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Champagne for One

Page history last edited by Jon 11 years, 7 months ago

Stout, Rex -- Champagne for one (1958)


A shortish outing for Nero Wolfe. Archie Goodwin is called in as a substitute at a charity event for unwed mothers when his acquaintance Dinky Byne gets a cold. Mrs Robiletti, the founder of the charity, is demonstrating her generosity by hosting a carefully selected group of fallen women to an annual dinner. There is some interesting banter and some engaging characters, including the butler Hackett.


Naturally one of the mothers drops dead after drinking poisoned champagne, and naturally every other person at the party is a suspect. Archie, who has been forewarned by one of the other women, can testify that it was not suicide, which gets everyone else very cross; at length Wolfe is moved to action in order to defend the veracity of his assistant.


On a personal level I was struck by the apparent casualness with which all these women were supposed to have farmed out their ill-gotten infants, never to be seen again. Was it really like that in the 1950s, or was Stout just missing the point?




See also: http://www.classicmysteries.net/2012/04/champagne-for-one.html

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