Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin return, after a fashion, to identify the person who shot an embattled New York state senator at the Polo Grounds.
Since Archie—like his creator, Rex Stout—is a longtime Giants fan, he’s on hand with freelance private eye Saul Panzer, who’s rooting for the Dodgers, when a fourth-inning home run brings the crowd to its feet and a .30-caliber bullet to the temple of Orson Milbank on Flag Day, 1950 (or so). The suspects are clustered around Milbank’s carefully calibrated position on the proposed Northern Parkway. Northern Realtors Association chairman Jordan Keller, backing the project, is unhappy that Milbank’s asked that it be rerouted to avoid mobster Franco Bacelli’s estate and several other towns in the process. So is Ray Corcoran, who heads the Westchester-Putnam-Dutchess County businessmen’s group. On the other side is opposition leader Howell Baxter, head of Citizens Looking to Enjoy Arboreal Nature, which some acronym-challenged genius has dubbed CLEAR. Ex-actress Elise DuVal, the second Mrs. Milbank, is so dissatisfied with Inspector Cramer’s investigation that she asks Wolfe to take the case, and the rest is strictly routine. In Goldsborough’s eighth pastiche, Wolfe sounds like Wolfe, but the other regulars favor P.G. Wodehouse and Damon Runyon. “Flushing is hardly a place I am accustomed to visiting,” Archie sniffs to a suspicious Cramer. He calls Saul’s plan to split a dinner check at Rusterman’s Restaurant “a capital idea indeed” and asks Lily Rowan: “Ah, perchance have you lured me out here to neck?” Pity.
Strictly for fans who miss Wolfe and his crowd so much they don't care how the characters sound.