cover image Archie Meets Nero Wolfe

Archie Meets Nero Wolfe

Robert Goldsborough. Open Road/, $14.99 ISBN 978-1-4532-6637-3

Set in 1923, Goldsborough’s excellent eighth pastiche to recreate Rex Stout’s iconic characters (after 1994’s The Missing Chapter) showcases his improved ability to recreate the smart-alecky voice of Archie Goodwin, the more-than-Watsonian sidekick to the quintessential armchair detective. Goldsborough fleshes out passing references to Archie’s background in Stout’s originals, and succeeds in presenting a much more callow figure than the familiar accomplished PI. The 19-year-old, newly arrived in New York City from Ohio, has taken a job guarding the Moreland Import Company docks that soon turns deadly. In self-defense, Archie guns down two would-be thieves and loses his job as a result. He later lands with a detective agency, whose proprietor, Del Bascom, hooks Archie up with his future boss after Wolfe brings in Bascom on a kidnapping case. Goldsborough hits nary a false note, an impressive achievement that will cause devotees to hope he won’t wait another 18 years before his next Goodwin and Wolfe adventure. Agent: Erik Simon, the Martha Kaplan Agency. (Nov.)