Archie Goodwin (fictional detective)

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Archie Goodwin is a fictional character and detective in Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries. The witty voice of all the stories, he recorded the cases of the detective genius from 1934 (Fer-de-Lance) to 1975 (A Family Affair). He lives in Nero Wolfe's brownstone in New York City.

Archie was born on October 23[1] in Chillicothe, Ohio, but moved to Zanesville by age 12.[2] In Fer-de-Lance we learn that Archie's parents died when he was still a child, but in The Final Deduction both Archie and Wolfe refer to Archie's mother as still alive; in The Rubber Band we find that Archie has a sister who once gave him silk pajamas for Christmas.

Contents

Character

I know pretty well what my field is. Aside from my primary function as the thorn in the seat of Wolfe's chair to keep him from going to sleep and waking up only for meals, I'm chiefly cut out for two things: to jump and grab something before the other guy can get his paws on it, and to collect pieces of the puzzle for Wolfe to work on.

Archie Goodwin in The Red Box (1937), chapter 12

Archie is Wolfe's live-in assistant in the private investigation business Wolfe runs out of his brownstone townhouse in New York City. Wolfe rarely leaves the house, so Archie does most of the actual investigating, followed by reporting his findings to Wolfe, who solves the mystery. Archie has trained his memory so that he can make verbatim reports, oral or typewritten, of extended conversations.

He also does Wolfe's bookkeeping and banking, types his correspondence, and keeps the germination and other records for the orchids Wolfe raises as a hobby. Archie's hobbies include dancing (usually at the Flamingo), poker, and baseball. He was a fan of the New York Giants until they relocated to San Francisco in 1957, then later became a fan of the New York Mets when that team was founded in 1962.

Although he is from the American Midwest, Archie has the "street smarts" to handle just about any situation he finds himself in, and he knows New York City like the back of his hand. Though he freely admits that there is no one better than Saul Panzer in many aspects of investigative work, such as remembering faces and tailing people, Goodwin is one of the most competent private detectives in the city. He has a long-time social relationship with Lily Rowan, a wealthy society woman, but they do not try to limit each other's social lives.

Archie has had relationships with Celia Grantham and Lucy Armstead-Valdon. He also exhibited affection for Beulah Page, Phoebe Gunther, Priscilla Eads, Sally Leeson, and Julie Jaquette.

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