"Sam Buried Caesar"

"Josh Pachter, you will recall, is the creator of Inspector Ross Griffen of the Tyson County Police Force, a widower with eleven children all of whom he has named after detective heroes (and one heroine) of his youthful reading. The first and middle names of the ten sons are Peter Wimsey, Albert Campion, John Jericho, Parker Pyne, Gideon Fell, Augusus Van Dusen, Sherlock Holmes, Perry Mason, Ellery Queen and Nero Wolfe. The only daughter is named Jane Marple Griffen.

"You will also recall that Mr. Pachter has already given us two cases about E.Q. Griffen (December 1968 and May 1970). Now he gives us the first recorded case about ten-year-old Nero Wolfe Griffen and his friend, Archie Goodwin — oops, pardon, Artie Goodman — an undeniably Neroish and Wolfean investigation...

"Josh Pachter was 18 years old when he wrote 'Sam Buried Caesar.' What will he write when he is 28? When he is 38? The mind boggles..."

When I was 28 (in 1979), I wrote nothing — I'd quit writing in '74, and didn't return to the game until '84. When I was 38 (in 1989), I was writing Mahboob Chaudri stories. So the mind can now stop boggling.

In Rex Stout's novel, Some Buried Caesar, Nero Wolfe investigates the "murder" of a champion steer named Caesar. In this affectionate pastiche, a neighborhood kid named Sam hires Nero Wolfe Griffen — for a retainer of 15 cents! — to investigate the disappearance of Sam's dog Caesar.

Rex Stout was still alive at the time the story appeared in print, and I got a very nice note from him, telling me that he'd enjoyed it. Long gone, now, alas, both Stout himself and the note....

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