A murder rap for Mr. Goodwin,
A jail cell for Mr. Wolfe . . .
A window for death.
Three classic cases featuring the brain work of that ultimate armchair detective, Nero Wolfe, concerning the mysterious lives of a miner, a diplomat and a con man . . and their untimely deaths.
Caper#1 - - - A long-lost brother, a vast fortune in uranium, a brand-new murder weapon, which conveniently, totally and automatically disappears . . .
Caper#2 - - - Two billionaires, one foreign ambassador and a famous career diplomat tangle with international intrigue and murder . . . .
Caper#3 - - - A particularly personal murder - starring a female detective and featuring Nero and Archie as the prime suspects . . .
"The trouble with mornings is that they come when you're not awake." (p. 43, "A Window for Death")
"I resent your tone, your diction, your manners, and your methods; and only a witling would call a man with my conceit a liar." (p. 80, "Immune to Murder")
"As between the intolerable and the merely distasteful, I must choose the latter." (p. 124, "Too Many Detectives")
It's been a long time since I picked up a Nero Wolfe book, but time has not diminished the eloquent and intellectually stimulating tenor of this series by Rex Stout.
Nero Wolfe, for those not in the know, is a big, fat, private detective who resides in a brownstone in New York City, along with his factotum, Archie Goodwin; his horticulturist, Theodore Hortsmann; and his chef, Fritz Brenner.
Wolfe is a genius, and the first one to let you know so. He adheres to a strict schedule of eating, tending to his orchids, and avoiding work at all costs. He is famous for solving the most complex cases without ever leaving his home, demanding that all parties gather in his office at the brownstone, where he sits in splendor upon the only chair that will accommodate his girth and pontificates on the facts and circumstances, ultimately identifying the guilty party. But no one escapes unscathed, as every visitor is quickly assessed and analyzed, their shortcomings exposed.
Archie, on the other hand, is a glib and clever man, who, along with a couple of free-lancers, does all of the footwork, phone calls and persuasion to gather the suspects in Wolfe's office at the appropriate time.
Stout's wonderful characters are fully realized, and the writing is both entertaining and challenging. These are great stories to keep the mind sharp and the dictionary open. Cleverly plotted and rich in detail, these are some of my favorite books. [goodreads.com]