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In the Best Families by Rex Stout

Posted by Gilbert Stack on June 9, 2022 at 7:00 AM

In the Best Families by Rex Stout

In the Best Families opens as a traditional Nero Wolfe mystery with Wolfe being asked to investigate the secret source of money a wealthy woman’s husband has come into, but things take an unexpected twist when Stout’s Moriarity, Arnold Zeck, warns Wolfe off the case. Wolfe, of course, doesn’t listen and his client ends up dead the same night triggering the most bizarre of Nero Wolfe mysteries as Wolfe flees his home and goes underground to plot the downfall of Zeck—a criminal so influential that even Inspector Cramer says he is untouchable. No prosecutor will charge him, no court will convict him, and no prison will hold him.

 

The obvious solution to Wolfe’s problem is to assassinate the man. Wolfe is a genius. He undoubtedly could think of a way to do that, but that is far too simple an answer for Nero Wolfe. Instead, at his Machiavellian best, he gears up to go head-to-head with a criminal who may just be as smart as Wolfe is.

 

This is a great novel. I never liked the Arnold Zeck character, but I still say it’s a great novel because of the extremes Wolfe is willing to go to get Zeck out of his life and professional career.

 

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