An Officer and a Lady
The Rope Dance
Warner & Wife
Jonathan Stannard's Secret Vice
A Tyrant Abdicates
The Pay Yeoman
An Agacella Or
The Mother of Invention
I ain't going to hurt you."
"You may call me Major Wentworth," was all the reply he got.
"All right, major. But come, what's the use--"
"Stop! If you move again like that I'll shoot. I wonder what's the matter with Hilda. She sleeps very lightly." This last to herself.
Bill looked interested.
"Is Hilda a big sort of a woman in a blue nightgown?"
"Yes. Hawe you seen her7" The brown eyes filled with sudden alarm. "Oh! Where is she? Is she hurt?"
"Nope." Bill chuckled. "Kitchen floor. Chloroform. I was eatin' strawberry shortcake when she come in."
The major frowned.
"I suppose I must call my father. I hate to disturb him--"
"He's incapable, too," announced Bill with another chuckle. "Tied up with sheets and things. You see, major, we're all alone. Tell you what I'll do. There's a suitcase full of silver down on the library window sill. I'll agree to leave it there--"
"You certainly will," the major nodded. "And you'll leave the other
Good stories, well-written, with a few typos in the transcription. The stories are character-driven, often dealing with personal conflicts, with a little burglary, embezzlement, military desertion, and fraud thrown in. I liked Warner & Wife best. The stories hold up well, it's only when someone mentions a hansom cab or a burro that you realize they are not modern stories.
It's a comfortable book.
Good reads from a master.
I agree with the previous reviewer who likened these stories to those of O Henry. All nine are wry, humorous and, more often than not, have an enjoyable reversal at or near the end. Perfect short stories, in other words.
[Side note: there are some minor transcription errors throughout, no doubt from the OCR process, but these do not affect comprehension or enjoyment.]
What a joy to find this collection of Rex Stout short stories. As a fan of his mysteries of Nero Wolf and Archie, I expected this collection to be short mystery stories. Instead I found some gentle, humorous and often insightful stories. I found myself being reminded of some of O'Henry's writing.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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