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Nero Wolfe's interest is raised when a wealthy woman offers him a huge check if he can get the FBI to stop harassing her. Only a man as arrogant as Nero Wolfe would even dream of attempting this act of professional suicide. But Nero Wolfe loves a challenge, so he takes the case. Although the plots of the books are always clever and engaging, the irresistible appeal of the Nero Wolfe books is the interplay between the principal characters. This is witty banter at its absolute best. Rarely will you hear goads and observations delivered with such acerbic humor or with such rich vocabulary. Stout could have educated Shakespeare in the art of satiric dialog. In particular, this book is my favorite because Mr. Wolfe's real desire to strike a blow for civil liberties and his evident enjoyment of the challenge enriches the story.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
If not the absolute best, this is one of the very best of the Nero Wolfe series. It has some of the best characterization and relationship development in the series along with some of the best imagery and cleverness plus it was a brave exposure of the abuses by the FBI of the time, earning Stout a thick FBI file. Although I enjoyed the TV version of this for the premier of the A&E series, the book was much, much better. Although this is a great book, I don’t think it should be one of the first read as it depends more than most on the history between characters.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful