The Red Box is the fourth Nero Wolfe novel and is set in 1936 in Nero's NYC brownstone. Nero rarely leaves the house, preferring to spend time with his orchids, his beer, and the delicious gourmet meals prepared by Fritz, his personal chef. Instead, he sends his "boy Friday" Archie Goodwin out into the world when required. In the case of the titular red box, Nero is hired by a young man named Lew Frost who's concerned about his cousin Helen's safety after her friend is poisoned. Soon Lew's father and Helen's mother get involved, as well as family friends. What unfolds is a complicated family drama full of secrets and half-truths. Nero attempts to untangle this mess and get to the truth of the murder(s) by interviewing the parties involved, while Archie dutifully takes notes and adds his two cents. He also works with a police inspector, although it's unclear who's helping whom. It's a suspenseful mystery that will keep you guessing, but the real fun is watching these characters as they navigate the waters of this story.
|the cast of The Red Box on the set
The Red Box is about halfway through its six-week run at Park Square Theatre in lovely downtown St. Paul. It's smart, sharp, funny, suspenseful, and entertaining - the perfect summer mystery play.