Posts Tagged With: Archie Goodwin

The Second Confession – May 1995 – 5th Printing

The Second Confession - May 1995 - 5th Printing - Front Cover

The Second Confession - May 1995 - 5th Printing - Front Cover

The Second Confession - May 1995 - 5th Printing - Rear Cover

The Second Confession - May 1995 - 5th Printing - Rear Cover

The Second Confession
A Bantam Crime Line Book / published by arrangement with Viking Penguin

Publishing History

Viking edition published September 1949
Dollar Mystery Guild edition / December 1949
Bantam edition / September 1952
New Bantam edition / May 1961
2nd new Bantam edition / January 1975
Bantam reissue edition / May 1995

Condensations appeared in the Montreal Standard, Newark Evening News, and Chicago Sun-Times 1950

Copyright 1949 by Rex Stout

Scans are from a 5th printing

Contents:

The Second Confession

Rear Cover Introduction:

The Second Confession

When a millionaire businessman hires Nero Wolfe to probe the background of his daughter’s boyfriend, it seems like just another case of an overprotective father. But when a powerful gangland boss “counsels” the detective to drop the matter, Wolfe realizes it’s much more than that.  Unwilling to take a hint, Wolfe receives a warning: a burst of machine-gun fire through the windows of his orchid room. Then the lawyer boyfriend turns up dead, leaving Archie the number one suspect. Throw in drugged drinks, two man-killing debutantes, and officials of a highly un-American party and Wolfe finds himself involved in a case where he must quickly solve one murder to prevent another: his own.

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Frame-Up for Murder Illustration

Frame-Up for Murder Illustration from The Saturday Evening Post (June 21, 1958)

Frame-Up for Murder Illustration from The Saturday Evening Post (June 21, 1958)

Archie Goodwin meets Flora Gallant in part one of Rex Stout’s “Frame-Up for Murder,” illustrated by Austin Briggs for The Saturday Evening Post (June 21, 1958)
Source Archie Goodwin (fictional detective)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Champagne For One – January 1996 – Bantam Reissue – 8th Printing

Champagne For One –Bantam Reissue - January 1996 - 8th Printing - Front Cover

Champagne For One –Bantam Reissue - January 1996 - 8th Printing - Front Cover

Champagne For One –Bantam Reissue - January 1996 - 8th Printing - Rear Cover

Champagne For One –Bantam Reissue - January 1996 - 8th Printing - Rear Cover

A Bantam Book
Copyright 1958 By Rex Stout
Bantam Reissue Edition – January 1996
8th Printing

Contents:

Champagne For One

Rear Cover Intro:

CHAMPAGNE FOR ONE

Faith Usher had a decidedly morbid personality. She talked about taking her life, and kept cyanide in her purse. So when she collapses and dies from a lethal champagne cocktail in the middle of a high society dinner party, everyone calls it suicide – including the police. But Archie was watching it all, and suspects it was murder.  So does Nero Wolfe, especially after he’s warned by four men against taking the case.  For the world’s most formidable detective it is a tantalizing puzzle involving an unlikely combination of philanthropy, deception, blackmail, and an unrepentant killer who just may have committed the perfect crime.

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Man Alive and Archie’s Age

Another Wolfe List post that I thought I would archive here.

While rereading Man Alive today, I noticed that another hint about Archie’s age shows up in this one.

Page numbers taken from Three Doors To Death – the Bantam Reissue Edition paperback first published March 1995, 8th printing.

————

First clue is on page 38 where Wolfe is talking to Cynthia and telling her he wants the folks that have keys to the business there in his office that evening.  She replies as follows:

 “But good lord.”  She was flabbergasted.  “I can’t just order them around!  What can I say?  I can’t say I want them to help find out who killed my uncle because they don’t know it was my uncle?  You must consider they’re much older than I am – all but Bernard – and they think I’m just a fresh kid.  Even Bernard is seven years older.  After all, I’m only twenty-one – that is I will be – my God!”

And she goes on to say that her birthday is the next day.

The next clue is on page 41 where Archie is in Bernard Daumery’s office just after being introduced to Bernard.

Cynthia’s statistics had informed me that he was four years younger than me, and I might as well concede them to him.

So Cynthia is 21, Bernard is 7 years older than her, or 28, and 4 years younger than Archie, which would put Archie at 32.  Unless the ever literal Archie is figuring her age at 20 due to her birthday being the next day which would put him at 31. 

To link this to my previous post about Archie’s age, I noticed that “Man Alive” was written in 1947 and “In The Best Families” was written in 1950.  So if he was 31 or 32 in MA then he would be “about” 34 in ITBF.

Though I do agree that Stout has Archie’s age pegged at somewhere around 30 throughout the corpus, I find it interesting that he kept the time-line consistent through these two stories.

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A couple of points about “In the Best Families”

The following is a post I just made to the Wolfe Mailing List and thought it would be good to archive here.

Hello All,

Even though I know that today (8/23/09) we are supposed to start (not) discussing “Man Alive” from “Three Doors to Death “, I thought I would post this about the book we just finished (not) discussing. 🙂

Just reread In the Best Families and noted a couple of points that I thought were interesting. I seem to remember at least some of this coming up in discussion before but a quick search in my very limited email archives didn’t show anything so thought I would post this.

The copy I read this time was the Bantam paperback 8th printing printed in Sept 1984, and that’s what the page numbers I am giving are based on.

—————–

The first bit I noted was on the first page of the first chapter and is related to Archie’s salary. The person Archie is talking about is Mrs. Barry Rackham, who has called and wants to see Wolfe on business. The relevant text is as follows:

On the main point of interest, could she and did she pay her bills, the news was favorable: she was worth a good four million and maybe five. Calling it four, and assuming that Wolfe’s bill for services rendered would come to only half of it, that would be enough to pay my current salary – as Wolfe’s secretary, trusted assistant and official gnat – for a hundred and sixty-seven years; and in addition to that, living as I did there in Wolfe’s house, I also got food and shelter. So I was fixed for life if it turned out that she needed two million buck’s worth of detective work.

So in a round about way he tells us how much he makes a year. 2 million divided by 167 is $11976.05 if we round up and $11976.04 if rounding down. From that I am assuming he means he makes $12,000.00 a year which breaks down to an even $1,000.00 a month but if taken even further and divided by weeks is not quite so even and comes to $230.77 a week. Any way you figure it, in 1950 dollars that is a nice little pay check.

I used the Consumer Price Index based financial calculator at http://www.minneapolisfed.org/ to do a bit of figuring on what he would be bringing in today. According to the site the following is how they do the calculation.

The CPI for 1950 = 24.1
The CPI for 2009 = 213.2

And they use the following formula to compute the calculation:
2009 Price = 1950 Price x (2009 CPI / 1950 CPI)

So that means his weekly pay now would be $2041.50 = $230.77 x (213.2/24.1)

Which would put his yearly salary at $106,157.68. Not bad for a gum shoe! And that’s NOT figuring in room and board which in New York City would be a hefty sum!

—————–

The second bit that jumped out at me this time through the book is that Archie tells his age! Or at least comes as close as any time “I” remember in the Corpus. On page 17 Leeds is talking about the folks they will meet at the Mrs. Rackham’s house, and says:

“You and me,” he said, “and my cousin and her husband, and Mrs. Frey, whom you have met, and Hammond, and the statesman, that’s seven-”
“Who’s the statesman?”
“Oliver A. Pierce.”
“I’m intimate with lots of statesmen, but I never heard of him.”
“Don’t let him know it.” Leeds chuckled. “It’s true that at thirty-four he has only got as far as state assemblyman, but the war made a gap for him the same as for other young men. Give him a chance. One will be enough.”

Then on page 19 Archie tells us:

Pierce was a smooth article. His manner was, of course, based on the law of nature regulating the attitude of an elected person toward everybody old enough to vote, but his timing and variations were so good that it was hard to recognize it, although he was only about my age.

And goes on with Pierce’s description, but the above was the part that interested me. Archie is telling us that he is about 34 years old. Now the first book in the series, Fer-de-Lance, was written in 1933 and this one, In the Best Families, was written in 1950, which gives us 17 year’s between them. Extrapolating from the above statements that he is 34, he would have been 17 when the first story came out and would have been born in 1916, neither of which fit in with other bits from elsewhere in the corpus. So either he is not telling the truth about his age (Not that Archie would EVER prevaricate!) or as has been discussed in far greater depth than I am prepared to go into here, Stout changed their ages to suit his self as the series progressed. As I said just a point I found interesting.

All in all a very good read and I quite enjoyed rereading it.

Comments, corrections, and discussion welcomed.

Dave
AKA Albert Freyer

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Prisoner’s Base – 1952 – Book Club Edition

Prisoner's Base - 1952 - Book Club Edition - Dust Jacket Front Cover

Prisoner's Base - 1952 - Book Club Edition - Dust Jacket Front Cover

Prisoner's Base - 1952 - Book Club Edition - Dust Jacket Rear Cover

Prisoner's Base - 1952 - Book Club Edition - Dust Jacket Rear Cover

Copyright 1952 By Rex Stout
The Viking Press
Jacket Design By Bill English

Rear Cover Intro:

When Nero Wolfe turned down the easiest ten-thousand-dollar fee ever offered him, he didn’t expect to get involved in a deadly game – a game that reminded Archie of a grim version of prisoner’s base.
Nor did Archie imagine that he would ever be working so closely with the New York Police.

Inside Front Cover:

Prisoner’s Base
A Nero Wolfe Novel
By Rex Stout

Readers who have long followed the adventures of Nero Wolfe will surely agree not only that this is one of the neatest murder puzzles ever set down by Rex Stout, but also that it is the most exciting, adventure-filled, and breathless story he ever told.
Nero Wolfe has represented some pretty unusual clients in his time, but in this one, his client – believe it or not – is the fast-talking, hard-hitting, skirt-chasing assistant and companion to Nero, Archie Goodwin himself.
We’ll make three bets with you abut Prisoner’s Base: First – you won’t solve it. Second – you’ll agree that no author ever played more fair with his readers. Third – when you finish it, you will feel as if you have been on a forty-eight-hour, breath-taking, danger-filled chase up and down the avenues of New York, into some of Manhattan’s darkest and more terror-filled alleys.

Inside Back Cover:

From The New Yorker
Profile of Rex Stout:

“Nero Wolfe, the fat detective of Rex Stout’s novels, towers over his rivals in one respect: he is a superman who talks like a superman. It is a very tough literary trick to make a mastermind sound like a mastermind. Most of the storybook detectives are to much like the new ultra-scientific calculating machines, which have gorgeous electronic brains for solving problems but no particular talent for dialogue. Genius is the curse of the mystery story. It tends to destroy individuality and drag everybody down to the same level. It is harder to tell intellectual giants apart than Hollywood blonds. Nero, however, is an exceptional character creation – a genius who rises above mediocrity.”

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Homicide Trinity – 1962 – Book Club Edition

Homicide Trinity - 1962 - Book Club Edition - Front Cover Homicide Trinity - 1962 - Book Club Edition - Back Cover

Copyright 1962 By Rex Stout
Published in 1962 by The Viking Press, Inc

Contents:
Eeny Meeny Murder Mo – appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystry Magazine
Death Of A Demon – appeared in the SATURDAY EVENING POST
Counterfeit For Murder – appeared in the SATURDAY EVENING POST under the title of The Counterfeiter’s Knife

Rear Cover Intro:

Eeny Meeny Murder Mo
It was preposterously inconvenient. The outer door was locked as usual, yet there she lay – on Nero Wolfe’s carpet, in Nero Wolfe’s office, strangled by Nero Wolfe’s own necktie!

Death of a Demon
“Here’s the gun I’m not going to use to kill my husband.” That’s what she said. But he was killed, and with that gun, or with one just like it… and Archie Goodwin had tampered with the gun himself.

Counterfeit for Murder
Under suspicion for murder and too angry to deny it, harried Hattie Annis offered 42 grand to Nero Wolfe to make the cops eat dirt. If she was innocent, you can ask her whether he earned his fee.

Inside Cover:

Homicide Trinity
A Nero Wolfe Threesome
By Rex Stout

On the reverse of this jacket you will find the bill of fare for this three-course feast of murder, mystification, and masterful deduction. As his large and loyal fan club will attest, Rex Stout’s famous threesomes are fully as delightful as his book-length novels, which is to say that they are peerless examples of mayhem de luxe.

Whether you read these stories purely for entertainment and relaxation, or enjoy the challenge of matching wits with Nero Wolfe and his factotum, Archie Goodwin, here once again is the creme de la creme of crime presented for your pleasure.

Jacket Design By Bill English

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College Roomies from Hell!!!

College Roomies from Hell!!! Archives

A mention of Wolfe and Archie in the College Roomies from Hell webcomic.

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Three Aces – 1971 – Book Club Edition

Three Aces - A Nero Wolfe Omnibus - 1971 - Book Club Edition - Front Cover Three Aces - A Nero Wolfe Omnibus - 1971 - Book Club Edition - Rear Cover

The Viking Press
Copyright 1956, 1960, 1961 by Rex Stout

Contents:

Too Many Clients
Might As Well Be Dead
The Final Deduction

Inside Cover:

Three Aces
Happiness is a Nero Wolfe mystery for so many aficionados of civilized crime stories that the Omnibus has become a valued tradition; there have been five before this, each gathering a few previously published Rex Stouts in one volume. Three Aces is the first to include three complete full-length novels, and will prove a treat as special as a dish from the kitchen of Nero’s unique cook, Fritz.

In Too Many Clients, three different clients clamor for Nero’s help when a big businessman is murdered in his $81,000 love nest. Archie Goodwin must use some of his best talents to sort them out before Nero can even begin the case. Might as Well Be Dead involves, along with much mayhem and imperiled missing persons, a great national scandal. The Final Deduction puts Nero and Archie in the saddle in pursuit of a kidnap for half a million dollars, with murder on the side.

The team is in top form in all three of these, a prize for any fan who missed them before or who wants them on hand in one handsome superStout volume.

Rear Cover:

“Not two characters alone, but a palpable atmosphere exists in that brownstone house on West 35th Street. And what sinewy, pellucid, propelling prose tells those tales – allegories of the human pilgrimage, rather – in which there is little or no blood, but rather the play of the mind. . . . In this sublime duet of Don Quixote and a glamorized Sancho Panza who go tilting together against evil, there is no mystery, nothing but matter for admiration, edification, and (if desired) self-identification. the true mystery is in their inspired creator, Rex Stout.” -Jacques Barzun

Categories: Might As Well Be Dead, The Final Deduction, Too Many Clients | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nero Wolfe – From Wikipedia

Nero Wolfe – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective, created by the American mystery writer Rex Stout, who made his debut in 1934. Wolfe’s assistant Archie Goodwin recorded the cases of the detective genius in 33 novels and 39 short stories from the 1930s to the 1970s, with most of them set in New York City. The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated Best Mystery Series of the Century at Bouchercon 2000, the world’s largest mystery convention, and Rex Stout was nominated Best Mystery Writer of the Century.

Just found this page on Wikipedia about Wolfe. Quite an extensive piece and well worth reading for anyone interested in the Nero Wolfe books or television series.

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