cover image The Bloodied Ivy

The Bloodied Ivy

Robert Goldsborough. Bantam Books, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-05281-7

The family of the late Rex Stout bestowed an imprimatur on Goldsborough's previous re-creations of Nero Wolfe. This third mystery carries as well a charming memoir of her father by Rebecca Stout Bradbury. Related again by the tubby orchid-grower's majordomo Archie Goodwin, this story starts with a phone call from Professor Cortland of a university in upstate New York. Cortland wants the genius detective to investigate the ``fatal accident'' of a colleague, rabidly conservative Professor Hale Markham. Surprising Archie, Wolfe actually leaves their Manhattan brownstone and accompanies him to the alleged crime scene. Although the detective empathizes with academics who loathe Markham's ``Neanderthal'' politics, he doesn't condone murder. Settling in to solve the case, he questions two women who loved the victim, student Gretchen Frazier and Professor Elena Moreau, as well as Markham's male associates, including his one friend, Cortland. The suicide of one suspect presents the vital clue that gives Wolfe the opportunity he invariably relishes: to announce his triumph over the guilty party at a gathering of astonished listeners. (August)