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First Composed: 1949
First Published: 1949
Location: New York City
& upstate New York
Wolfe's Brownstone: Click to View Floorplan
Victim #1: Louis Rony (upstate NY)
Murderer: Webster Kane
Motive: Afraid Rony will expose him as a communist
Weapon: Rock (to head); run over with Wolfe's car
Client #1: James Sperling Sr. (hired to expose Rony's bad character)
Client #2: Arnold Zeck
Fee: $50,000 and $5,000 retainer from Sperling; $20,000 from Zeck; Zeck also gives Wolfe $50,000 to repair
damages to orchids and $15,000 probably to recompense Wolfe for information bought from a communist informant; Sperling also stops
sponsoring a radio commentator Wolfe detests Story Synopsis: Nero Wolfe takes a routine case only to find himself up against his nemesis,
Arnold Zeck. Archie Goodwin
drugs a drink for the suspect, only to learn that he takes another drugged drink prepared for the same man. He and
Saul Panzer blackjack the suspect who later becomes
a murder victim. The chagrined Archie returns home in time to witness another Zeck warning--the greenhouse shot up with Tommy gun rounds.
Wolfe takes a trip upcountry to the client's estate and is present when the murder is committed. In seeking evidence, Archie slaps a rude
radio commentator, roughs up the man's wife and is clawed by a scared woman.