cover image Murder, Stage Left: A Nero Wolfe Mystery

Murder, Stage Left: A Nero Wolfe Mystery

Robert Goldsborough., $14.99 trade paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-5040-4111-9

Broadway provides the backdrop for Goldsborough’s superior 12th Nero Wolfe pastiche (after 2016’s Stop the Presses!). A fellow orchid connoisseur, Lewis Hewitt, tells the sedentary sleuth that a friend of his, Roy Breckenridge, needs Wolfe’s help. Lewis’s offer of some rare flowers is enough to get Wolfe to meet Breckenridge, who’s both producing and directing the hit show Death at Cresthaven, a murder mystery. The impresario is uneasy about something regarding the production that he can only articulate as a vague “tension.” Wolfe hits on the idea of sending his able leg man, Archie Goodwin, undercover. Posing as a Canadian theatrical journalist, Archie interviews the cast and crew for a purported article. He manages to get some information but not enough to prevent a fatal poisoning and his being suspected of culpability. Even die-hard Rex Stout fans will have a hard time distinguishing Goldsborough’s prose and plotting from the originals. Agent: Erik Simon, Martha Kaplan Agency. (Mar.)