A daily note on some event in the history of mystery fiction.
Friday, February 24, 2017
2/24/1964 A Right to Die is claimed
February 24, 1964. Rex Stout's A Right to Die begins on this date when an African-American anthropologist named Paul Whipple asks Nero Wolfe to prove his son did not commit a murder. Obviously it was Stout's opportunity to comment on the civil rights movement, but some fans think it is one of his less successful books because of a tactical error the author made.
You see, Paul Whipple appeared in Too Many Cooks as a college student. Decades later, here he is with a grown son, and Wolfe and Archie haven't aged a day. Whipple should have demanded to search their attic for mysterious paintings.