Synopsis[ edit ] Most of the stories follow the same basic convention: the six club members meet once a month at a private room at the Milano restaurant at Fifth and Eighteenth in New York. The guest may be a friend, relative or colleague from work women are not allowed . The meal is served by the incomparable waiter Henry Jackson — almost invariably referred to as simply Henry — whom the regulars look upon with high regard and even consider an actual member. The room includes sketches of the guests drawn by Black Widower Mario Gonzalo and a bookcase with an encyclopaedia that is often consulted.
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Synopsis[ edit ] Most of the stories follow the same basic convention: the six club members meet once a month at a private room at the Milano restaurant at Fifth and Eighteenth in New York. The guest may be a friend, relative or colleague from work women are not allowed . The meal is served by the incomparable waiter Henry Jackson — almost invariably referred to as simply Henry — whom the regulars look upon with high regard and even consider an actual member.
The room includes sketches of the guests drawn by Black Widower Mario Gonzalo and a bookcase with an encyclopaedia that is often consulted. One of the other Widowers is appointed as "griller" and begins the questioning, most often by asking the guest to "justify his existence". In the course of the subsequent conversation, it always comes out that the guest has a problem, varying from personal issues to problems at work to actual crimes.
The club members try to solve the problem, raising various related aspects in the course of the conversation, but are unable to come to a conclusion or resolution. In the end, it is Henry who provides the correct, and usually very simple, answer, obtained from details mentioned in the conversation. Asimov intended them to always follow that pattern. John D. Wodehouse fan and a member of the Wodehouse Society.
The sixth book, published posthumously, contained six previously uncollected stories, eleven reprinted from previous collections, and additional material by Charles Ardai , William Brittain and Harlan Ellison. A few Black Widowers tales have been written by other authors as tributes to Asimov. The books and the stories collected in them are:.
The Black Widowers Series
Puzzles of the Black Widowers Banquets of the Black Widowers is a collection of mystery short stories by American writer Isaac Asimov featuring his fictional club of mystery solvers, the Black Widowers. It was first published in hardcover by Doubleday in September , and in paperback by the Fawcett Crest imprint of Ballantine Books in June The first British edition was issued by Grafton in August Nearly every story here is about decoding a riddle , each of which provides a clue based on dying or last words , misunderstood words, forgotten words, or withheld words. A few are based on facts that are, perhaps, not generally known to the public — Asimov was a frequent writer of popular science and his inclination to explain anything and everything for the general public carried over into other fields, such as history and sociology — but all the mysteries play fair with the reader, who is given either enough information to figure out the solution or a satisfying conclusion that is based on previously given facts and personality qualities. When the authorities demand his cooperation, he sulkily gives a clue to the code which protects his work on a shared computer, suspecting that no one could possibly guess or deduce the code.
His early career, dominated by science fiction, began with short stories in and novels in This lasted until about , all but ending after publication of The Naked Sun He began publishing nonfiction as co-author of a college-level textbook called Biochemistry and Human Metabolism. Following the brief orbit of the first man-made satellite Sputnik I by the USSR in , his production of nonfiction, particularly popular science books, greatly increased, with a consequent drop in his science fiction output. Over the next quarter century, he wrote only four science fiction novels, while writing over nonfiction books.
Tales of the Black Widowers
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