Seven suspects. A favor for a friend. A checkbook balance scraping bottom. The 1960’s. Arab terrorists! Two femme fatales for Archie to “seduce”. Saul “stunts”, and Archie sits in the red leather chair! All this and more was rolled up in my 31st book for 2012: Please Pass the Guilt by Rex Stout.
“That was a first — the first time Inspector Cramer had ever arrived and been escorted to the office in the middle of a session with the hired hands. And Saul Panzer did something he seldom does — he stunted…That left the red leather chair empty and I went and occupied it, sliding back and crossing my legs to show that I was right at home.”
I often learn a new word when reading a Nero Wolfe mystery, and this book was no exception. Even better than learning a new word, was the manner in which it was introduced into the story:
No. Instead of ‘fraud’ make it ‘by subreption.’ It’s more precise and will add to vocabularies.
It was only 172 pages, yet it was a nicely complex mystery and it took the entire gang to solve it. The ending—as well as the near ending that involves Inspector Cramer and Lt. Rowcliff—were very enjoyable. If you desire a rating, I’d give it 4/5, but really, do we need ratings when we can simply say, “most satisfying”?
I’m now reading A Family Affair, which I read many years ago. I know it’s a rough story, but if I’m going to read them all, then this book must be included.