this is the 89th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
Where There’s A Will by Rex Stout © 1940, Bantam Books 1975 mass market paperback, mystery, Nero Wolfe
It’s been a while since I read any Nero Wolfe. No reason other than there is so much to read and as much as I always enjoy the Wolfe stories I was focused on other things. But I read Marvin Kaye’s The Nero Wolfe Files, a collection of articles from the Wolfe Pack Gazette, and that fired my resolve to read more Wolfe. This is the oldest, based on publication chronology, that I hadn’t read.
This one started slowly, or rather plenty happened from the first page, but I didn’t much like the clients, their reasons for seeing Wolfe, or any of it. I found myself wishing he’d toss them out, but knew he wouldn’t because Archie has told us the bank account is dangerously low. So Wolfe does something unusual: he takes a case involving a contested will.
It didn’t take many pages before I was fully involved with the story, back in the Brownstone with the familiar characters and perfectly happy to be there. Not unexpectedly a death by accident is found to be a murder, complications arise, the suspects are multiple and motives are rife. A second murder both eliminates a suspect and adds a new one. Classic Wolfe, and I enjoyed every page, even the somewhat abrupt ending. I guess I’ve gotten used to a bit more of an after, more of a conclusion wrap-up. No matter, this was a very enjoyable book and I’ll be moving on to the next in the series that I’ve yet to read, The Silent Speaker.
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The rest of the Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s blog Pattinaise