I read this one I didn’t know that the author, Robert
Goldsborough, wrote a number of Nero Wolfe novels with the
blessing of the author’s estate. Archie-Meets-Nero,
as a prequel, takes place before all of the others in the
series and the pastiches.
Archie is a 19-year old security guard from Ohio that ends
up in a kill-or-be-killed situation on the New York docks
and shoots the intruders that are robbing the shipyard he
patrols. Despite witness testimony to the contrary, he is
fired for being trigger-happy and is out on his own again.
He starts a new career as PI by offering to find - without
fee - a missing husband for an established detective firm
and thereby showing that he is clever and has a knack for
If you are fans of the series, the characters, the authors,
then you know what has to happen in this book. Archie has
to be in a position to meet Wolfe, to prove himself to Wolfe,
and to be embraced by Wolfe, the team and the household, all
without knowing that this is where his actions are taking
him. Along the way he works with and earns the respect of
Fred, Orrie and Saul while helping to rescue a kidnapped child.
The story, while great, isn't as important here as watching
the group coalesce and form and seeing the ease with which
Archie becomes the glue that holds it all together.
I have to admit that I chose to read this book because I always
enjoyed both the Nero Wolfe TV series on A&E and the original
novels by Rex Stout; and that both, but especially the TV
show, affected my opinion of this book. I keep forgetting
that I didn’t see it on a screen or listen to an audiobook.
I could hear Timothy Hutton’s voice narrate and Maury
Chaykin’s arrogant inflection offering beer to Inspector
Cramer during the height of Prohibition. The end is particularly
poignant, leaving the key question unanswered on the page
but allowing the reader to close the volume satisfied that
all is well.
her for the complete A&E Nero Wolfe Series on DVD