PaperBackSwap Blog

Mystery Monday Review – Champagne for One

Champagne for One by Rex Stout

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

The plot is rather sillier than usual. PI Archie Goodwin is asked by a sick acquaintance to substitute for him at a dinner party held by a foundation for the aid of unwed mothers. Goodwin  lives with the gourmet PI Nero Wolfe but even Goodwin is impressed the rich food. He also appreciates that the girls are pretty and friendly. But one of the girls, Faith Usher, falls dead, perhaps at her own hand, because everybody has heard her suicidal ideation. Though put out that a crime has been committed right under his nose, Archie insists that the death is in fact murder one.

Inspector Cramer of the Homicide Bureau is unable to close the case because of Goodwin’s assertion. Thus, the pressure is on Goodwin and his boss Wolfe to investigate the crime. Luckily, a male rich guest at the banquet is concerned that his past indiscretions may be brought to light in the glare of a police investigation. So he hires Wolfe to get to the bottom of things.

Gathering all the suspects in Wolfe’s office takes some clumsy doing. Wolfe gets up on his high horse too often and seems detached, though the banter with Goodwin is pretty funny.

‘Yes, sir.’ 
‘Do I ever intrude in your private affairs?’ 
‘Yes, sir. Frequently. But you think you don’t, so go right ahead.” 

I give this one a qualified recommendation – fans will enjoy no matter what, novices may scratch their heads, wondering what the fuss is about Nero Wolfe.







Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply