Archie in the Crosshairs
Review: When Archie Goodwin is shot at just as he's arriving at Nero Wolfe's residence after a successful night of poker with his friends, the private detective and his assistant compile a list of enemies, who might want to get back at Wolfe by taking out Archie, in Archie in the Crosshairs, the tenth mystery in this series by Robert Goldsborough.
The list isn't all that long, and once Wolfe and Archie have it, it's simply a matter of narrowing it down until just one name remains. But their internal analysis will have to wait, as Wolfe has a new client, Cordelia Hutchinson, a young socialite, engaged to the heir of an airline manufacturer, who is being blackmailed with photos of her with an Italian man while on vacation in Florence. Wolfe arranges to have Archie make the payoff, planning on trapping the blackmailer in the process, but Archie is once again shot at, and this time hit, while another of Wolfe's associates kills the shooter. As Archie recovers, Wolfe ponders their case.
The title of this book implies it will be centered on Archie, and by extension Wolfe, but that really isn't how the storyline plays out. The real mystery instead is focused on Cordelia Hutchinson and her family, which is good as this angle is far more interesting than rehashing who might be after Wolfe and Archie and why. Even so, it really isn't up to the caliber of a Wolfe investigation. The author does a terrific job recreating the setting of the Rex Stout novels, and the style is certainly reminiscent of original series. So no issues there. The pacing is a little erratic at first, but once the investigation gets underway, it moves along briskly. The only real problem is the inclusion of a vendetta against Wolfe, with Archie the target. In the end, it's completely unnecessary and while it does exist, it adds no value to the overall story, being at most an artificial way of ramping up the drama when none is needed. On balance, a solid entry in this series but by no means among the best of it.
Acknowledgment: Mysterious Press provided an eARC of Archie in the Crosshairs for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Stop the Presses!
Mysterious Press (Trade Paperback), March 2016
ISBN-13: 9781504023573; ISBN-10: 1504023579
Location(s) referenced in Archie in the Crosshairs: New York City
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Archie in the Crosshairs by Robert Goldsborough — A Nero Wolfe Mystery
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2015
List Price: $14.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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