Looks like we have/had a infestation of bots the last few days. Deleted all of the new subscriptions that I suspected were generated by them so if you subscribed and find yourself deleted please resubscribe. I turned capchas on and will now have to authenticate all new subscriptions but would rather do that than have nothing but bots on the site.
No idea what caused it but the front cover pix of the Nero Wolfe Cookbook quit working and I just found it. Couldn’t find the original scan so rescanned both it and the back cover and have uploaded and corrected the problem.
Link to the post is The Nero Wolfe Cookbook
Moving the site contents over to a WordPress.com hosted site at http://neroandarchie.wordpress.com/.
Am in the process of getting all of the images at the new site linked properly as quite a few of them got broken in the transfer for some reason. All new posts will be on the new site. Am hoping I can get the domain names I own to point to that site soon, but for now they will point here. Any comments or problems will be better handled if posted to the new site.
AKA Albert Freyer
Over My Dead Body – While talking to Mr. Donald Barrett of Barrett & De Russy in his office, Wolfe remarks “You’re suffering from an occupational disease. When an international financier is confronted by a holdup man with a gun, he automatically hands over not only his money and jewelry but also his shirt and pants, because it doesn’t occur to him that a robber might draw the line somewhere.”
Ain’t that the truth!
Too Many Cooks – At the “Les Quinze Maitres” Archie notes, after the third course, that “Those guys eating were like a woman packing a trunk – it’s not a question of capacity but of how much she has to put in.”
Wonderful bit of word play!
Actually been quite a while since I have looked in to check for dust and remove the empties.
Too much to do and too little energy to do the things I HAVE to do, much less the things I do for fun (like this website). 🙁
Took a couple of days off from work to do some other stuff but got sick so am at home with a bit of time to catch up on other stuff and took a minute to drop in and look around. Updated the WordPress installation and am hoping to get some other bits done before I have to get back into the rat race.
Till next time, Folks…
Another Wolfe List post that I thought I would archive here.
While rereading Man Alive today, I noticed that another hint about Archie’s age shows up in this one.
Page numbers taken from Three Doors To Death – the Bantam Reissue Edition paperback first published March 1995, 8th printing.
First clue is on page 38 where Wolfe is talking to Cynthia and telling her he wants the folks that have keys to the business there in his office that evening. She replies as follows:
“But good lord.” She was flabbergasted. “I can’t just order them around! What can I say? I can’t say I want them to help find out who killed my uncle because they don’t know it was my uncle? You must consider they’re much older than I am – all but Bernard – and they think I’m just a fresh kid. Even Bernard is seven years older. After all, I’m only twenty-one – that is I will be – my God!”
And she goes on to say that her birthday is the next day.
The next clue is on page 41 where Archie is in Bernard Daumery’s office just after being introduced to Bernard.
Cynthia’s statistics had informed me that he was four years younger than me, and I might as well concede them to him.
So Cynthia is 21, Bernard is 7 years older than her, or 28, and 4 years younger than Archie, which would put Archie at 32. Unless the ever literal Archie is figuring her age at 20 due to her birthday being the next day which would put him at 31.
To link this to my previous post about Archie’s age, I noticed that “Man Alive” was written in 1947 and “In The Best Families” was written in 1950. So if he was 31 or 32 in MA then he would be “about” 34 in ITBF.
Though I do agree that Stout has Archie’s age pegged at somewhere around 30 throughout the corpus, I find it interesting that he kept the time-line consistent through these two stories.
The following is a post I just made to the Wolfe Mailing List and thought it would be good to archive here.
Even though I know that today (8/23/09) we are supposed to start (not) discussing “Man Alive” from “Three Doors to Death “, I thought I would post this about the book we just finished (not) discussing. 🙂
Just reread In the Best Families and noted a couple of points that I thought were interesting. I seem to remember at least some of this coming up in discussion before but a quick search in my very limited email archives didn’t show anything so thought I would post this.
The copy I read this time was the Bantam paperback 8th printing printed in Sept 1984, and that’s what the page numbers I am giving are based on.
The first bit I noted was on the first page of the first chapter and is related to Archie’s salary. The person Archie is talking about is Mrs. Barry Rackham, who has called and wants to see Wolfe on business. The relevant text is as follows:
On the main point of interest, could she and did she pay her bills, the news was favorable: she was worth a good four million and maybe five. Calling it four, and assuming that Wolfe’s bill for services rendered would come to only half of it, that would be enough to pay my current salary – as Wolfe’s secretary, trusted assistant and official gnat – for a hundred and sixty-seven years; and in addition to that, living as I did there in Wolfe’s house, I also got food and shelter. So I was fixed for life if it turned out that she needed two million buck’s worth of detective work.
So in a round about way he tells us how much he makes a year. 2 million divided by 167 is $11976.05 if we round up and $11976.04 if rounding down. From that I am assuming he means he makes $12,000.00 a year which breaks down to an even $1,000.00 a month but if taken even further and divided by weeks is not quite so even and comes to $230.77 a week. Any way you figure it, in 1950 dollars that is a nice little pay check.
I used the Consumer Price Index based financial calculator at http://www.minneapolisfed.org/ to do a bit of figuring on what he would be bringing in today. According to the site the following is how they do the calculation.
The CPI for 1950 = 24.1
The CPI for 2009 = 213.2
And they use the following formula to compute the calculation:
2009 Price = 1950 Price x (2009 CPI / 1950 CPI)
So that means his weekly pay now would be $2041.50 = $230.77 x (213.2/24.1)
Which would put his yearly salary at $106,157.68. Not bad for a gum shoe! And that’s NOT figuring in room and board which in New York City would be a hefty sum!
The second bit that jumped out at me this time through the book is that Archie tells his age! Or at least comes as close as any time “I” remember in the Corpus. On page 17 Leeds is talking about the folks they will meet at the Mrs. Rackham’s house, and says:
“You and me,” he said, “and my cousin and her husband, and Mrs. Frey, whom you have met, and Hammond, and the statesman, that’s seven-”
“Who’s the statesman?”
“Oliver A. Pierce.”
“I’m intimate with lots of statesmen, but I never heard of him.”
“Don’t let him know it.” Leeds chuckled. “It’s true that at thirty-four he has only got as far as state assemblyman, but the war made a gap for him the same as for other young men. Give him a chance. One will be enough.”
Then on page 19 Archie tells us:
Pierce was a smooth article. His manner was, of course, based on the law of nature regulating the attitude of an elected person toward everybody old enough to vote, but his timing and variations were so good that it was hard to recognize it, although he was only about my age.
And goes on with Pierce’s description, but the above was the part that interested me. Archie is telling us that he is about 34 years old. Now the first book in the series, Fer-de-Lance, was written in 1933 and this one, In the Best Families, was written in 1950, which gives us 17 year’s between them. Extrapolating from the above statements that he is 34, he would have been 17 when the first story came out and would have been born in 1916, neither of which fit in with other bits from elsewhere in the corpus. So either he is not telling the truth about his age (Not that Archie would EVER prevaricate!) or as has been discussed in far greater depth than I am prepared to go into here, Stout changed their ages to suit his self as the series progressed. As I said just a point I found interesting.
All in all a very good read and I quite enjoyed rereading it.
Comments, corrections, and discussion welcomed.
AKA Albert Freyer
Black Orchids – June 1992 Bantam Reissue
Copyright 1941 and 1942 By Rex Stout
A Bantam Book
Bantam Reissue… June 1992
This is a 4th printing.
Creasing to spine and front cover. Some corner and edge bumping. Inside covers browning. Pages tight. Some corners turned. No stamps or markings. Good copy.
Introduction by Lawrence Block
Cordially Invited To Meet Death
Rear Cover Intro:
Nero Wolfe has left his comfortable brownstone for the promise of a remarkably black orchid at a flower show — but before Wolfe and his perennially hardy sidekick, Archie Goodwin, have a chance to stop and smell the roses, a diabolically daring murder takes place right under their noses and puts a blight on the proceedings. Now Wolfe’s fancy turns to thoughts of weeding out a murderer — one who’s definitely not a garden-variety killer. Only then will Wolfe be ready to throw his weight into a second thorny case, involving a rich society widow bedeviled by poison-pen letters — and a poisonous plot as black as Wolfe’s orchids… with roots that are even more twisted.
Salute The Toff – By John Creasey
Award Books # AN1212
Cover Price 95¢
Copyright and first printing 1971 – This appears to be the first paperback printing 1973
Some staining to cover. Some creasing on spine and back cover. Spine leans. Pages browning and some corner creasing but tight. Good reading copy.
She was young, beautiful, and she was standing unannounced in the doorway of the Hon. Richard Rollison’s study. Her name was Fay and she’d come to the Toff for help – her employer was missing. She was afraid to go to the police.
He was thirtyish, handsome, and very dead sprawled across the floor of a Grey Street flat. His identification said he was Mr. Draycott, Fay’s missing employer. But a half hour later, Mr. Draycott phoned a business associate.
In a super detective mystery, the Hon. Richard Rollison – also known as the Toff – is faced with the impossible task of searching out a murderer and his victim.
Green Light For Death – By Frank Kane
Dell Books. Good+ 1949. Softcover. Copyright 1949, later printing. Dell 918. Light creasing to cover and spine, interior pages clean & tight, age tanning to pages, darker at the top. Some pages folded over.
Rear Cover Text:
She was a gorgeous, and mysterious, girl from New York, who had taken a low-paying job in a small-town night club.
When they fished her out of the local river, she had nothing on. It didn’t matter, she was past caring.
Johnny Liddell cared, though. The girl was his client and it didn’t make sense. Why would she strip, pile her clothes neatly on the pier, and then take the plunge.
A waste, Liddell thought mournfully. A great waste.
Then he cheered up. Any case that began with a killer and a naked woman was bound to produce more of the same….
Way Of A Wanton – By Richard S. Prather
Gold Medal k1382
8th Printing January 1964
Covers show age spotting and staining. Cover coming unglued. Pages tight. Pages 71/72 and 115/116 corners turned down. Pages 121-144 have water staining top outside corner almost to spine and 2 inches down outside edge.
Front Cover Text:
“There was a fire in her eyes that was scorching me – me, Shell Scott, the private eye who couldn’t tell whether a dame wanted to kiss me, or kill me!”
Rear Cover Text:
No matter how you look at it, 36-22-35 are magic numbers. They have a real message for me. I’m Shell Scott, the private eye, and I’m very good at figures. You might say I follow them very carefully. I’ve been following this one figure for several days and learned her name is Sherry. She looks as though she were designed by a sex fiend, and I hated to think she was mixed up in murder. It almost made me crawl back into my Shell. But somebody was planning to send me to my friendly neighborhood mortician and I had to find out who – or die trying.
Book Description: Harper Large Print Edition, 2004. Soft Cover.
Book Condition: Good, Ex-library copy with standard stamps and markings inside. Covers have been laminated with plastic. Some edge and corner bumping and page edge discoloration.
From the rear cover: Sophisticated yet down-to-earth, philosophical yet practical, Bernie is a gentleman who knows and loves his territory, the gloriously diverse and electric streets of Manhattan. He is minding his own business when he’s asked for a favor — a neat, uncomplicated bit of vengeful larceny that will reap a tidy profit — an offer the intrepid thief can’t refuse. But with a few days to go before the crime, Bernie gets restless. So what does a burglar do to change his mood? Go on the prowl, of course. This bit of prowling lands Bernie in a pile of trouble that includes four murders and the burglary of his own home. Caught in the center of a deadly mystery, Bernie must use his wits and wiles to connect the dots and add up the coincidences. Because if he doesn’t catch a killer, he’ll lose not only his freedom but his life.
Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine from January 1967. Back cover in bad shape. Some water discoloration on the pages. Pages brown and brittle. Cover coming loose at top of the spine. Front cover has previous owners name written in ink. Some pencil marks on at least one inside page. Some page corners folded over and damaged. Poor condition but still readable.
All books and magazines are shipped encased in plastic bags in protective cardboard enclosures.
Went to the local Salvation Army yesterday (Monday May 11, 2009) and came home with a pile of mysteries including 9 paperbacks by Rex Stout and one hardback by Goldsborough. Will get them scanned and up for view asap. For now here are a couple of pictures of the lot to drool over… 😉
Got to playing around with a theme that I am using over at another site and came up with a new one for the Wolfe site. Hope y’all like it.
This link and post has nothing to do with Wolfe or Stout but is about a bookstore so is “kinda” on topic. For the most part The Bookman sounds like quite an interesting place. Wish I had known about it when I was out there a few years ago, I’d have loved to visit and browse. Considering this article was originally published in 1996 I suspect it’s long gone by now though…
The Wold Newton Universe
On December 13, 1795, a meteorite fell from the sky and landed in Wold Newton, East Riding Yorkshire. Breadth was twenty eight inches, length was thirty six inches, and it’s weight was fifty-six pounds. This is historical fact.
Science Fiction author, Philip Jose Farmer, suggested that the meteor was radioactive. Two passing coaches were in the vicinity and the radiation caused genetic mutations in the people inside the coaches. Many of their descendants were thus endowed with extremely high intelligence and strength, as well as an exceptional capacity and drive to perform good, or, as the case may be, evil deeds. The descendants included Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Doc Savage, one of his assistants, Monk Mayfair, The Shadow, G8, Phileas Fogg, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, Fu Manchu, The Avenger, The Spider, Nero Wolfe, Philip Marlow, Travis McGee, among others. Thus, The Wold Newton Family came to be.
Interesting concept. There is a bit more about this in the blog post this excerpt was taken from as well as a series of stories utilizing this concept on the site. Haven’t read any of them yet but am planning to asap.
Which we all know Wolfe wouldn’t allow in his house, much less on his table! 😉
I seem to be getting a handle on it. Turns out that most of it isn’t comment spam but rather pingback and trackback spam caused by a high Google page rank. So I have turned that function off for all new posts and as spam is coming in I’m cutting it off on the posts that it links to. Hoping this takes care of it.
Now back to the regularly scheduled nonposting… 🙂