Three short murder mysteries: Bitter End - The great detective develops an appetite for the sweet taste of revenge when someone slips something most foul into his lunch. Frame-up for Murder - A couturier's beautiful sister uses Archie as her alibi and maybe fall guy, unless Wolfe can solve the crime. Assault on a Brownstone - A mysterious old woman leaves a package at Wolfe's door that pits him against a cunning criminal and the U.S. federal government.
This is a great introduction to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe. There are three long short stories taking place during three different decades of Nero Wolfe's career. For me these were my introduction to Rex Stout's series, and I am a fan now.
3 novellas in one paperback
My penchant for vintage mysteries recently prompted me to pick up this one. All three mysteries were most entertaining. And, I love the interaction between Nero Wolf and Archie Goodwin which adds so much to the reads. This novel included a most interesting introduction by John McAleer, Stout's official biographer, whose insights into the author's character and work were fascinating.
The first tale was "Bitter End" wherein Archie finds himself involved with a lovely young woman - again! Archie and Wolf find themselves inadvertently playing cupid for a young couple, solve the case and discover who killed Arthur Kingley. Yes, The murderer is an unexpected individual!
Second came "Frame-Up for Murder." A young woman asks for Wolf's help for her famous designer brother. In addition, a famous actress commits suicide. It is Wolf who connect the actress's death with an earlier murder and uncovers just how he and Archie were duped by the murderer.
Number three was "Assault on Brownstone." An elderly woman owner of a rooming house is murdered after she went to see Nero Wolf, run over by a car. Since the roomers are actors, Wolf and Archie must interview them to find a motive. The motive is the making and passing of counterfeit money and the Treasury Department is involved. The investigators must tread carefully to avoid breaking the law themselves.