Monday, May 4, 2015

"The Golden Spiders" by Rex Stout

I have not yet read a majority of the Nero Wolfe mysteries. Those that I have read have been great. Stout always seemed to find a clever way to let Wolfe solve the puzzle with his intellect, outthinking everyone around him. Even Archie, who is in on just about everything Wolfe is doing. But, with “The Golden Spiders” I have finally run into a bit of a disappointment.

It is still a very entertaining read, but it isn’t exactly a Nero Wolfe mystery. Everything from the way the case finds Wolfe, to the approach he takes to solving the puzzle, to the action scenes, to the way the case is solved are all either highly convenient or simply out of character. In the end, you get the impression that Wolfe had figured it out early on, based on some clues he points out. But if that is the case, why did it take so long/so much stabbing in the dark to get there?

If you were to take my advice and check out a Rex Stout mystery, don’t let this be your starting point. Go with “The Doorbell Rang” instead.

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