This is the first of three Nero Wolfe books that involve crime syndicate leader Arnold Zeck and his widespread operations. Zeck – Wolfe's Moriarty – telephones Wolfe to warn him off an investigation that Zeck believes will interfere with his crime syndicate. Each time, Wolfe refuses to cooperate, and anticipates that there will be consequences.
In this book, the publisher of a horse racing magazine dies of cyanide poisoning while appearing on a popular radio show.It appears that the poison was administered in a soda. The soda happens to be the major sponsor of the the show the death occurred on.
Wolfe manages to get himself hired to investigate, by a consortium consisting of the sponsors, the broadcasting company and the show itself. Wolfe pressures a fact out of a witness. This fact is unknown to the police. He turns the fact over to Lieutenant Cramer so as to enlist the assistance of his army of investigators.
This report prepared by yosef shapiro