When a fellow shamus gets charged with murder, Wolfe comes to his rescue
Staten Island would be forgettable were it not for the gleaming Tabernacle of the Silver Spire, where thousands of congregants come every Sunday to hear the sermons of Barnabas Bay. Millions more tune in on television, giving the good Reverend international fame, and a chance to spread the gospel from New York City’s harbor all the way to South Korea.
But threatening notes have been appearing in the collection bag, suggesting that one of the faithful has decided it’s time this good shepherd get the hook. Believing organized religion is nothing more than a scam, rotund sleuth Nero Wolfe refuses to investigate the threats, instead recommending veteran investigator Fred Durkin for the case. But when Durkin is accused of murdering the Reverend’s assistant, Wolfe fights to clear his name. He may not be a Christian, but he will always help a brother in need.
©1993 Robert Goldsborough (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Nero Wolfe was created by author Rex Stout in 1934. I read many of the books written by Stout and always enjoyed them. Robert Goldsborough continued the series beginning in 1986.
Nero Wolfe is an eccentric, slightly grumpy, and brilliant detective. Wolfe rarely leaves his home in New York City. Archie Goodwin is Wolfe's capable, wise cracking assistant. They are one of the most unique and interesting teams in mystery fiction.
This story is briskly paced, and includes some colorful characters. It is a "whodunit" that had me guessing right to the end.
Narrator L.J. Ganser has just the right tone for this narration.
There is no graphic violence or sex, and no vulgar language.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
Robert Goldsborough has done a pretty good job re-creating The Nero Wolfe mystery series. I've truly enjoyed reading them. Mainly, the only thing that gives a slight discomfort is that Goldsborough has brought them out of the 1940-1960 time frame they were originally in to a more modern time (not sure when, exactly, but they now use computers). This would make them both be retirement age, or beyond, but Archie is still his eternally young self, and Nero never changes anyway. Suppose he actually is timeless :-)
In this book, Wolfe is originally approached by someone from a huge mega-church who is seeking help in finding someone who is anonymously putting warning notes into the collection bag that threaten the minister, Barnaby Bay. Because of Wolfe's general antipathy toward organized religion he simply refuses to take on the case. So Archie suggests that one of the men who does investigations for them, Fred Durkin, be employed for the job instead. Unfortunately, someone gets shot with Fred Durkin's gun after he dares to suggest that the notes are an inside job, and he is arrested. This, finally, gets Wolfe motivated to take the job because he won't let anything happen to those he cares about.
I have enjoyed listening to this series. In general Goldsborough has done a surprisingly good job of pulling Wolfe and Goodwin onto fresh pages. He has kept the original cast of characters, and in general, the same formula for the books that worked so well for Rex Stout. And I've read all the originals several times, so I think I'm a good critic. Generally, I have also enjoyed LJ Ganser's performance of them. This book is not, in my opinion, quite as good in either writing or narration as the others I have listened to, though still good. Wish I could have given 4 & 1/2 stars to each.
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