Synopsis of Help Wanted, Male
Publisher Ben Jensen visits Wolfe’s office, with the intention of hiring protection for himself after receiving a death threat by mail. Wolfe rejects the offer, giving Jensen some advice on how to ensure his own safety. And Archie gives you the name of an agency that does bodyguard work. Jensen had been involved in one of Wolfe’s previous cases, in which an army captain named Peter Root had offered to sell classified information. Root was taken before a martial court and sentenced to three years in prison.
In the newspaper the next morning the news appears that both Jensen and the bodyguard he hired have been shot dead. That same day’s mail brings a death threat addressed to Wolfe, identical to the one Jensen received.
While in Washington for a meeting with his superiors in Army Intelligence, Archie sees an ad in a New York newspaper, in which he applies for male candidates of the same height and weight as Wolfe. Leaving his meeting and returning to Manhattan, Archie is surprised to see someone other than Wolfe in the custom-made chair of the detective. Wolfe introduces the man as H.H. Hackett, who has responded to the announcement. Wolfe pays him $ 100 per day to impersonate him both at home and in public. He is using Hackett as a decoy to determine who might want to kill him.