The Wolfe Pack, which I joined recently, offers discussions about a Wolfe novel every other month. So, I picked up Please Pass the Guilt, the book scheduled for discussion in June.
I’m interested in the Wolfe canon although I have only read one or two, many years ago. I don’t even remember which books I read(!) However, I remember enjoying the witty banter of Wolfe’s assistant, Archie Goodwin.
Rex Stout was prolific – his works run the gamut from mainstream to science fiction. But he is probably best known for his mysteries. Although he wrote non-series mysteries and short stories, the most well-known is the series featuring Nero Wolfe.
In Please Pass the Guilt, an executive gets killed in another exec’s office. Who was the intended victim? Who was the perpetrator? Even Nero Wolfe is confused at first.
Not one of my favorite mysteries. Even though I’ve enjoyed one or two Wolfe mysteries in the past, this one seemed to run in circles and not really head for the finish line until rather late in the book. Plus, Archie Goodwin, Wolfe’s assistant, has a rather strange conversation and interaction with a female (feminist) suspect he was interviewing.
I did enjoy visiting the brownstone, again, and hearing about the gourmet meals served there. Although not as famous and Holmes’s 221B Baker Street, Wolfe’s brownstone on West 35th Street in Manhattan is very much a character in the Wolfe novels.
If you’ve always wanted to read the Wolfe mystery series by Rex Stout, don’t start with this one. Dedicated Wolfe fans may enjoy this one.
Please Pass the Guilt
by Rex Stout
The Viking Press, Inc.