When a great thinker takes a nasty tumble, Wolfe goes back to school.
A conservative academic, so far to the right that he thought Ronald Reagan was a pinko, Hale Markham rules Prescott University like an intellectual tyrant - right up until the morning he is found dead at the bottom of one of Prescott’s famously beautiful ravines. Every liberal on campus hated the crotchety old crank, but which one is responsible for giving Markham his final push to the right?
The case so intrigues the incomparable, reclusive master detective Nero Wolfe that he takes the unusual step of leaving the confines of his home. With man of action Archie Goodwin at his side, Wolfe examines jealous professors, a fanatical assistant, and a university president with an ego that - like the school itself - will not stop growing. Though they are far from the city, Wolfe and Goodwin will find that no back alley is as dangerous as the shadowy corridors of the Ivy League.
©1988 Robert Goldsborough (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Love fiction--classic to light, serious to comedic. Selective non-fiction. These days lots of mysteries (not too violent, please :-)
Robert Goldsborough has done a very credible job of reviving the the old Nero Wolfe series. I imagine Rex Stout would greatly approve. In this book, Hale Markham has been killed. He was a popular university professor of political science, who was far right in his leanings. However, he had plenty of colleagues who were quite liberal, who had their own reasons for wishing him out of the picture.
The book is a hoot to listen to. Rex Stout and now Goldsborough both managed to create characters who almost slide into being caricatures of types of people. I think this one succeeds very well. Although there is always a good mystery in Nero Wolfe books, I laughed out loud in a couple of places. Especially when the man who first approaches Wolfe to take the case appears. He is portrayed as being a pompous academic, overly full of himself, and sort of a walking thesaurus. Wolfe, himself, tends to be given to using erudite language, and this book is worth the credit, just to listen to the first scene where there is this hilarious mockery of grandiose language (the author's mockery of people who can't seem to speak in simple words).
My only discomfort comes from Archie and Wolfe being so modernized. I still think of them in the 50's and 60's, so it comes as a tiny shock when they are finding clues in computer files. I mean, technically, this would actually make Archie and Nero--what?--in their 80's or 90's? But if that doesn't bother you, count on this being a light, charming book, with the same great characters doing the same outstanding sleuthing that we all remember from the originals.
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