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Triple Jeopardy (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 20) Kindle Edition

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Length: 194 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on April 14, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The 3 short stories herein first appeared in 1951 - 1952. The Korean War was underway, and the worst congressional witch-hunts for communists were going strong, McCarthy's among them.
"Home to Roost" (a.k.a. "Nero Wolfe and the Communist Killer") - Mrs. and Mr. Benjamin Rackell (he's not a wimp, but she keeps interrupting and does most of the talking) want to hire Wolfe to investigate the poisoning of their nephew, Arthur. We get the background of the murder as they explain it to Wolfe before he accepts the case, along with an impression of both characters as they tell it. She annoys Wolfe, being an interrupter and a cliché-tosser.
Arthur appeared on the surface to be a communist, but defended himself to his aunt by claiming to be an undercover FBI agent. Did someone kill him because they thought he was a communist, or because he wasn't? And which was he, anyway?
"The Cop-Killer" - Adapted for A&E's 2nd Nero Wolfe season. Archie shot his mouth off about his skills as a detective once too often in the Goldenrod Barbershop that both he and Wolfe patronize. Carl and Tina Vardas (the hat-check guy and the manicurist), as illegal immigrants who escaped a Russian concentration camp, panicked and fled when a policeman came to the shop, and have come to Archie for help.
By the time Archie gets to the shop, Jake Wallen, who was chasing a lead on a hit-and-run driver, has been stabbed through the heart with a long pair of scissors in Tina's manicure booth, and Purley's on the scene. Wolfe and Archie have to open this one up fast, before Manhattan homicide finds out they've been shielding suspects in a cop-killing, or their professional lives are over.
"The Squirt and the Monkey" - Harry Koven, creator of the comic strip Dazzle Dan, wants to find out who stole his Marley .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ohioan on April 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
Few of Stout's collection of his short stories are as good as his novels. It seems to me that there's always something artificial or forced in the plotting of the short stories: as if there's a word limit and the author just pushes the story along so it fits the limit. The one I liked the best was "The Cop-Killer," because I thought it it had the strongest plot, involving the barbershop that Archie and Nero frequent, two hit-and-run deaths, and the killing of a cop. This story had the strongest plot, and I enjoyed Nero's roundup of the suspects (in the barbershop, as he was being shaved).

The other two stories, "Home to Roost" and "The Squirt and the Monkey" are not bad: I would never call any Rex Stout story bad. These two stories are enjoyable only because they're about Nero and Archie, not because they're strong stories in and of themselves.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John P Bernat on December 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
These short stories are not among Stout's best, although they are eminently readable. Stout published these first in magazines, and then collected them into books like this one.

"Cop Killer," like "The Squirt and the Monkey," contains some really pulp-fiction cliches which were so widely read in the early 50s. These regreattably date the efforts without adding any asccertainable sharm.

However, "Home to Roost" is actually pretty good, managing to avoid the trap into which the other stories fell. So, instead of two stars, we average up to three...

Hopefully these will be released on CD or download soon; I'd love to hear Michael Prichard read them without paying fifty smackers for cassettes which have beomce increasingly unplayable...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
This collection of three short stories are set in the early 1950's. Those who are unfamiliar with this time period might be a bit perplexed by some of the references made in these stories but, in general the stories hold up fairly well.

The first story is HOME TO ROOST (NERO WOLFE AND THE COMMUNIST KILLER). A young man has been murdered. His aunt and uncle, his only relatives, want to know who killed him and why. In order to discover that Archie and Nero first must find out if the young man had in fact been working for the FBI or had he been a liar trying to cover up his true Communist sympathies.

THE COP KILLER follows. A man and wife that work in the barber shop that Archie and Nero both use arrive at the brownstone asking for Archie's advice. The two turn out to be refugees who are in the country illegally. A police officer had come into the shop asking questions, and convinced that they were certain to be arrested, fled. When Archie looked into the matter though he discovered that there was more going on than what he had been told, a dead body that had not been mentioned. This story might seem familiar to fans from the A & E Nero Wolfe series.

The third story, THE SQUIRT AND THE MONKEY (AKA SEE NO EVIL) takes Archie and Nero into the world of action adventure comic strips. It seems that the creator of 'Dazzle Dan' has lost a gun and has hired Archie and Nero to discover who has taken it. The problem becomes more complicated when a gun is discovered being held by a monkey and near a dead body.

These are not the best in the canon by far but are still good reads, ones that fans of the series will not want to miss. Those new to the series though might wish to begin elsewhere, probably with one of the full length novels.
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