A wealthy young widow has a baby left on her doorstep with the claim that the Baby was her late husband’s child born out of wedlock. She hires Wolfe to find out who the mother is.
The task is impossible but as usual, Wolfe comes up with a plan thanks to the unusual buttons on the baby’s outfit. However, when the buttons traced to its source, a nurse who’d cared for the baby-the nurse is murdered.
Wolfe and Archie find themselves in a tight spot with the cops as they try to find the mother, but are invariably forced to find the killer as well.
This was a well-done story with great characters and a twisting and turning plot that drives Wolfe from the Brownstone under the tightest spot of his career as far as the police are concerned.
The relationship between Archie and the widow is played very well and honestly I could have seen it going places. I think there’s a good case to be made that this story was where the Corpus should have ended maybe with wedding bells and respectability for Archie at last.
If not, the book marks the end of the greatest era of Wolfe stories. From 1946-63, Stout produced his best work. With A Right to Die, the tone of the rest of the books would change dramatically.
Overall, this was a wonderful Nero Wolfe novel and earns a:
Rating: Very Satisfactory
You can find all the Nero Wolfe books in Kindle, Audiobook, and book form on our Nero Wolfe page.
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