Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Banquets of the Black Widowers, by Isaac Asimov

Banquets of the Black Widowers
by Isaac Asimov

The exceedingly prolific Isaac Asimov wrote hundreds of books in his lifetime (and you thought you were an overachiever) and is probably best known for his science fiction and popularizations of various science-related topics. He also wrote a handful of mysteries, including the Black Widowers series of short stories, which were eventually collected into six volumes. Banquets of the Black Widowers is the fourth of these six.

The Black Widowers stories all have the same premise - a group of six men gather for a banquet, sometimes with a guest in attendance. After the dinner is over a puzzle or mystery is presented and everyone takes a crack at it. As it turns out, their waiter Henry, who's pretty much considered to be the group's seventh member, is most often the one who comes up with the answer.

I've always had a fondness for drawing room type stories and these are no exception. With that in mind I don't have a problem with some of the mysteries and puzzles being a bit convoluted and sometimes even farfetched. It's all in good fun and if you like this sort of thing...well, then, you'll like this sort of thing.

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