‘Nero Wolfe: Champagne for One’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2018 24/200


Champagne for One By Rex Stout

Audiobook Edition

Finished on 1/10/2018


Description: Faith Usher talked about taking her own life and even kept cyanide in her purse. So when she died from a lethal champagne cocktail in the middle of a high society dinner party, everyone called it suicide—including the police. But Nero Wolfe isn’t convinced—and neither is Archie. Especially when Wolfe is warned by four men against taking the case. Deception, blackmail, and a killer who may have pulled off the perfect crime…it’ s a challenge Nero Wolfe can’t resist.

Genres: Mystery, Crime, Detective, Noir-lite, Nero Wolfe

At a fancy high society dinner a woman commits an extremely public suicide. Except Archie Goodwin, our intrepid hero and veteran detective, is certain that she never had the opportunity to poison her champagne glass…

Spoiler-ific review

CHAMPAGNE FOR ONE is a classic Nero Wolfe mystery. A woman is murdered at a high society dinner to benefit low society women, setting off a chain of events whereby multiple mysteries are uncovered by police and our intrepid detectives Archie and Nero. It’s a reasonably short book so I won’t go into too much detail.

Plot: everything made logical sense. The logic used by the detectives never went into la la land of improbability, which can sometimes be the case for mystery novels in my experience.

Pacing: There were no slow spots in the pacing, which I would expect because this is the 31st book in the Nero Wolfe series and I would hope that Stout would have his system nailed down by now.

Characterization: As with all serial fiction, characterization must be viewed in context. The main characters are put outside of their comfort zone and forced to change. If you are looking for a novel where the main characters struggle to succeed and are forced to overcome extreme adversity both within and without, this isn’t it.

Net total: a worthy read if you like classic mysteries.

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