Re: RARA-AVIS: nero wolfe

From: Mark Blumenthal (
Date: 07 Mar 2000

----- Original Message ----- From: Chris Bahn asks,

> What's a good place to start reading Nero Wolfe? I always had the
> that his books were cozies in the Agatha Christia style, but it sounds
> I was mistaken. If it's a Holmes/HB blend, that's just to my taste.
I read four or five Wolfe. Granted it was many years ago when I was reading very little mystery, but the books failed to sustain my interest. I loved Holmes and obviously like HB, but the books seemed like static set pieces. I thought Archie served as Wolfe's Watson by narrating the books and occasionally doing the legwork rather than as his hard boiled equal.

 BTW, Lawrence Block really liked Wolfe. His Chip Harrison - Leo Haig books were, to put it kindly, tributes to Wolfe - Goodwin. I've read the two earliest Harrison books that were imitation Holden Caulfield coming of age and not mysteries. Like the books themselves, he seemed to lose his appeal when partnered with Haig. Although Block has revived all his other series, he has wisely let this one rest.

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