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Another exceptional addition to mystery detective fiction. Rex Stout doesn't disappoint. Archie is racked with guilt for his part in creating easy access of a victim to a murderer. In his distress he chooses to work with the police rather than Wolfe to solve the case.
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There is no such thing as a "bad" Nero Wolfe, the originals, as written by Rex Stout. But given there is a very long list of books covering about 35 years, some are better than others. This kind of falls into the "Others" category. I still loved it, as I love them all, but this just isn't quite as great as some. It's still good, though :-)
A young woman comes to the brownstone and asks to stay there for a week. Archie would, in fact, let her do that. But then after speaking with an attorney who explains to Wolfe why he wants her found, Wolfe decides it is not a good idea to give her asylum or get involved in any of it. After that, things go south, murder happens. Wolfe does not want to get mixed in it, but Archie feels some personal concern for all that happens. So he goes out on his own. Only his arrest finally brings Wolfe back into the case and things proceed as usual (with Wolfe solving the case in the traditional way of bringing everyone into his office together.)
I like that it holds to Stout's formulaic process that is itself part of the Nero Wolfe mysteries, and leaves readers happily able to predict the way the thing will play itself out (though not the murderer). I thought the part about Wolfe's initial refusal to take the case was a bit odd, since it was the kind he would typically have taken (but it had to be that way, for subsequent events to take place). The thing that was the most disconcerting was the production itself. The narrator is okay, but the editing or sound quality is not up to the usual standards of most Audible books. There were places where it was obvious that there had been voice patching, because suddenly the narrator's voice would be lower, or deeper, or louder for a paragraph or two, then back to the flow again. And it was not always easy to discern one voice from another.
In most series books, it can get wearisome for the author to hold to a tight pattern of the way things will play out. But there are several writers (Agatha Christie and Rex Stout come to mind) where the reader enjoys having the pattern be predictable, though not the killer! If you love Nero and Archie, you will enjoy this book.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful