Synopsis of And Be a Villain
Cyril Orchard, the editor of the Horse Racing Almanac, is poisoned with cyanide during a live soda ad on a popular radio show. The case causes a sensation in the media and attracts the attention of Nero Wolfe, who faces the payment of taxes and needs money. He sends Archie Goodwin to convince the producers and sponsors to hire Wolfe to investigate the crime. Among the suspects is the show’s host, Madeline Fraser.
Although his initial investigations seem not very promising, Wolfe finally finds out that Fraser is allergic to the drink he promotes. Therefore, instead of soda, drink iced coffee that is served in a specially marked bottle so as not to confuse them. Since the marked bottle was the one that contained the poison, this suggests that Fraser was the intended victim instead of Orchard.