The Return of the Black Widowers
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Until his death in 1992, author Isaac Asimov would write more than 120 ingenious tales of detection and deduction, and in 66 of them he would present his armchair detectives, the Black Widowers, with the mind-teasing puzzles that they would strive to solve in often-quarrelsome conversation. The Black Widowers club is meeting again. In a private dining room at New York’s luxurious Milano restaurant, the six brilliant men once more gather for fine fare served impeccably by their peerless waiter, Henry. At table, too, will of course be that requisite dinner guest to challenge their combined deductive wit: a man whose marriage hinges on finding a lost umbrella; a woman shadowed by an adversary who knows her darkest secrets; a debunker of psychics unable to explain his unnerving experience in a haunted house; or a symphony cellist accused of attacking his wife with a kitchen knife. In addition to six stories that have never before appeared in any collection, this volume includes the ten best-ever Black Widowers cases, among them the very first to be published, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, as well as the first brand new Black Widowers story to appear in more than ten years.
he'd gotten a story from Asimov and was shaken by the realization that now it was too late. His subconscious converted his desire into a fantasy that he had gotten a story, and maybe because he'd had a few too many drinks that night, he was temporarily unable to distinguish fantasy from reality." "I don't buy it," Nemerson said. "We'd been drinking, and maybe that had something to do with why he told me about the story that night and why he didn't remember telling me about it later, but it's not
You said it was something that happened at work. Did he actually tell you what it was and you've just forgotten; or did he never tell you?" "He didn't go into detail, and I didn't ask. It wasn't my business." "All right," said Rubin, "how about this? It was an argument about something big at work. Maybe Alex had stolen fifty thousand dollars and Marge was sore about it, and that was the argument. Or Marge had made him steal it and he was getting cold feet about it and that was the argument. And
his water glass with his spoon. "Inquisition time," he said. "As Grand Inquisitor I pass, since I'm the host. Manny, will you do the honors?" Rubin said, at once, "Dr. Eldridge, how do you justify the fact of your existence?" "By the fact that I labor to distinguish truth from folly." "Do you consider that you succeed in doing so?" "Not as often as I wish, perhaps. And yet as often as most. To distinguish truth from folly is a common desire; we all try our hands at it. My interpretation of
"Don't get defensive, Geoff," said Trumbull. "We're all pedants. Go on, Mr. Parris." Parris nodded and said," '. . . of Thetis and Peleus. It may also be that someone, possibly Manny Rubin, will suggest that the game be refused and that the money be shared. Not so! Sorry to insist, but only one person gets the money, and that person will be he who can demonstrate himself to be the barest to the satisfaction of the executor of the will. Failing that, no one of them will get the money. I dare say
father saw to it that I was left with a secure and entirely adequate income so that I can quite afford to spend my life in doing something I consider very worthwhile and interesting, without regard to payment." "Lucky fellow," muttered Halsted. Trumbull reentered the grilling with what was almost a roar. "All right, so you don't need money. But do you mean to tell us that you have no hankering for fame, or at least recognition? Don't you want to have people know of your work?" DaRienzi