Trouble in Triplicate: First Edition
Trouble in Triplicate: First Edition

In this post-war group of stories, originally published in The American Magazine in 1944, 1946, and 1947, respectively, Nero Wolfe investigates the murders of Ben Jensen, a well-connected publisher ("Help Wanted, Male"), Eugene R. Poor, an inventor of novelties ("Instead of Evidence") and Dazy Perrit, an underworld kingpin ("Before I Die").

"I gazed at my boss in bitter disgust. He had lost all sense of proportion. For the sake of making a wild grab for a rib roast, he had left his chair, walked clear to the front room, opened a window, and invited the most deadly specimen between the Battery and Yonkers into his house." — Archie, baffled by Wolfe's priorities, in "Before I Die," chapter 2

A particularly good bunch of early shorts ... All three start with victims or potential victims—of murder chiefly, but also of blackmail. The plots and their unraveling by Wolfe and Archie are superior examples of art, with plenty of drama, humor, and exact reasoning. [Jacques Barzun and Wendell Hertig Taylor, A Catalogue of Crime. New York: Harper & Row. 1971, revised and enlarged edition 1989.