Puzzles of the Black Widowers (The Black Widowers, Book 5)
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Once a month, the seven members of the Black Widowers Club gather for dinner at their favourite restaurant. To each dinner a guest is invited, and each guest has a problem too large and complex to solve on his own. This is the fifth collection of the "Black Widowers" stories.
did have. How odd that you should ask. It was years ago, of course, but it was a real mystery. We didn't have the slightest idea where the fellow had gone. — Do you want to hear it?" Gonzalo rose from his seat and said, "I do, but I'll be glad to put it to a vote. Is there anyone here who doesn't want to hear it?" There wasn't a sound, and then Avalon said, "Well, Mario, we'll listen." Gonzalo nodded his head emphatically. "All right, then. Mr. Hume, you have the floor." Hume said mildly,
where his own family was concerned." Drake said, "What was the daughter's name?" "Claudia Jane," said Brant. "I don't remember her married name at the moment. Why do you ask?" "Just curious. She might have had ambitions, too, mightn't she?" "I don't think so. At least not with respect to the business. She made it quite clear she neither expected nor wanted any share in it. Her husband was rich — old money — social position — that sort of thing. The last thing she wanted was to be identified
can have it for its sentimental value?' Even if he were driven to theft, he would try to get it legally first." Drake said, "It looks as though we're driven to the conclusion that he wanted an old, beat-up purse for its own sake." "Why?" said Avalon. "Because he couldn't buy one. All those for sale are new ones. Even if he went to a secondhand store, the purses would be furbished to look as good as possible. He had to find one that was already old and beaten up and looked it." Gonzalo said,
Mountjoy?" "Yes," said Mountjoy. "The insects the entomologist was working with. I still can't give you the exact name, though." "Was it Drosophila?" "Yes! By God, yes." "It is more commonly known as the fruit fly and it is the classic insect used for the study of mutations. It seems to me, then, that the four-leaf clover may have been drawn to signify mutations and that that was meant to point rather precisely to the entomologist as the traitor. At least, it seems so to me." "Heavens!" said
the previous Afterword) shows itself clearly in this story, which first appeared in the September 1989 issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The Recipe Roger Halsted said in a whisper to Geoffrey Avalon, "He's my plumber." Avalon stared at him for a moment or two, more in incredulity than in disapproval. "Your plumber?" "Used to be, actually. He's retired and moved to the suburbs. He's a nice fellow, and if you want to judge by the usual criterion of American success, he has always made a