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Death on Deadline is another baffling case for the orchid-growing gourmet and genius of detection, Nero Wolfe, who uncharacteristically takes out a full-page ad in The New York Times calling for a united effort to keep international presslord Ian MacLaren from turning the respectable Gazette into another sleazy tabloid. Although their friend Lon Cohen is a longtime reporter on the Gazette, Archie Goodwin is mystified that his boss has acted so publicly without even a paying client. But no one suspects that within forty-eight hours one key player in the newspaper wars will be found dead. Note that the chapter headings are garbled but otherwise this is an excellent scan.
In cool Manhattan the ad game is both crisp and cutthroat. But when two competing agencies begin producing look-alike commercials for rival soft-drink companies. Mills, an executive with one of the firms, wants to see Nero Wolfe to discuss finding the leak. Then a young executive is found bludgeoned to death in a trendy Village apartment, and the search for an agency mole becomes a search for a murderer. Despite Wolfe's lack of interest in advertising, cherry colas, or work in general, funds are low and a little arm twisting by Archie persuades Nero to take the case. While Archie does the legwork needed to gather clues, Nero Wolfe must digest the facts of one of the most unappetizing - and unsettling - cases he's been served in a long time.
Playboy Sparky Linville has a nasty notion of fun and games. But when he picks popular Noreen James as his unwilling playmate, the result is murder--and a case that will rock Manhattans trendy Upper East Side and divide the family of Lily Rowan, Moreen's aunt. As furor rages in the local press and the police fix their attention on her relatives, Lily turns to her old friend and confidant Archie Goodwin for help, hoping he can convey the seriousness of the family's plight to his eminent employer, Nero Wolfe. Note that date rape is mentioned and discussed but not graphically.
Nero Wolfe hasn't taken a case in two years. Now he's back, figuring out who killed an orchestra director and why.
For the past six Sundays reverend Barnabas Bay, the splashy televangelist has found a nasty surprise in the collection. Bible quotations twisted into death threats. Will Wolfe and Archie help?
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