I read all the Rex Stout Nero Wolfe books quite some years ago. In more recent years, Mr. Goldsborough has taken up the cloak for the Nero Wolfe stories. I am grateful to him for that.
This is a mystery in the grand tradition. We of course have all the familiar characters: Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin, Saul Panzer, Fritz, and Inspector Cramer.
Wolfe is, as usual, preoccupied with his orchids and his fine cuisine, and is not too inclined to address a problem his friend Lewis Hewitt presents, until the offer is sweetened by the fee of some ultra-rare orchids. That is enough for Wolfe to address the issue, at least indirectly.
The subject is a current production of a Broadway hit, Death at Cresthaven. Hewitt friend, Roy Breckenridge, is the producer. The production is going well, reviews are good, all should be well, but Breckenridge is worried: he has a vague but strong sense of trouble ahead, and Wolfe is asked to check it out. We all know Wolfe seldom stirs from his home, but he agrees to send Archie to do some investigating, under cover, posing as a Canadian theater writer.
Archie goes to the theater, and we are with him as he interviews the director, stage manager, and cast. He finds nothing very noteworthy, and is all set to report that there is no problem to be found. But then Breckenridge is found dead in his director’s cubicle overlooking the stage, and we have a new situation.
Ultimately, Wolfe agrees to interview all the same people again personally at his home. Again we attend each interview. At the end of this series, Nero Wolfe goes into a pronounced funk for a time. Action seems at a stalemate.
But then, in the grand tradition, Wolfe sees the solution, and calls all the dramatis personae to assemble at his home, where we have the master detective confronting the guilty party. Wolfe has another successful case; he also adds three new ultra-rare orchids to his splendid collection.