It was a very good story. It has its irritating moments, especially when some nobody cop takes umbrage with Archie: It was a decent story, I suppose. The main twist, which I shan't mention here, never seems all that believable to me, which hinders my enjoyment of this story. The resolution scene, likewise seems rather bizarre and far-fetched and Here's a dangerous murderer, who has killed two people, almost kills a third, comes close to killing Archie, but with a snap of the fingers the murderer is stopped and overcome and ba-ba-boo it's all over.
Mar 05, Nan Silvernail rated it really liked it. The police are convinced it was suicide. But his widow and the man she fell in love with on the day he died are not too sure. It wasn't there when they found him. Someone murdered him and they are hoping that it wasn't one of them, because their love can never be until this shadow of doubt is lifted. He had been shot with a. Six suspects come to Wolfe to clear them, but only five will come away clean. But during the show, a woman slips off to the office, which is not on the tour.
She is found there by Archie and tells him she has things to tell Wolfe about a murder. But while Archie is back up in the plant rooms briefing Wolfe, someone else slips into the office and strangles her with a silk scarf - the same modus operandi used in the murder she had information on. No one can get away with murdering someone in Wolfe's office, so the chase is on! This looks just cuckoo.
There is no bathtub mentioned in any of the stories. But - it could be the set up for the murder in story 3, just moments before it happened. We know the victem was in the bathroom, we just aren't told if she was in a tub. Might as well be for the sexy angle. Sell more books, maybe? Mar 04, Alison C rated it liked it.
Curtains for Three is the next in Rex Stout's series of Nero Wolfe stories; as with some previous books, it's actually three novellas from , and packaged into one book following their publications in various magazines of the day. This outing includes "The Gun With Wings," wherein an operatic tenor is found dead, an apparent suicide, except that the couple who found the body, his wife and her friend who have just mutually discovered their love for each other, found no gun at the b Curtains for Three is the next in Rex Stout's series of Nero Wolfe stories; as with some previous books, it's actually three novellas from , and packaged into one book following their publications in various magazines of the day.
This outing includes "The Gun With Wings," wherein an operatic tenor is found dead, an apparent suicide, except that the couple who found the body, his wife and her friend who have just mutually discovered their love for each other, found no gun at the body's feet, as the police later did find; in order to keep their love pure and open, they appeal to Nero Wolfe to find out what really happened to her husband so that they will be free of nagging doubts that one of them murdered him. In "Bullet for One," a man with a lot of enemies is shot dead while riding his horse in the early morning in Central Park; five of the six suspects believe the sixth man is the culprit, but he's got an ironclad alibi And "Disguise for Murder" features a murderer audaciously attacking and killing a victim in Nero Wolfe's own house, nay, in his very office!
You see, a garden reporter for the newspaper has persuaded Wolfe to permit members of the Garden Society to visit his beloved orchids, and so Wolfe is confronted with a packed house, half of which are, gasp, women, and when one of them turns up dead, it's up to Wolfe to discover the killer, if only to make sure that Inspector Cramer will unseal his office pronto so that he can get back to being comfortable again in it All of these are fairly slight, as befits the novella form for the most part, but again, they were all fun to read. Jan 24, Rusty rated it liked it Shelves: My enjoyment of these wonderful old mysteries continue.
This one has three tales. The first is "The Gun With Wings". A young couple deeply in love comes to seek Nero Wolfe's help because the young woman's husband has died. She believes he was murdered but because of her affair is afraid to go to the police. The mystery clue seems to concern the movement of the murder weapon. It takes much persuasion by Wolfe to get the young man to admit that he moved the gun, placing it next to the body.
As he pushed, those who were in the way just crumbled at his touch. Nero Wolfe uses his brain power and the skills of his confidential assistant Archie Goodwin to solve the murders without leaving the house. Alexander finally took her into his arms and held her, letting her cry it out. When they returned and the police arrived, the gun had moved to the floor by his body. I'm trying to read these in order, which I would recommend, but since there are 48 stories I think in over 30 volumes , and many are out of print, it's a committment to get them all much less in order. Three incidents occur in the next few days, showing the imprint of X.
Both h My enjoyment of these wonderful old mysteries continue. Both he and she were afraid that that the other had committed the crime. Would Wolfe help them uncover the truth?
He consents and begins to interview all who may have a motive to kill the husband, a famous singer. The second story, "Bullet for One", finds the daughter of a murdered man in Nero Wolfe's office requesting help because she believes that several of her father's acquaintances intend to frame her for her father's death.
As Wolfe investigates the death he finds that each individual has a motive that could result in murder. His task is to determine which individual committed the deed. During the event, a young woman confides in Archie that she has recognized one of the guests as having killed a good friend whose murder has gone unsolved. She gives him no more details and Archie is called to assist with the guests. While he is gone someone murders the young woman. Wolfe has little to go on to discover who murdered the young woman.
His only clue is that it had to have been a guest and he believes that the murderer did not leave the scene of the crime. Mar 29, Karen rated it really liked it. If you get a chance, get the DVDs -- they are great fun. Timothy Hutton plays fast-talking Archie Goodwin, the leg man for Nero Wolfe, New York's most brilliant detective, a devoted gourmet and gardener who never leaves the house on business. The series would be worth watching for the costumes and sets alone, but it's also well-written, nicely cast and beautifully performed.
Working as a sort of repertory theatre, they have the lead actors who play the same characters and but fill the secondary roles from a core group of actors playing different characters every episode. This is a collection of three short mysteries, published originally in The mysteries themselves are clever, but that really isn't the point with this series.
Really, it's about the interplay of the characters: Archie's wise-cracking energy, Wolfe's arrogant sloth, Inspector Cramer's bluster, and the rest of the cast of friends and suspects. My favorite detective, Saul Panzer, appears in 2 of the 3 stories in this volume. The setting is New York city in , and the authenticity of the language and the details make it a fun time capsule.
I'm trying to read these in order, which I would recommend, but since there are 48 stories I think in over 30 volumes , and many are out of print, it's a committment to get them all much less in order. If you're not determined to go in order, the 's ones are a good place to start. The three long stories collected in this volume are all nicely intriguing mysteries chock full of everything that makes the Nero Wolfe books immensely appealing.
Stout managed to write in a brisk pace that never falters or loses his unique voice as filtered through Wolfe's right-hand man, Archie Goodwin. Then there's the comfort of the familiar and relatively safe settings and characters at the fringes of the art-deco world: The other characters are always believable, if quickly sketched.
The key plot turns are plausible. Everything about the Wolfe stories is highly mannered, of course. They may fall short of great literature but they make great reading. I contemplated Wolfe at his massive desk with Fritz's sandwiches and a couple of bottles of beer in front of him and felt thirsty for some sturdy brown ale.
Then I wondered which of Stout's novels or story collections to read next. First read this one probably in the late s or early s. If anything, I appreciated the talent behind it more the second time around. Note that it's not a novel. It's three short stories: All three of the stories are in good Rex Stout form, but I found "The Gun with Wings" to be the best of the lot with a good mystery and story.
So, it averages out to merely OK. On one hand, the mystery is good. But, on the other hand, there's a lot of odd behavior in it where the people should have known better. But, since fractions aren't allowed, I'll have to truncate it down to an OK 3 stars out of 5. Dec 06, Barbara rated it it was amazing. I'm a sucker for Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. This one has three stories: But the widow and her boyfriend tell Wolfe that when they found the body, the gun wasn't there. Who moved the gun and who killed him? The second story is about a mean rich guy who gets killed while riding his horse through central I'm a sucker for Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.
The second story is about a mean rich guy who gets killed while riding his horse through central park. The people in his life have decided who did it, but Wolf and Archie decide otherwise. The third story is about Wolfe's orchid party, in which he invites people from some flower club to come and look at his orchids. During the viewing, a woman sees the person who murdered her friend a few months before, but before she can tell Wolfe whodunit, she's murdered in Wolfe's office while everybody is upstairs.
Franklin's plan to poison her husband, by turning a revolving bookcase table while seeking a book to solve a crossword clue Othello again , thus swapping the cups of coffee, so Mrs Franklin poisoned herself. Poirot could not prove this. He sensed that Norton, who had been deliberately vague about whom he had seen through the binoculars, would hint that he had seen Franklin and Judith, to implicate them in the murder of Mrs Franklin, not inadvertent suicide as it was.
This explains Poirot's testimony at her inquest, to ensure the police would stop their investigation. Given his very weak heart, Poirot conceives that he must end the string of murders by killing Norton. Poirot invites Norton for hot chocolate: Norton, arrogant and self-assured, insists on swapping cups: Poirot moves the sleeping Norton back to his room using the wheelchair: Poirot could walk, one reason he needed a new valet who was unaware of that for this last case. Then, being the same height as Norton, he disguises himself as Norton by removing his wig and false moustache, ruffling up his grey hair, then donning Norton's dressing-gown and walking with a limp.
Having Hastings establish that Norton was alive after he left Poirot's room, Poirot shoots Norton, leaves the pistol on the table and locks the room with a duplicate key. Poirot then writes his story, and ceases to take his amyl nitrite heart medicine. He cannot say it was right to commit murder, but on balance he was sure he prevented yet more instigated by Norton. His last wish for Hastings is typical for Poirot, the matchmaker: In a review titled "The last labour of Hercules", Matthew Coady in The Guardian , on 9 October , wrote that the book was both "a curiosity and a triumph".
Curtains: Mystery Stories - Kindle edition by Scott Nicholson, J.A. Konrath, Simon Wood. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or. Tech week has begun for the show Curtains. However, during the first day of tech week, actors and crew start turning up dead. Can the show be saved?.
He repeated the tale of the book being written some thirty years before and then stated that, "through it, Dame Agatha, whose recent work has shown a decline, is seen once more at the peak of her ingenuity. In providing the answers, the great illusionist of crime fiction provides a model demonstration of reader manipulation. The seemingly artless, simplistic Christie prose is mined with deceits. Inside the old, absurd conventions of the Country House mystery she reworks the least likely person trick with a freshness rivalling the originality she displayed nearly 50 years ago in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
For the egotistic Poirot, hero of some 40 books… it is a dazzlingly theatrical finish. Two months later, Coady nominated Curtain as his Book of the Year in a column of critic's choices. He said, "No crime story of has given me more undiluted pleasure. As a critic, I welcome it, as a reminder that sheer ingenuity can still amaze. Maurice Richardson in The Observer of 5 October summed up: Robert Barnard , in A Talent to Deceive , less favorably writes:.
Written in the 'forties, designed for publication after Christie's death, but in fact issued just before it. Based on an idea toyed with in Peril at End House chapter 9 — a clever and interesting one, but needing greater subtlety in the handling than Christie's style or characterisation will allow the characters here are in any case quite exceptionally pallid. In fact, for a long-cherished idea, and as an exit for Poirot, this is oddly perfunctory in execution. Being their last case together, mention is made of earlier cases. Hastings became involved in the first Styles investigation in , at which time he was thirty years old.
Poirot mentions that once in Egypt he attempted to warn a murderer before the person committed the crime. That case is the one retold in Death on the Nile. He mentions that there was another case in which he had done the same thing: Poirot referred to the characters in Shakespeare's Othello , analyzing their motives in contrast to the characters around him.
Keeping the motif, Hastings and others work on a crossword puzzle with a clue whose answer is Iago , one of the main characters of the play. Christie wrote the novel in the early s, during World War II. Partly fearing for her own survival, [ citation needed ] and wanting to have a fitting end to Poirot's series of novels, Christie had the novel locked away in a bank vault for over thirty years. Christie authorised Curtain' s removal from the vault and subsequent publication. It was the last of her books to be published during her lifetime.
Due to its early date of composition, Curtain makes no mention of Poirot's later cases, in novels published after World War II. Details are only very occasionally anachronistic such as the mentions of hanging , which had been abolished in Great Britain in Christie could not know how long she would live nor how popular Poirot would remain.
The fifth paragraph in Curtain "Wounded in the war that for me would always be the war—the war that was wiped out now by a second and more desperate war" says Hastings marks the passing of time for Hastings, and the long friendship of the two men, as well as making a link to the first Poirot novel. She also and rarely looked at him when their characters conversed.
Was Spencer wearing his tie right now? It bothered him that a little detail like that had slipped his mind when it now played such a big part in the scene before him. Thus, it was still possible that Spencer could be the guilty party. As much as it was the last thing he wanted to look at, Alexander moved to the cut on her throat next.
It was a mutilated mess. To him, it looked like someone had a hard time cutting her throat. Yet, they must have been angry enough or had reason enough to want her dead to keep trying just the same. It appeared that they had used a dull knife. Who carried a dull knife with them and where was it now? Surely, anyone who had carried one with them just to kill Bella would have chosen a sharp knife or sharpened their knife beforehand. Finally, Alexander examined the handcuffs that the killer used to keep her in the chair. While it was obvious it was the first thing the murderer had done, it was the thing he was least concerned with, at least until he spent time examining them.
The handcuffs looked familiar. Most handcuffs look alike to the untrained eye. Yet, this one was different. These were trick handcuffs, but not just any trick handcuffs. The hidden switch had a heart shape to them. As Alexander knelt beside the chair to take a closer look at the handcuffs, a scent of brown sugar and cherry blossoms caught his attention. It was a unique scent that Nora usually mixed up for herself on the rare occasions that she used perfume.
It had been a special time for them. Alexander participated in a poker tournament in Vegas. It was a one-day tournament. Yet, a group of friends, including Nora, and himself decided to turn it into a weekend of fun for them all. After they all saw a show together, Nora wanted to shop, but their other friends wanted to take a nap before their evening plans. So, Alexander went along with her.
During the afternoon, they found themselves in a quaint little magic shop. They shared a few laughs and inside jokes over some trick handcuffs. After almost an hour of laughter, they both agreed to buy an almost matching set to commemorate their time together. His had a diamond-shaped switch since his lucky card was the nine of diamonds.
Most considered that card unlucky, but not Alexander.
Most would read that the wrong way. Yet, he knew their time together had so far been innocent, despite their love for each other. The unique heart-shaped design to the trick switch was exactly like the one Nora carried with her. He had thought she stopped carrying the handcuffs by now. Yet, with them right before his eyes, he realized that the fact that she still carried it meant she loved him deeper than she ever let on.
That was the question at hand, not what the handcuffs being still carried meant. Could Nora, the protector of all children, really have killed Bella? Could someone be framing Nora? How had they found out about the cuffs if so? It seemed a bit odd to him that someone would choose to frame two different people in such an obvious manner in one murder. Maybe several people collaborated together.
Maybe Spencer and Nora were both in on this killing. That was unless he chose to use the power of his personality that a public relations specialist generally had available to make them work for the good of the group. He definitely knew how to command respect, though. Reliable old Mike was, of course, right by the door, waiting for Alexander to come back out.
It was a change of pace from their usual relationship in which they were total equals. This was just one of the things that endeared Mike to Alexander and made him want to work with him on a regular basis. Make sure you can account for everyone, and report back if anyone is missing.
I need to talk to Nora about poor Bella. Alexander could tell that the sight alone made Mike feel sick as all the color drained out of him. However, he kept his composure. We should call the police. However, he knew Mike needed to know the grave seriousness of the situation if he was going to keep everyone in line.
Right now, he needed to make sure he could remove Nora from the potential suspect list. Besides, her observational skills were impeccable. He could definitely use them right now if they were going to find the real killer. There was no choice in the matter, though. Between her renown observation skills and the item that concerned her, this was likely to be the only way. Yet, he needed to be completely sure before he looked at other suspects. He was glad she appeared to be a good deal calmer than when she had found Bella dead.
Was she flirting with Ferdinand now, or was this all a facade? Nora approached him with caution and an almost robotic walk. She was rarely cautious and never robotic, which made him realize that the calm was a facade. This awakened new worries in him.
Was he going to push her too far with this? Rather, she sounded apprehensive. Alexander assumed that she knew that she would have to confront her fears and take a closer look at the body. She seemed even less sure than he was that she could handle it. He could feel bad about it later, and comfort her when they knew who the murderer was. Nora gulped, but nodded and together they stepped back into the supply closet. He left the door open a crack, but no more. He hoped that Mike would guard that crack from the view of the rest of the cast and crew. Alexander remembered that Nora had been one of the few protective over Bella.
She was protective in a way that would make little sense to those who only knew Bella from their work with her on the show. Nora was always serious when it came to a show. Alexander had no doubt Nora was currently annoyed with Bella, but it still was a lot to ask of her to deal with this. Yet, he still needed her. She was the only one whom he could trust that also possessed her level of observational skills.
Yes, it has to be you. Just tell me everything you see, even if it seems obvious. This would have done nothing. How did they actually keep her from screaming? He is far too nice to kill someone. She annoyed everyone, not just him. It definitely leaves something to think about, though, that the killer used his tie. Then again, as you said, she pushed his buttons most of all. This looks like it took some work, more work than a murder done by someone who just snapped would have done.
There would have been time to regain his composure before she died. What else do you see? It took a lot of work to actually cut through. It was a good thing that the closets in the theater are much bigger than they are in typical houses. So far, she had only repeated his own observations, but there might be something he had missed. As she was composing herself to come back over, he noticed her hesitate.
It seemed like her eyes caught something out of place. I just saw a glint of silver here where there should only be black curtains. Finally, with a grunt, she freed something. With a look of disgust, Nora brought them to Alexander. I think the killer thought no one would find them for quite awhile there. Should we take these out there and confront them? She had been sick from seeing the neck cut and she was too smart to have pointed out the murder weapon if she was the killer.
However, as much as he wanted to trust her, it was time to stop playing nice if he was going to have any answers. Tell me what else you see. That was hardly news to him. Nora knelt down to look closer at the handcuffs. He hoped she would find that his first observation of the handcuffs was wrong. However, before she could comment, Mike opened the door. Yet, all three times I came up with exactly one person missing.
He already had a murder on his hands and now another person was missing. Was the killer missing, or was this just some random person? Or worse, was this another murder they were about to discover?