Stop The Presses! is Robert Goldsborough’s latest addition to the Nero Wolfe series and I was eagerly counting the days till its release last week.
Here’s what it’s about:
Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin are tasked with protecting the most hated columnist in New York City.
There are few people Nero Wolfe respects, and Lon Cohen of the New York Gazette is one of them. So when Cohen asks for a favor, the famously brilliant—and notoriously lazy—detective is inclined to listen. According to Cohen, someone wants to kill the Gazette’s gossip columnist, Cameron Clay. Death threats are a regular hazard for Clay, who’s hurled insults and accusations at every bold-faced name in the five boroughs. But the latest threats have carried a more sinister tone.
The columnist has narrowed his potential killers down to five people: an egomaniacal developer, a disgraced cop, a corrupt councilman, a sleazy lawyer, and his ex-wife. But when Clay turns up dead, the cops deem it a suicide. The bigwigs at the Gazette don’t agree, so they retain Wolfe and his indefatigable assistant, Archie Goodwin, to figure out which of the suspects had the mettle to pull the trigger.
I finished this in about three days and really enjoyed the trip back into Nero Wolfe’s world. But I’d have to say this is probably my least favorite of his Wolfe books. I had a hard time staying interested in the mystery and I think it was the middle part of the book that did it to me. It was pretty repetitive: Archie would find a way to get one of the suspects to come to the brownstone, Wolfe would question them (after they were supplied with their favorite drink), the suspect left and Archie asked Wolfe what he thought about them… the same thing happened with all five suspects. And I know in an investigation that’s probably how it would actually happen but a little bit of variety would have helped.
For some reason, Fritz and Lily both bothered me in this as well. They seemed a little off from the original books… but it could just be me remembering them wrong.
With that being said, I loved the ending! It was different and I really didn’t expect it. And as I was still smiling from the big reveal in the office, we got another great part with Inspector Cramer and Wolfe at the end. That may just be one of my favorite parts between the two of them from any of the books, Stout’s included. (It’s scenes like this that really make me miss the A&E Nero Wolfe TV series. They would have done a great job with it!)
I started re-reading the Nero Wolfe series last year but I only made it up to The Red Box. I’ll have to get back at it and hopefully we’ll have another book to look forward to from Robert Goldsborough. Despite the issues I had with parts of Stop The Presses! it’s far outweighed by how much I enjoy getting new cases for some of my favorite characters to solve.
If you’ve read Stop The Presses! or any other of Goldsborough’s Nero Wolfe books I’d love to know what you thought about them!
This Edition: Paperback published by Mysterious Press/Open Road Integrated Media (2016)
Other Nero Wolfe books by Robert Goldsborough: Murder In E Minor, Death On A Deadline, The Bloodied Ivy, The Last Coincidence, Fade To Black, Silver Spire, The Missing Chapter, Archie Meets Nero Wolfe, Murder In The Ball Park, Archie In The Crosshairs