A woman with a man seated beside her in a Cadillac mouths soundlessly to a street urchin, "Help, get a cop!" One of these three very presently is murdered, and as a result Nero Wolfe delivers himself of his first recorded lecture on crime detection. Even more surprising, Nero and Archie take on a case for the smallest retainer in their history: four dollars and thirty cents.
"The Golden Spiders", Rex Stout introduces a new kind of criminal engaged in a peculiarly contemporary and particularly vicious kind of crime. Nero never had to think faster and Archie never encountered greater perils than in this, undoubtedly one of the very finest novels of detection or our day.
[Wolfe:] "Take Mr. Goodwin. It would be difficult for me to function effectively without him. He is irreplaceable. Yet his actions are largely governed by impulse and caprice, and that would of course incapacitate him for any important task if it were not that he has somewhere concealed in him -- possibly in his brain, though I doubt it -- a powerful and subtle governor." (p. 10)
[Archie:] "Nero Wolfe is investigating the murder ... with his accustomed vigor, skill, and laziness. He will not rest until he gets the bastard or until bedtime, whichever comes first." (p. 39)
A wonderful story, with sinister gangsters and murders popping up everywhere. An alarming scene of Archie torturing one of the aforementioned sinister gangsters. Opens with the wildly funny interview between Wolfe and Pete Drossos (age 12), in which Wolfe describes the art of detecting.