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A street kid interrupts Nero Wolfe's dinner with his eyewitness account of a kidnapping. The next day, the boy is dead and his mother comes to the detective with her son's meager savings and dying wish to hire Wolfe to solve his murder.
A 78-year-old Indian woman in New York is the world's most passionate theatergoer. Nicki Cochrane been going to at least one play every day for more than 25 years. Always taking along her large bags, Nicki is ready to fight for a free seat at any show that's worth her time. She has developed an array of ingenious means by which she acquires free tickets to most New York theaters. When small talk with the box office managers doesn't doesn't get her a free ticket, Nicki stands outside the theater entrance, holding a sign which says "One Ticket Please" hoping that a stranger will have an extra ticket to spare. Disliked by theater staff for her behavior, Nicki prides herself with a staunch dedication to the art. But at what point does dedication turn into addiction? As Nicki rushes around Manhattan from one theatre to the next, we find out about her personality and the choices she has made in order to make a life at the theatre possible.
Chronicles a man who is obsessively interested in only one thing,the pictures he takes that document the way people dress. The 80-year-old New York Times photographer has two columns in the paper's Style section, yet nobody knows who he is.
Dr. Henry Harriston is a successful psychoanalyst in New York City. When he is near a nervous breakdown, he arranges to change his flat with Beatrice Saulnier from France for a while. Both don't know each other and both find themselves deeply involved into the social settings of the other, because the decision to change their flats is made overnight. Could be the perfect amusement, but suddenly Henry finds himself beaten up by Beatrice' lover and Beatrice is considered to be Dr. Harriston's substitute by his clients.
Peter, a junior executive at a New York business, figures out that single men at his company are generally passed over in favor of married men, who the top execs think are more stable. So Peter asks his friend and upstairs neighbor, Greta, if she'd be willing to pose as his wife for company functions. She agrees, not knowing how it'd affect her personal life. And whenever someone from his company unexpectantly dropped by "their" apartment, Peter would run up the fire escape two floors to fetch Greta, much to the bemusement of their neighbor in-between.
In this roman-a-clef for the infamous Lucky Luciano Trial, Mary Dwight and four roommates work as hostesses at the Club Intime, a "clip joint" that offers gambling, liquor, and female companionship to the "big spender" clientèle. When ruthless thug and pimp Johnny Vanning takes over all the clubs in town, the girls are forced to follow Vanning's rules and kick back on their "tips" in exchange for protection. Although she is not a hardened old hand like Gabby and Estella, Mary knows enough to sidestep Vanning's amorous advances. Unfortunately the more naive Mary Lou is impressed by Vanning's oily veneer of materialism and accepts invitations to "entertain" at the gangster's private parties. Mary's naive younger sister Betty arrives from college just when Mary and her roommates are arrested as material witnesses in the murder of one of the casino's non-paying customers. Vanning's corrupt lawyer frees the others but pressures Mary to commit perjury in order to discredit crusading District Attorney David Graham. Disillusioned by her sister's lifestyle. Betty consents to accompany Emmy Lou to one of Vanning's private parties where the gangster ends up killing her for not submitting to the advances of one of the party's guests. Mary decides to tell the truth to the D.A., and is beaten to disfigurement by one of Vanning's hoods. Even so, Mary agrees to testify - and at her bedside, all the other hostesses decide to follow her example in the coming hearing. (original by duke1029)