The Dettweiler Solution by Lawrence Block

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Lawrence Block
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Book review

I wrote "The Dettweiler Solution" in the Lambertville House, a comfortable old inn in the town of (surprise!) Lambertville, New Jersey, right across the Delaware from New Hope, Pennsylvania. For a couple of years I'd lived a mile or two from Lambertville, and then that marriage ended in 1973 and I moved back to New York. A year or two later I needed to get some work done—revisions on some book or other—and I didn't seem to be getting to them in New York, so I figured a week out of town would do the trick. I knew the Lambertville House, booked a room there, and settled in. I got the revisions done, and I also got the idea for a story, and it turned out to be "The Dettweiler Solution," and I wrote it right there in my room at the inn. As for the title, well, I'm just glad I used it before my friend Bob Ludlum could get his hands on it,,

It found a home at Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, where it ran in the September '76 issue, and it's been picked a few times for anthologies, and can be found in my omnibus collection, Enough Rope.

And I stayed at the Lambertville House once again, on a summer weekend in 1983. They'd tarted it up some, but the prices were still very reasonable. I was accompanied this time, by the woman to whom I would be married come October. I remember a long lazy evening. We sat on the inn's big porch, reading. My book, I remember, was Charles Einstein's wonderful baseball novel, The Only Game in Town. I'd read it before, and I was enjoying it even more the second time around. Which, come to think of it, proved to be true of the Lambertville House, and of marriage.

Ah well. How nice that all the components—the marriage, the old inn, and even "The Dettweiler Solution"—are still around...


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