Death of a Dude – Chapter 1

This is the Email I just sent to the Nero Wolfe Mailing list and figure I will post them here as well.

Death of a Dude.

Timeline of the book runs from Friday, August 2 to Tuesday, August 13, 1968.

The setting is Lily’s ranch in Lame Horse, Montana and surrounding area. This is one of the away from the Brownstone books.

The first chapter starts off with Archie sending a letter to Wolfe explaining how he hopes to be back for the start of the World Series. Since the letter is dated August 2, 1968 we see right off that Archie is setting the stage to get Wolfe out there. Later in the chapter Archie and Lily are talking and she points out that the World Series is 2 months off, so it isn’t an empty threat. Two more months without his goad would surely put Wolfe off his feed.

Anyway, I’m getting a head of things a bit here. After mailing the letter he stops along the way and gets a list of things then meets Lily in the Continental Cafe at “a quarter past noon”. She is working on a martini and he asks if it’s “Carson’s?”.

Another made up brand?

She replies with a negative and suggests the split pea soup which is a house specialty.

Now it’s been many years since I have had a martini, and must admit that I didn’t care for them even back then, but I just can’t see eating split pea soup after drinking gin. Is it just me or does anyone else wonder about this?

They finish eating and go to the car and then to the service station where the son of the county sheriff, Morley Haight, worked. The boy, Gil Haight, was set on the girl that the dead “dude” Philip Brodell, had gotten pregnant and was, to Archie’s, not to mention Lily’s, way of thinking, one of the hot suspects in the shooting.

Then Gil comes right out and tells Archie that he was a better shot than to have to use two bullets to kill anything or anyone. More transpires but you gotta read the book to get it.

Back at the ranch we meet one of the Lily’s summer lodgers, Diana Kadany who is wearing less than 3 square feet of material and showing lots of smooth tan skin. And soon after meet Wade Worthy who is there writing a book about Lily’s father as a paid biographer. I guess that’s the proper term…

I like the list of how the first 22 writers were disqualified. Only Archie! Here again – Read the book!

As the chapter ends our hero, Archie, is arriving at the house of the man, Harvey Greve (Lily’s ranch forman) who is suspected of and arrested for shooting Brodell.

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