I will give extra bonus points to people who know where it came from.

I found an interesting social commentary in this novella related to snob attitude of upper-class people with respect to lower classes. This by the way is from an old guy who was considered to be conservative. I mean early sixties type conservative; this means practically ultra-left today.

Murder is Corny.
The guy who delivered corn to Wolfe and Wolfe's restaurant where the latter is a part owner was brutally murdered right by the delivery door of said restaurant. A woman was mixed up in the murder. She tried to avoid being asked some embarrassing questions, so she unintentionally framed up Archie Goodwin practically landing him in jail for the murder. Wolfe hates being deprived from his assistant, so he takes a personal interest in the investigation.

People familiar with the series know that Nero Wolfe is a gourmand among other things who really know about good high-class cooking. This time he mentioned a way to prepare corn properly; I cannot wait to try it.

There is another social commentary here: this time it is about self-righteousness people. Hint: such people are extremely scary most of the time.

Blood Will Tell.
Blood will Tell
Archie Goodwin received a package with a stained tie with stain strongly resembling blood. He received a phone call later asking him to destroy the tie, but his curiosity was picked and he decided to check on the sender. The sender was fine, but he just stumbled upon a dead body - right in time for Archie to see it. The main suspect came to Wolfe asking him to help prove his innocence.

The picture has absolutely nothing in common with the story except for the title, but this video game comes up first and foremost in Google image search. I decided to use it here to create dramatic tension.

This novella is probably the best mystery of the three which looks fairly complicated, but is actually quite simple once you think about it a little. It passes Archie Goodwin test: he managed to solve it by himself before Wolfe explained it to him. The former is not stupid by any definition, but when it comes to deducting skills he is nowhere close to latter.

My usual comment about any book of this series applies here as well: fast-moving entertaining read which Archie Goodwin's wisecracking makes really shine.