Posts Tagged With: Three Doors To Death

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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Three Doors To Death – 1980 Sixth Printing

Three Doors To Death - A Nero Wolfe Mystery By Rex Stout - 1980 Sixth Printing - Front Cover

Three Doors To Death - 1980 Sixth Printing - Front Cover

Three Doors To Death - A Nero Wolfe Mystery By Rex Stout - 1980 Sixth Printing - Rear Cover

Three Doors To Death - 1980 Sixth Printing - Rear Cover

6th printing — September 1980

These three novels originally appeared in The American Magazine

Man Alive – December 1947
Omit Flowers – November 1948
Doors to Death – June 1949

These novels have also appeared in the Viking edition of Five of a Kind, The Third Nero Wolfe Omnibus Published 1961

Flyleaf:

The first door lead into a greenhouse teaming with exotic flowers.
The second door opened into the chic world of models and high fashion.
The third door lead into the plush, gilt recesses of a staid New York mansion
But all three doors lead to death!

Contents:

Forward – By Archie Goodwin
Man Alive
Omit Flowers
Door to Death

Rear Cover:

The orchid-growing gourmet in the king-size chair is none other than the incredibly brilliant Nero Wolfe – one sixth of a ton of deductive genious.

Together with his confidential assistant, Archie Goodwin, he must rub noses with the financial elete to help three people who have found themselves in a rather precarious positions.

One is a chef whose proficiency with cutlery seems to have extended beyond the kitchen.

Another is a very talented botanist whose sprays have apparently killed more than insects.

And the third is a beautiful model who stands to inherit a fortune after her uncle’s suicide – only he isn’t dead.

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Three Doors To Death – March 1995

Three Doors To Death - A Nero Wolfe Mystery By Rex Stout - March 1995 - Front Cover

Three Doors To Death - March 1995 - Front Cover

Three Doors To Death - A Nero Wolfe Mystery By Rex Stout - March 1995 - Rear Cover

Three Doors To Death - March 1995 - Rear Cover

Copyright 1947, 1948, 1949, By Rex Stout

Cover is of a Bantam paperback.

Contents:

Man Alive
Omit Flowers
Door to Death

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Three Doors To Death – March 1995

NWThreeDoorsToDeathMarch1995

NWThreeDoorsToDeathMarch1995B

Above cover is of a Bantam Reissue Edition paperback first released in March 1995 and is an 8th printing.

Copyright 1947, 1948, 1949, By Rex Stout

Contents:

Man Alive
Omit Flowers
Door to Death

Rear Cover Intro:
Three Doors To Death

One by one they knock on the door of the incomparable Nero Wolfe, each with a case more perplexing than the one before. First comes the niece of a man who committed suicide by jumping naked into a geyser, only to return just in time to be murdered. Then it’s the strange case of the murder victim’s family covering up for the real killer, while a chef stews in jail. Finally a master horticulturist discovers the woman he wants to marry: dead and cooling in a hothouse. Three knocks on the door. Three cases of crime. Enter a world of mendacity, mixed motives, and a masterful detection on West Thirty-fifth Street, where murder is always at home.

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Three Doors To Death – 19??

Publishing date unknown but, this cover appears to be from the 50’s.

If anyone has any publishing information and/or rear/inside front cover introduction from this edition please email me at depatty@gmail.com … TIA Dave


This scan was donated by Leo Heller aka Michael Largey. Thanks Michael!

Three Doors To Death - A Nero Wolfe Mystery By Rex Stout - 19?? - Front Cover

Three Doors To Death - 19?? - Front Cover

Copyright 1947, 1948, 1949, By Rex Stout

Cover is of a Dell paperback

Contents:

Man Alive
Omit Flowers
Door to Death

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Three Doors To Death – 1966 First Edition

Three Doors To Death - A Nero Wolfe Mystery By Rex Stout - 1966 First Edition - Front Cover

Three Doors To Death - 1966 First Edition - Front Cover

Three Doors To Death - A Nero Wolfe Mystery By Rex Stout - 1966 First Edition - Rear Cover

Three Doors To Death - 1966 First Edition - Rear Cover

Copyright 1947, 1948, 1949, By Rex Stout

A Bantam Book
This is a Bantam first edition Printed in June 1966

The cover illustration is by Norman Taste Brown

Contents:

Man Alive
Omit Flowers
Door to Death

Rear Cover Intro:

An unscrupulous beauty murdered in a greenhouse full of orchids… A high fashion show where murder calls the turn… A young millionaire who couldn’t keep his hands off a pretty neck.

Categories: Three Doors To Death | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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