The Return of the Black Widowers

by Isaac Asimov
Release date: 2003
Type: other fiction
Genres: short stories, thriller

Edited by William Brittain and Charles Ardai.

Until his death in 1992, author Isaac Asimov would write more than 120 ingenious tales of detection and deduction, and in 66 of them he would present his armchair detectives, the Black Widowers, with the mind-teasing puzzles that they would strive to solve in often-quarrelsome conversation. The Black Widowers club is meeting again. In a private dining room at New York’s luxurious Milano restaurant, the six brilliant men once more gather for fine fare served impeccably by their peerless waiter, Henry. At table, too, will of course be that requisite dinner guest to challenge their combined deductive wit: a man whose marriage hinges on finding a lost umbrella; a woman shadowed by an adversary who knows her darkest secrets; a debunker of psychics unable to explain his unnerving experience in a haunted house; or a symphony cellist accused of attacking his wife with a kitchen knife. In addition to six stories that have never before appeared in any collection, this volume includes the ten best-ever Black Widowers cases, among them the very first to be published, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, as well as the first brand new Black Widowers story to appear in more than ten years.


  • Introduction by Harlan Ellison
  • The Acquisitive Chuckle (from Tales of the Black Widowers)
  • Early Sunday Morning (from Tales of the Black Widowers)
  • The Obvious Factor (from Tales of the Black Widowers)
  • The Iron Gem (from More Tales of the Black Widowers)
  • To the Barest (from Casebook of the Black Widowers)
  • Sixty Million Trillion Combinations (from Banquets of the Black Widowers)
  • The Wrong House (from Banquets of the Black Widowers)
  • The Redhead (from Banquets of the Black Widowers)
  • Triple Devil (from Puzzles of the Black Widowers)
  • The Men Who Read Isaac Asimov by William Brittain
  • Northwestward
  • Yes, But Why
  • Lost In a Space Warp
  • Police at the Door
  • The Haunted Cabin
  • The Guest's Guest
  • The Woman in the Bar (from Banquets of the Black Widowers)
  • The Last Story by Charles Ardai
  • Afterword (from I, Asimov)
updated 2017-01-18

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