Could you sit in the office on West Thirty-Fifth Street and determine who among six people put a poison pellet into a pillbox that rested on a nightclub table three days before? Or what a policeman was carrying inside a folded newspaper when he entered a barber shop on the other side of town some ten hours earlier - before he was murdered? Or what sight was witnessed by a gibbering monkey in an overheated apartment two days ago?
Detection never seemed more magical than in these three new novelettes by Rex Stout. Each is as full-bodied, as rich in character and incident, as the longest Rex Stout novel. Each is a gem of mystery narrative.
Each finds Nero a little shrewder, a little more intolerant, and - probably - even a little fatter. Each finds Archie as indestructible and cynical as ever. Each finds the two of them exactly where they have been for quite some time now, and where every mystery fan who loves good writing, as well as good detection, hopes they will stay for a long, long while - right at the top of the detective-novel hierarchy.
"Home to Roost"
"Wolfe shrugged. 'Confronted with omniscience, I bow. My motives are often obscure to myself, but you know all about them. Your advantage.'" (p. 47)
"The Cop Killer"
"I cannot agree that mountain climbing is merely one manifestation of man's spiritual aspirations. I think instead it is a hysterical paroxysm of his infantile vanity." (p. 99)
"The Squirt and the Monkey"
"I am not an outdoors man."
The first isn't particularly strong, though it's an interesting look at reactions to Communism in the 50s. The latter two are more fun, particularly "The Cop-Killer," which is one of those times where Archie tells plenty of the truth—but of course no one believes him! The last story has the distinction of having Archie framed for murder, which is always fun. [goodreads.com]