Officer and a Lady


A collection of early stories from the man who created Nero WolfeBill Farden is an experienced burglar. He gains entry to the house without effort, and his ears tell him the inhabitants are asleep. He pockets the silver and moves to the kitchen, to fill his stomach with strawberry shortcake. When the cook tiptoes downstairs, Bill disables her with chloroform. Upstairs, he ties the man of the house to his bedframe. In the next room he finds a little girl, and is touched by her helplessness until she pulls a gun on him. The nine-year-old is Major Wentworth, of the Girls’ Military Auxiliary, and the revolver is as long as her arm.In these early stories, a young Rex Stout showed the talent for comic action that would make the Nero Wolfe novels enduring classics. In Stout’s world, there is no thug more dangerous than a determined little girl.

Her Forbidden Knight


An innocent young telegraph operator becomes a counterfeiter’s target. Once, the Lamartine Hotel was a quiet refuge for New York’s stuffy fashionable set. But by the 1890s, fashion has moved uptown, and the lobby of the Lamartine has been overtaken by natty young sports, who pass their afternoons with billiards or shows of noisy derring-do. Their preferred damsel is Lila Williams, a delicate young telegraph operator whose shyness so charms them that they resolve to defend her against any ill-behaved characters. They are about to face their fiercest challenger, who rides in the gleaming armor of a millionaire. His name is John Knowlton, and from the first telegram she writes for him, Lila is charmed. He has money, good looks, and a criminal secret, and his insidious charisma will demand heroic effort from the knights of the Lamartine billiard table.

And Be a Villain


Radio talk show host Madeline Fraser’s worst nightmare comes true when one of her on-air guests collapses at the mike after drinking a glass of the sponsor’s beverage.From the Paperback edition.

Silent Speaker


When a powerful government official scheduled to speak to a group of millionaires turns up dead, the business world clamors for a solution, and Nero Wolfe takes the case.

Black Mountain


Vowing to avenge the murder of his dear friend, Marko Vukcic, Nero Wolfe, along with his faithful partner, Archie Goodwin, journey to the hazardous mountains of Montenegro.

Mountain Cat Murders


Accused of murdering Dan Jackson with her father’s .38 in the town of Cody, Wyoming, Delia Brand sets out to find the real killer, and along the way, discovers the truth about her father’s unsolved murder.

Broken Vase


When Private Detective ‘Tex’ Fox helps to buy an antique violin for the young prodigy, Jan Tusar, he doesn’t expect the boy to play so badly at his Carnegie Hall debut. And when Jan subsequently commits suicide, and the violin disappears, Fox investigates, discovering that a great many people had special claims on Jan.

TOO MANY CLIENTS


A bidding war for his services interrupts Nero Wolfe’s attempts to solve the case of the businessman who died in his love nest—a case in which the police seem oddly uninterested.

PLOT IT YOURSELF


Nero Wolfe and his sidekick, Archie Goodwin, are called in by a consortium of publishers and writers to investigate several cases of false plagiarism, but the probe soon becomes complicated by murder.

Red Box


A lovely woman is dead, and the fortunes of overextended theatrical producer Llewellyn Frost depend on solving the mystery of the red box: two pounds of candied fruits, nuts and creams, covered with chocolate — and laced with potassium cyanide.When Nero Wolfe’s suspicion falls on Frost’s kissing cousin, Frost wants the detective to kill the sickly sweet case—before it kills him.