Trio for Blunt Instruments
Novella Titles: Kill Now, Pay Later,
Murder is Corny, & Blood will Tell
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Scroll down to see the Synopsis, Quotation(s), Review(s), as well as additional background information.

  • Trio for Blunt Instruments: First Edition
  • Trio for Blunt Instruments:Sweet Corn Murder (Murder is Corny) Ellery Queens Mystery 1978, January
  • Trio for Blunt Instruments
  • Trio for Blunt Instruments
  • Trio for Blunt Instruments
  • Trio for Blunt Instruments: Spanish Edition
Trio for Blunt Instruments: First Edition
Trio for Blunt Instruments: First Edition
Cover art donors are accredited on the Corpus Summary Page
Rex Stout's unique skill with the novelette form has so long been acknowledged that it requires no further proclamation. Here, then, are the three latest demonstrations of his ability to embody full-length story qualities and characterizations in the somewhat shorter form. 

In Kill Now, Pay Later  - - - he gives us the bootblack's beautiful daughter and her involvement with a business executive who might have jumped or fallen from a certain tenth-floor window had not someone thoughtfully bashed his cranium first.

Murder Is Corny - - - is largely about the story the farmer's daughter told, which nearly put Archie Goodwin on trial for murder.

Blood Will Tell  - - - is the case of the too curious wife whose final indiscretion led to her being done in by the wielder of a vodka bottle. Strangely enough, though Nero Wolfe is his ever super-brilliant self in all these affairs, it is only the final one which earns him a fee.

There was nothing Nero and Archie wouldn't do to help lovely ladies in distress - - - nothing, that is, short of murder . . .
Kill Now, Pay Later 
"Innocence has no contract with bliss." (p. 55)

Murder Is Corny
"Your Honor, I object to the question on the ground that it is insulting, impertinent, and disgusticulous." (p.79)

Blood Will Tell
"The brain can be hoodwinked but not the stomach." (p. 159)
Kill Now, Pay Later 

A satisfying story -- Wolfe sues five people, including Cramer, for $1M each. Opens with the arrival of Pete Vassos, slightly early, for the weekly shining of Wolfe and Archie's shoes.

Murder Is Corny
A fun story, with a great ending, but relies on the sad premise that Cramer et al. suspect Archie of an inept murder.

Blood Will Tell
Opens with the arrival of an envelope containing a blood-stained silk scarf, addressed to Archie. Slightly silly, but fun reading.
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Last updated
March 19, 2015