Synopsis of The Second Confession
The wealthy James U. Sperling goes to Nero Wolfe to investigate Louis Rony, an admirer of Sperling’s youngest daughter, Gwenn. Sperling wants Wolfe to find evidence that Rony is a member of the American Communist Party. Wolfe is reluctant as he thinks Rony has connections with “Z”, a grim criminal brain that has crossed Wolfe’s path before. However, Wolfe sends Archie Goodwin incognito to Sperling’s property in Westchester to see if he can discover any reason to convince Gwenn to break the relationship.
His family, including his wife, son and two daughters, are present at Sperling’s estate; Rony himself; Paul Emerson, a controversial conservative radio commentator sponsored by the Sperling corporation; and Webster Kane, economist and family friend. That night, Archie plans to drug Rony, but when he changes his drink, he discovers that Rony’s drink was already high.
The next night, Archie offers to take Rony back to New York. He plans Wolfe’s coloborators, Saul Panzer and Ruth Brady, to pretend to be thieves and assault them. Once Rony is unconscious, Archie registers him and discovers a member card of the Communist Party under the name of William Reynolds. Upon returning to New York, Archie learns that “Z” has warned Wolfe to withdraw from the case. As a threat, the greenhouse on the roof of Wolfe’s house suffers an attack with machine guns, destroying many of the orchids.
Wolf leaves home
Wolfe meets with Sperling and his family and explains that, although he cannot necessarily prove that Rony is a communist, he can prove that he is a member of the “Z” criminal organization. But it is Gwenn’s decision if he should proceed. That night, while everyone waits, Gwenn reveals that he has contacted Rony and asked him to meet because her intention is to break their relationship. Later, Archie discovers Rony’s body; a car has run over him and his body has been hidden in some bushes far from the entrance of the property.
When the investigators arrive, there is evidence that Wolfe’s car was the one used to run over Rony with what the suspicions fall on Archie.
Synopsis based on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Second_Confession