Stout, Rex: (13) And Be a Villain

For some reason, I’m curiously reluctant to pick up the sequel to Outlander; if I remember correctly, some particularly rotten things happen in it, so maybe that’s why. Or maybe it’s just the length. Anyway, instead I ended up re-reading another Rex Stout mystery, And Be a Villain. This is the first of the loose trilogy regarding Zeck that In the Best Families concludes; I realized that I’d re-read the end without refreshing my memory on the beginning, so I decided to remedy that.

I’ve discovered that since the A&E series, I have an even stronger tendency to imagine these books filmed. I’d like to see A&E take a crack at the Zeck books; they might be a bit trickier because I think they have more plot than your average Wolfe book, but they are some of the better ones in the oeuvre. Zeck’s only slightly involved in this one, but the murders are baffling and the killer is, indeed, quite villainous. (I know it’s a quote from Hamlet, but it’s still an awfully unmemorable title. The Second Confession, the middle Zeck book, at least has a title with some reference to the plot.)

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