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Tales of the Black Widowers (The Black Widowers #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,427 ratings  ·  64 reviews
There were six of them. Professional men and their waiter. They gather at the Milano Restaurant once a month for good food and good conversation. But lately the Black Widowers have added a new entertainment to their meetings. They have begun to solve mysteries, murders, and conspiracies of seemingly impossible dimensions.

With all the skills of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule P
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Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 12th 1976 by Fawcett (first published 1974)
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The Westing Game by Ellen RaskinAnd Then There Were None by Peter ForemanEncyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. SobolThe Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery QueenCasebook of the Black Widowers by Isaac Asimov
Solve-it-yourself Mysteries- All Ages
7th out of 54 books — 20 voters
I, Robot by Isaac AsimovFoundation by Isaac AsimovThe Caves of Steel by Isaac AsimovSecond Foundation by Isaac AsimovThe End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
Best Asimov Books
32nd out of 65 books — 60 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,223)
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Manny
Towards the end of his life, Asimov became obsessive about publishing as much as possible: he'd brag about having published his age in years and his weight in pounds and stuff like that. He ended up with several hundred books to his credit, but, unsurprisingly, the standard suffered.

This collection, an impulse buy at an airport bookstall, was one of the last ones I read. It's a bunch of extremely dull little mysteries; the most noteworthy point is that Asimov, apparently as interested in the pro
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Nandakishore Varma
I was in the mood to read something light, so I picked this up, even though I do not have much of an opinion of Dr. Asimov as a mystery writer. I had read one of these collections during my early twenties, when I was a hardcore fan of Asimov and was less exacting in terms of expectations from the books I read: therefore I had found them mildly interesting. But alas, the magic has worn off.

I did not finish these book, but dropped it after four or five stories. These are just parlour puzzles, plot
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Andrew
Asimov turned his hand at writing many genres and styles - some better than others (after all he is known for his science fiction after all) BUT I think mysteries come a close second.

The tales of the black widowers (and the subsequent equals which I will read once I find them, along with the Union Club mysteries) are perfect examples of the after dinner who dunnit story. Each one is presented as a tale from one of the diners for the pleasure and confusion of the rest of he attendees. The storie
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Maria João Fernandes
"O facto é que em praticamente todos os crimes de que há registo, a pessoa mais suspeita é realmente o criminoso."

Após uma introdução brilhante no início do livro, Isaac Asimov apresenta-nos o Clube dos Viúvos Negros.

Um grupo de seis homens junta-se, uma vez por mês, num jantar privado, deixando as suas mulheres em casa e concentrando-se em usufruir, ao máximo, da companhia uns dos outros. Entre eles encontra-se um escritor, um professor de matemática, um especialista em criptografia, um artist
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Brian R. Mcdonald
Contains the short story "The Curious Omission" which in turn contains a brief go reference.

This short story started life as a bibliographic oddity, and without a go reference. The Union Carbide corporation held a "super-sleuth" contest for their customers. The company published, and distributed to "packagers, formulators, and marketers of soap and/or detergent products, chemical specialty products, and cosmetic chemicals", special editions of three of the canonical collections of Sherlock Holme
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Hollis
With the greatest respect and admiration for Dr A, I have to say nevertheless that this has to be the most boring thing I have ever read: a collection of dull and predictable stories. (I hate to say this but: would they have even been published if they hadn't been written by Isaac Asimov?)

No, I mean it: really boring. As boring as cold shit, as boring as watching paint dry, as boring as a six-hour lecture by Isaac Asimov entitled ''Why I Am So Great'' followed by a two-hour session in which Dr
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Uriel Ramirez
At first, when I started to read this book the content was somewhat hard to understand. The wording may be a little advanced (Book level) for some readers. Regardless to that, the use of descriptive sentences helps the reader picture in their head the ideas of what the book is telling. The author is great with mysteries and the way the characters are described. Each character has a different style (purpose) that makes things clear to the reader. I would recommend this book to someone who is grea ...more
Yvonne
If you've never read anything by Isaac Asimov, this is a way to start. Asimov was a prolific writer, and wrote on many different subjects: Bible archaelogy,religion, Greek origins of our words. He wrote a series of 3 manuals on nuclear energy, and described it in a way that anyone could understand. There's so many I couldn't begin to list all of his interests.He was most famous, though, for his science fiction. He wrote the trilogy starting with "I, Robot," and originated the "Ten laws of roboti ...more
Kaligolo
I didn't know Asimov wrote crime stories. Well, he did. A ton of them, published as collections of short stories over the years.

The Black Windowers are a group of friends from various professions and social circles, who gather once a month in an Italian restaurant for their traditional dinner. The only rule being: no women. Each month (and each short story), one of the members invites a guests, who turns out to have a mystery to solve.


First, I like how diverse the mysteries are. It's not (only)
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Giacomo Boccardo
Questa è la prima volta che leggo qualcosa di Asimov che non sia legato alla fantascienza. Si tratta, infatti, di una raccolta di racconti gialli che vengono esposti, discussi e risolti nell'ambito delle riunioni di un gruppo di conoscenti che si autodefiniscono scherzosamente "Vedovi Neri", anche perché a tali incontri non possono prendere parte le rispettive mogli.
Ad ogni ritrovo, a turno, uno degli appartenenti a tale club ha la possibilità di portare un ospite che dovrà accettare di farsi in
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J.
The idea of the stories told-round-the-table is interesting, and Asimov is careful to have the members ask every possible question to exclude every possibility, but this brings two problems: the first is that, in trying to exclude every possibility, sometimes someone has to say silly things like, "There's no way John could have stolen the gold--he is too short." It's supposed to tell the members that that isn't a possibility, but it's frequently awkwardly unconvincing for the reader. Also, the b ...more
Vito
Seconda raccolta dei racconti gialli di Asimov: storie leggere e ingegnose che svolgono per bene il loro dovere di intrattenere il lettore. In pratica, una conferma delle impressioni positive che mi aveva dato il primo volume.

http://www.blogdegradabile.net/?p=583

Bebabi34
elenco racconti:
La croce di Lorena Il buon padre di famiglia La pagina sportiva L'oggetto mancante Domani Irrilevanza Nessuno è così cieco Uno sguardo indietro Al più nudo Il secondo classificato Che ora è? Il secondo nome
Aries
Come ho scritto più volte Asimov è uno dei miei scrittori preferiti: la sua fantascienza è alla base della mia passione per il genere ed il suo modo di fare divulgazione scientifica ha sempre dimostrato come sia possibile esporre argomenti anche difficili in maniera appassionante.Ma Asimov era anche un autore di gialli: già nel ciclo di Lucky Starr aveva fuso il genere fantascientifico e quello più squisitamente del giallo, ma sicuramente il suo maggior risultato fu coi racconti dei Vedovi Neri. ...more
allimo
These are wonderful. I've been a big fan of the mystery short story genre since about kindergarten when I first picked up an Encyclopedia Brown book, and I thought I'd pretty much exhausted my supply by devouring all the Holmes stories in elementary/middle school and nearly every Poirot throughout college. It's wonderful to find more - of which, interestingly, I'd actually read one previously in a "Detective Stories" anthology that had stuck with me for ages. I remembered the story but had forgo ...more
Allan Krummenacker
Isaac Asimov was one of the most prolific of writers. Known mostly for his Robots and Foundation series and other science fiction classics, he was also a master of the short story mystery. In his Black Widowers series, he introduced us to a group of gentlemen who one night every month, leave their wives to themselves and gather to eat a wonderful meal together. Their waiter, an unassuming fellow named Henry, serves his 'gentlemen' with an easy professional manner.

These men all come from differe
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Alan Smith
Every month, the all-male society dining club known as the "Black Widowers" (based on a group of SF writers known as "The Trap Door Spiders" of which Asimov himself was a member) meet for a gargantuan feast.

And each month, whoever is acting as host not only chooses the menu, but brings along a guest. And said guest always - without fail - has some mystery,conundrum or problem that the members of the club try to solve.

And, despite their huge collective ability and intelligence, they always end u
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Elizabeth McDonald
Isaac Asimov - writing mysteries! What more can I say? When I found this book at the library, it was like a personal present from the universe to me. Asimov's style is highly influence (he admits this himself) by Agatha Christie, with each mystery serving as a puzzle.

Each of the short stories in this volume (and its sequels) deals with the Black Widowers' Club, a fictional group of men who meet monthly for dinner with one guest. Invariably, the guest has some puzzle; in variably, the intellectua
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Francesco
Lessi un volume dei Vedovi Neri ere fa e mi piacque.
Ma sono passate, appunto, ere e i gusti cambiano.
Divertissement d'autore, dal gradevole sapore artigianale, ma con un retrogusto "alimentare" molto evidente che, tra l'altro, lo stesso Asimov, nelle note ai racconti stessi, non rinnega.
Si legge veloce e ogni racconto dà soddisfazione con la soluzione del mistero della serata. Alcuni misteri sono un po' artati, altri graziosamente ingenui.
Lettura piacevole e basta.
Tobias Schmidt-Gönner
I started that book to read a bit more Science Fiction. Therefore I grabbed an book by Asimov, without checking. It's not. Its a collection of mystery stories. Nice ones.
Although I prefer Asimovs own role model for mystery writes, Agatha Christie and will probably stay with Asminovs SF stories.
Federica
Ho amato più l'ambientazione e i Vedovi Neri in sè piuttosto che la trama dei racconti. Sono brevi gialli che però non arriverei a definire "gioielli di logica" come altri hanno detto. Molto piacevoli ma non straordinari dal punto di vista dell'intreccio narrativo.
Semplicemente amabili le note dell'autore.
Jaime
Asimov may be best known for his science fiction, but he was also a master of murder mysteries. Each Black Widowers book is an anthology of short stories with the same group of characters. The "Black Widowers" is a men's club that meets once a month to host a guest for dinner. Each guest always has a mystery that needs to be solved, and the butler Henry (also a club member) always solves it. These mysteries are heavily based on logic and are actually more puzzles than mysteries. Readers have to ...more
Paleomichi
Asimov cresce sempre di più nella mia stima. Oltre al grandissimo scrittore di fantascienza che tutti conosciamo, allo spiritoso ma bravo scienziato che molti conoscono, questo libro ne dimostra le grandi capacità di giallista. Già in altri romanzi (ad esempio "Abissi d'acciaio", "Il sole nudo") Asimov aveva sviluppato trame "gialle" in ambientazione fantascientifica, ma in questi racconti dei Vedovi Neri l'ambientazione è molto più classica. Un gruppo di amici, 12 casi curiosi (non necessariame ...more
Yomerowas Here
Relatos cortos de misterio. Lo malo: el problema es que son misterios triviales y un poco sin sentido. Uno de ellos trata por ejemplo de una caja de cerillos. Lo bueno: El estilo de Asimov los vuelve menos aburridos de lo que realmente son. La lectura sólo se recomienda sí eres fan del prof. Asimov.
Ensiform
After reading Asimov's autobiography, I was intrigued by the idea of these tales: longtime friends meet at a club every month, and each time some mystery (usually very minor) comes up, and Henry, the respectful, efficient waiter, solves it. I read with relief that it was not nearly as Wodehousian as the outline made it seem; the Black Widowers are not fools, and Henry is very much allowed to be one of them. Still, he was obviously inspired by Jeeves. Anyway, I liked the stories; some had solutio ...more
Matias
I had such high hopes that this book was going to be clever and filled with unspected endings...
All I have to say is: BLEH! You could have done so much better Ikey...
Robin
The stories in this collection were entertaining, but each one pretty much ended the same way (and started, then proceeded the same way for that matter). The mysteries were fun, but the single one mystery I picked this book up for (I'll leave to your own guesses) did not live up to expectations nor unveil any insights into the longstated mystery of the missing bishops.
Lastly, the few stories that made this book but were never in a magazine did not live up to the quality of the other stories.
Woul
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Laurel Wolfe
Fantastic! Love Isaac Asimov!
Portobellord
This is my second Asimov book and it truly surprised me. I was expecting a sci-fi tale and got instead a group of engaging gentlemen sitting in their club solving (well really the waiter solves everything for them) little mysteries. None of the mysteries are very hard to solve, but the group of characters and their interactions with each other are splendid. I very much loved this book of short stories. I especially liked Asmimov's little asides about each story. He seems like he would have been ...more
Francesco
Asimov presenta 12 enigmi e ti sfida a risolverli. È davvero un duello interattivo. A parte un paio di racconti in cui per arrivare alla soluzione c'è bisogno di conoscere una particolare canzone o un particolare libro, Asimov mette sul piatto sempre tutte le informazioni di cui si ha bisogno per risolvere l' enigma.
Riuscirai a risolverlo prima che arrivi Henry a darti la soluzione? Oppure vincerà Asimov?
La prima sfida, per quanto mi riguarda è finita in pareggio, meno male che ci sono altre rac
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te
...more
More about Isaac Asimov...

Other Books in the Series

The Black Widowers (5 books)
  • More Tales of the Black Widowers (The Black Widowers, #2)
  • Banquets of the Black Widowers (The Black Widowers, #4)
  • Puzzles of the Black Widowers (The Black Widowers, #5)
  • The Return of the Black Widowers (The Black Widowers, #6)
Foundation (Foundation, #1) I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2) Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)

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