Recent Wolfe

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Well-known member
Aug 31, 2011
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Piedmont of NC
While it may smack of sacrilege in these forums, Sherlock Holmes is only my 3rd favorite detective. My favorite is DL Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey (feel free to consult my 1994 monograph on the stories), and second are Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories (even if I like Archie at least as much as Wolfe himself). When Robert Goldsborough started writing new Wolfe novels, I read most of them, but felt that setting the characters in the current era didn't fit well. I did like his 'Archie meets Nero Wolfe', but thought it just a bit better than the earlier novels he wrote.

Anyway, I just finished the 2015 novel 'Archie in the Crosshairs.' This is set in 1949, and I enjoyed it a lot more than the other Goldsborough novels. Not great (I think 'The Silent Speaker' and 'The Doorbell Rang' are the best, YMMV), but a really solid entry into the Wolfe stories (about the level of 'The Mother Hunt' or 'Prisoner's Base', which I do like a lot).

Historical quibbles: Paparazzi are mentioned, but that words seems to have been coined in the late 50s/early 60s. 1949 also seems a bit early for Wolfe's short diatribe on television 'lowering IQs by 10 or 15 points.' The 4 networks around then were just getting started, and 2 of the 3 NY independents (channels 11-WPIX & 13-now WNET) & WABC had just gone on air the year before, while WWOR wouldn't come on for a few weeks after the story is set. Maybe, based on his later TV habits, Wolfe just didn't like the Sunday lineups. :D

BTW, if any Wolfe fans are unaware of the 2 seasons of Wolfe mysteries that A&E broadcast back around 2001-2, they are brilliant adaptations.