Monday, September 28, 2009

The Rubber Band

Here's how this works. I read a book or two and tell you about them and try not to get too long-winded, and maybe you'd like to think about reading them as well. This time, a review of The Rubber Band (Farrar & Rinehart, 1936).

Bantam has begun reissuing the Nero Wolfe novels of Rex Stout in omnibus editions, two a book. This is the first one I've needed to pick up, as The Rubber Band, the third Wolfe novel, was absent from my wife's large collection. It's a terrific story in which Wolfe declines to investigate an office robbery, as the most likely suspect of the crime is embroiled in a more unusual case. About fifty years previously, an English nobleman had promised half his wealth to some fellows in the Old West if they got him out of a certain lynching, and the most likely suspect of the office robbery just happens to be the daughter of one of those fellows, and is trying to hit the nobleman up for the old debt while he's in New York. Things get more complicated when one of the fellows who flew in for the meeting ends up dead just after leaving Wolfe's office.

It's a fun read, and it has Inspector Cramer and a host of other city officials yelling on Wolfe's doorstep, which is always a delight. I haven't a great deal more to say than that; three novels in and I haven't been even remotely disappointed yet.

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