Claudius Lyon & Arnie Woodbine
Created by Loren D. Estleman (1952--)
"Are you familiar with the work of Rex Stout?"
ARNIE WOODBINE, an ex-con who boasts that he's a "good confidence man in the second class and a first class forger." He answers a want ad in The Habitual Handicapper seeking a
Fresh out of the hoosgow, he decides to go for it, and encounters the very rotund but dapper CLAUDIUS WOODBINE, whom Arnie tags as the "best-tailored beach ball" he'd ever met. Claudius is impressed with Arnie's candor and feels that Arnie has the sort of skills that would be just perfect for his agency.
What sort of agency, Arnie asks.
"Why, a detective agency, of course," is the reply.
It turns out Claudius is more than a little obsessed with Wolfe, and has plans to set up a copy-cat agency modelled exactly like that of his idol, billing himself as "the world's greatest amateur detective," figures he'll be safe from legal action from Wolfe as long as he doesn't (officially) charge for his work.
"The phrase 'the world's greatest detective' would violate the truth-in-advertising laws," he explains to Arnie. After all, ". Nero Wolfe is still practising and demonstrably the best in his profession."
A great site covering all of Loren's stuff, including both his detective and western stuff, by his wife, author Debi Morgan..
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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