Stout, Rex: (36) Gambit

The very last Nero Wolfe book we didn’t own, Gambit, arrived at the end of January as a present, and I read it shortly thereafter. This is the one that opens with Wolfe burning the third edition of Webster’s page by page, as his latest client lays out the situation. I was rather tickled by this exchange at the end of the chapter:

 . . . when I finished there was no more dictionary except the binding. . . .

“Will this burn?” he asked.

“Sure; it’s buckram. It may smell a little. You knew you were going to burn it when you bought it. Otherwise you would have ordered leather.”

This is also the chess one, as the title suggests. It’s nice to be able see the solution to the mystery at the same time as Archie and Wolfe, but I don’t believe the revelation that allows the mystery to be solved: that it would have happened at all, I mean, not that it would have been revealed at that time.

A minor Wolfe, but there could have been a worse one to be last into the collection.

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