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Three at Wolfe's Door

Three at Wolfe's Door - Rex Stout This anthology consists of three novellas:

Poison a la Carte.
The above picture shows a dish of Slavic origin called bliny. Wolfe sent his excellent ("competent" according to Wolfe's definition of him) cook Fritz to help prepare a meal for a group of gourmands. One of them was poisoned while eating bliny; Wolfe feels responsible for involving his cook and thus it is personal for him. Archie Goodwin has similar feelings, so it is personal for him as well.

I was extremely jealous of people who were lucky enough to try the dishes described in the story. My personal advice: please please do not read this one if you are hungry or on a strict diet; I cannot be hold responsible for what would happen to your diet if you do not heed my friendly warning.

Method Three for Murder.
No all NYC taxis look like this, but the picture is highly appropriate anyway. Archie finally got fed up with Wolfe's antics and quit. The moment he leaved the house he bumped into a woman who drove a taxi with a dead body in it. She wanted to hire a detective to help her as she had no clue how the corpse ended up in her car. Feeling regret about his behavior Wolfe decided to help Archie for old time's sake.

I found this to be most interesting mystery of the anthology. The fact that Archie has to solve the mystery on his own with just slight Wolfe's nudging him in the right direction added to my enjoyment of it.

The Rodeo Murder.
Ah, rodeo! Archie's girlfriend Lily Rowan organized a party with guests being Manhattan rodeo participants. Somebody from a party probably decided to practice on another guest before the rodeo starts. As a result a dead body tied with a rope of one of the cowboys shows up. The owner of the rope is a prime suspect, but Archie is sure he is innocent. The detective also thinks he needs to help his girlfriend avoid bad publicity resulting from a prolonged investigation, so he is on the case and so is Wolfe himself who also happened to be a party guest.

Usually marriage in considered to be "happily ever after event". In this case I felt really bad for one of the characters who got married at the end and both detectives seem to share my opinion. Read to find out why.

I have yet to find a Nero Wolfe story I do not like and these are not exceptions. They have their minor faults, but not enough to lower my usual 4 star rating for a book of the series.