Fer-de-Lance
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Story Information:
First Composed: 1933
First Published: 1934
First Nero Wolfe story written by Rex Stout
Location: New York City & Pleasantville, New York
Wolfe's Brownstone: Click to View Floorplan

Victim #1: Peter Oliver Barstow (at Green Meadow Golf Club in Pleasantville)
Murderer: Manuel Kimball
Motive: Accident (intended victim was E.D. Kimball)
Weapon: Poison needle shot from a golf club
Client: Ellen Barstow
Fee: $50,000 (offered as an open reward); also $10,000 from Fletcher M. Anderson, Westchester County District Attorney

Victim #2: Carlo Maffei (found in a thicket in Westchester County, NY)
Murderer: Manuel Kimball
Motive:Maffei was attempting blackmail because he knew Manuel was the murderer of Barstow
Weapon: Knife (in the back)
Client: Anna Fiore
Fee: None (done as a favor to Fred Durkin and because Wolfe collected a fee from Barstow and wheedled money from Anderson)

Victim #3: E.D. Kimball (at his estate in Westchester)
Murderer: Manuel Kimball
Motive: Kimball killed Manuel's mother when he was a child
Weapon: Manuel deliberately crashed his airplane, killing both he and his father, E.D. Kimball
Client: None
Fee: None

Story Synopsis:
      First Rex Stout story about the corpulent New York City detective, Nero Wolfe, and his omnipresent side-kick, Archie Goodwin.
      Wolfe causes a stir when he sends Archie to Westchester County to bet that an autopsy will reveal that a prominent university president was murdered and did not die of a heart attack, as a doctor and friend of the Barstow family had announced. Wolfe ties in another murder and leaves the Westchester County DA with egg on the face. Archie belts a County lawyer while defending Wolfe's private property, and he later awards $1,000 to a homely girl who provided vital clues in helping solve the case. The story begins with Wolfe sampling 59 beer brands. He later brandishes a bottle and crushes a fer-de-lance that Manuel Kimball had delivered to Wolfe's home.
Fer-de-Lance
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© Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst