From the Triangle Books Edition: For once in his life, that fat, beer-drinking, orchid-fancying detective, Nero Wolfe, came near getting killed for his cleverness. It all started when he turned down a large fee from Anthony D. Perry, wealthy President of the gigantic Seaboard Products Corporation and took for a client, at a $1.00 retainer fee, pretty Clara Fox who was accused of stealing $30,000.00 from Seaboard. That move surprised everyone who knew Wolfe's insistence on getting paid handsomely for his efforts. But Nero Wolfe wasn't making even a financial mistake. He alone realized that more than a $30,000.00 theft was in the wind, though even he didn't count on two murders and one shooting in self-defense. This is one of the most amusing and fast-paced of the popular Nero Wolfe mystery stories. It demonstrates once again the superiority of mind over action, for the fat detective solves an intricate and difficult series of crimes without even leaving his own house.
Introduces Lieutenant Rowcliff. The mystery starts with a newspaper article about the Marquis of Clivers. According to some fans, this one should be hastily read while moving on to later books. The "Old West" was still a recent memory in this book.
"I am atrociously uncomfortable. It is sufficiently annoying
to deal with inadequate information, which is what one usually has, but to sit thus while surmises, the mere ghosts of facts, tumble idiotically in my brain, is next to insupportable."
"I don't answer questions containing two or more unsupported assumptions."