I think the Wolfe series is a unique hybrid -- not as delicate as one of Wolfe's own orchids, but certainly as distinctive. The brownstone is kind of cozy, no question. Archie can be a little hard-boiled, but he is even more breezy, a la The Thin Man. Wolfe himself is in the Sherlock Holmes line. And yet Rex Stout takes all those disparate elements and makes them work together. Ask yourself this: How many authors could create a Nero Wolfe *and* an Archie Goodwin and then devise a fictional style that suits them both?
I would hate to see Rex Stout barred from any discussion involving mystery and crime fiction. In addition to being a great creator of characters, he is also one of the finest prose writers the genre has known.
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