There has to be some consolation for being 55, or at least I told myself that.
To treat myself, I broke out the one Nero Wolfe I’d never read, The Final Deduction and read it for my birthday.
When I was young, I read voraciously. I would pick up 10-15 books a week to read, and my favorite genre was (of course) mystery. I’d nearly polished off all of the Wolfes, when I realized that there was one that I hadn’t read. I debated finishing the series off, but something held me back, and like a fine wine, I decided to let it sit for a while before I read it.
Forty years after that, I decided it was time. I have to say that it wasn’t the best in the series (I’ll post my top 5 Wolfes in a week or two), but it was a great one to hold back. It’s one of the few cases that involves a kidnapping, and Wolfe makes some fascinating deductions up front that help the reader going forward.
Of course, there has to be at least one or two words that I have to look up and “subdolous” was the word here. My spellcheck doesn’t even recognize it, that’s how unfamiliar it is to the modern reader.
Without giving away the plot too much, Stout used a certain device that let me know who the murderer was before the final showdown with the killer. I think it would have been a stronger plot without that particular ploy, which immediately telegraphed the killer to me. However, it was a pleasure to read, and made the sting of aging a little less this year.
I’ll have to come up with a new to me series for 60, since I’ve finished off most of the series that could probably be recommended to me.