Counterfeit for Murder
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Synopsis of Counterfeit for Murder
In Counterfeit for Murder, Hattie Annis who doesn’t like cops shows up at Wolfe’s door with a brown paper package holding a large stack of $20 bills, she thinks that there could be a reward for returning it to its owner, but she won’t trust the cops with it. They’ll probably stiff her.
Wolfe is busy with the orchids, but Hattie says she’ll come back later if Archie will hold the money for her.
Some time later, a young woman named Tammy Baxter shows up. She is one of the tenants of the cheap boarding house that Hattie owns, whose rooms she only rents to people working in show-business.
Tammy is concerned for Hattie, who almost never leaves her house, but today she said she was going to see Nero Wolfe, and she hasn’t come home.
Feeling protective of Hattie, Tammy has gone to Nero Wolfe’s house to see if Hattie arrived. Archie lies and says he hasn’t seen her, and Miss Baxter leaves.
When Hattie returns, she collapses at the doorstep; on her way back to Wolfe’s house, a car swerved onto the sidewalk and hit her – fortunately, not hard enough to break bones, but enough to shake her up.
In the front room, Hattie is revived by Fritz’s coffee, and tells Wolfe and Archie about the money.
She was chasing a mouse that ran behind the shelves in her parlor when she found the package hidden behind some books.
She took the package and opened it to find a large amount of money – Archie estimates $10,000 in twenties.
The doorbell rings. It’s Albert Leach, an agent of the Treasury Department, wanting to know if Archie has seen or spoken with a young woman named Tammy Baxter or an older woman named Hattie Annis.
Archie, not caring for Leach’s approach, admits to meeting Tammy, but does not mention that Hattie is present in the house.
Then he returns to the front room, closely examines one of the twenties, and announces that there will probably be a reward: the bills are counterfeit.
Wolfe won’t take Hattie on as a client, but he allows Archie to accompany her to her boarding house and investigate.
Once there, Archie meets Hattie’s boarders: Raymond Dell, Noel Ferris and Paul Hannah, three actors, and Martha Kirk, a dancer; Hattie caters to stage people.
It isn’t until Archie and Hattie enter the parlor that Archie sees the fifth boarder, Tammy Baxter, lying dead on the floor with a kitchen knife in her chest.
Counterfeit for Murder is the third short story of Homicide Trinity
Synopsis of Counterfeit for Murder taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfeit_for_Murder
Series: Nero Wolfe; 36.3
Included in: Homicide Trinity