Good news for everybody who's railed against Goldsborough's pallid Nero Wolfe pastiches (Silver Spire, 1992, etc.): this time Wolfe is investigating the death of a continuator of a venerable detective series. The posthumous air is thick with accusations: just before his death, Charles Childress had fired his agent, Franklin Ott, and had his editor, Keith Billings, canned; Childress's fiancÇe, Debra Mitchell, and cozy fellow-writer Patricia Royce accuse each other of murder; and as Archie Goodwin learns on an amusing trip to Childress's ancestral home in Mercer, Indiana, he was involved with another woman who had reason to kill him too. With such obvious motives and such banal suspects, there's no need for any more strenuous detective work than usual; the high point of this installment may be watching the elevator in the old brownstone getting replaced. Formulaic plotting aside, this is as good as Goldsborough gets. The missing chapter, though, matters less than the missing author: Rex Stout.