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Mystery Monday – Some Buried Caesar

Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout

Review by Matt B. (buffalosavage)


This mystery is the sixth in the Nero Wolfe series, first published in 1939. Like many Golden Age mysteries, it is rather long but it’s not “stamp your foot” too long like the first four (Fer-de-Lance, The League of Frightened Men, The Rubber Band and The Red Box).

The draw of Some Buried Caesar is that Lily Rowan makes her first appearance as Wolfe’s sidekick Archie’s love interest. Also, Wolfe has to leave the brownstone, which is always a treat for fans of the agoraphobic Wolfe. Archie and Wolfe are taking a road trip to fictitious Crowfield, NY where Wolfe is showing off orchids (his hobby) when they have a traffic accident. Archie and Wolfe end up in a paddock being chased by a bull. It’s pretty funny.

While the car is being repaired ($66.00, i.e. $1,100 in our 2016 money). He is hosted by the founder, Pratt (as in pratfall, to the word-loving Stout) of the fast food chain called Pratteria. The vulgarian’s plan is to barbeque a $45,000 ($755K now) prize bull, Hickory Caesar Grindon, as a publicity stunt. His neighbor abhors this plan and then hires Wolfe to find the killer of his son who was found dead, apparently gored by the bull.

As mentioned above, this novel never feels too long except in one place near the end when Archie is jailed by local cops as a material witness (I assume this novel was first serialized in a magazine, thus the pressure to spin things out). The incidents are consistently funny.




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