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Book Note: Rex Stout, Three Witnesses

I read this book about 12-Apr-2003. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1954. This note was last modified Saturday, 02-Aug-2003 14:36:47 PDT.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


At least I managed to grab one I hadn't reread in the last year or two. Definitely a reread, though, I remember all three.

"The Next Witness" opens with Wolfe and Archie sitting in a courtroom waiting to testify. And then Wolfe tells Archie to come with him, gets up, and walks out. This is one of the telephone answering service mysteries -- they're making extra money by getting blackmail information and passing it on to an outside person who handles it (so nobody get suspicious about them).

"When a Man Murders..." presents a couple with the troublesome problem that the woman's dead husband has returned from Korea, where he wasn't dead after all. Nothing about POW treatment or anything; but then he escaped early on, it just took him a while to decide to come back. Sounds like rather a kook, actually. And he's killed during a period when the obvious suspect admits to having gone to the door of his room, but decided not to knock. Actually it turns out his lawyer killed him, to cover up having hidden his revised will (which dropped his relatives, and made their support dependent on his wife's choice).

"Die Like a Dog" is especially amusing for the interactions between Archie and Wolfe about the dog. A black lab, originally named Boopsie or something (they find out later) which Archie claims was originally named Nero, meaning black, which he suggests they change to Jet. Wolfe and Fritz both support the idea of a dog, spoiling Archie's plan. There's also a fine example of the smart-assed wisecracking beautiful woman.

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David Dyer-Bennet